Green light for pharma firm to build world-beating £58m inhalation tech centre in Bristol

September 30, 2022

Pharmaceutical firm Vectura has been granted planning permission for a world-class ‘inhalation centre of excellence’ on the outskirts of Bristol as it looks to expand its operations and develop innovative new treatments.

The firm, controversially acquired by tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) £1.1bn a year ago, revealed its plan to build the £58m centre on the Bristol & Bath Science Park in February.

The 107,000 sq ft scheme, pictured, which will streamline its work on new treatments using its innovative inhalation technology, has now been given the green light by South Gloucestershire Council.

Chippenham-headquartered Vectura said the state-of-the-art centre would also create an unspecified number of jobs for research and development scientists and engineers in pharmaceutical and device development, as well as in manufacturing and laboratory services. The highly sustainable building is anticipated to complete in 2025.

Founded in 1997 and now employing around 450 people, Vectura has grown from roots in a spin-out from the University of Bath by developing inhalable dry-powder drugs that treat lung conditions such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Its pioneering approach led to new ways of treating asthma and lung diseases and it earned strong revenues from collaborations and licence agreements with global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies such as Novartis, Sandoz and GlaxoSmithKline.

So far, its expansion has been in Chippenham, where its current main R&D facility is spread across a number of buildings, including laboratory and ‘pilot’ line spaces where new products are developed, while there is also some small-scale manufacturing.

Vectura CEO Michael Austwick said he was delighted the plans had been approved by the council.

“The new-build will enable our already successful pharmaceutical company to continue its vital work, providing innovative inhalation and other advanced drug delivery solutions that have the potential to improve the lives of patients and consumers around the world,” he said.

“For nearly 25 years, Vectura has been providing a combination of formulation science, device technology and pharmaceutical development expertise, helping our partners and licensees develop products which are used by 10 million patients worldwide.

“This new facility will help us to build on this successful track record, increasing workspace capacity and attracting talent to the area.”

The 36-acre science park at Emersons Green – which opened in 2011 and was jointly acquired by South Gloucestershire Council and the University of Bath in 2018 – is recognised as a world-class environment providing space, accessibility and support for science and technology businesses to accelerate their growth and success.

It is home to the University of Bath’s £60m Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS), which is conducting world-leading research centre on the car of the future, as well as the National Composites Centre.

South Gloucestershire Council cabinet member responsible for corporate resources, Cllr Ben Burton, added: “The science park offers a prime location for a company of this type as it is a world-class centre for science and technology businesses with a focus on research and development, innovation and collaboration.

“This new research and development facility will bring additional high-tech employment opportunities to our area and I’m pleased to see that Vectura’s plans for the new building include a number of environmental and sustainability considerations.”


Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email for more information.