Lancashire and the North West stands to benefit from a high-quality jobs and growth bonanza over the next decade in its already healthy life sciences sector, according to new research.
Thousands of extra jobs and hundreds of millions of pounds of growth would be added to the region if increases in life science research and development rise in line with government targets, according to research conducted by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).
Around 3,200 extra well-paid, skilled jobs would be created for the North West with the added R&D, along with more than £238m of extra growth, in 2027 alone.
The region is predicted to outdo the West Midlands and the East of England, two big regional players when it comes to the life sciences, with the West Midlands gaining £185m in added growth and around 2,500 extra jobs and the East gaining £201m and around 2,700 extra jobs.
Much of the extra growth would likely go to established “hot spots” for investments like Cheshire, where pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca have a large research centre and factory, and Manchester, where academics often work to pioneer new treatments alongside the pharmaceutical industry.
The life sciences sector is made up of industries like food science, plus plant and veterinary science.
But the pharmaceutical industry is the single biggest contributor.
The North West figures are projected on the basis that R&D in the region’s life sciences sector will jump from £174m in 2015 to £321m in 2027. The Government set out in the Budget that it would commit to increasing its investment in R&D to 2.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product by 2027, to help the UK to catch up with the R&D spending of the most advanced economies.