Delta Pharm, part of Belgian group Omega Pharma, is one of six divisions in France. Omega Pharma is a major player in the para-pharmaceutical product and over-the-counter markets in Europe.
The company not only expects to grow its workforce further at the new 20,000 square-metre facility, but a future expansion is also on the cards now that the new facility has become an important logistics site of the Omega Pharma Group in France.
“Two years ago, our idea for a new plant in western Europe was only a concept,” said Jan Peeters, group deputy CEO. “Last year, we transferred production from our facility outside Paris to Plelo, including the logistical operations for a number of group activities. We expect that everything on site will double in size in the longer term, including warehousing and production facilities.”
Apart from the costs, a positive aspect of the move was local assistance, which was considerable, says Mr Peeters. “The local government grant we were offered was another incentive and, from start to finish, the process was efficiently managed by the local team.”
He praised the potential role of economic development agencies. “France has some interesting development agencies which on a national level are very useful, particularly when it comes to locating sites, but the IDA [Irish Development Agency] is exemplary.”
With the current trend towards offshore generic production as far afield as India and the Pacific, Mr Peeters thinks that in the medium term, production seems set to remain in Europe – at the high end of the market at least.
Meanwhile, the biosciences cluster in western France continues to expand. It already boasts 165 creative and leading-edge companies, 91 with biotech R&D programmes. And, with 32,000 students currently involved in life sciences courses in the region, future staffing for the burgeoning France Atlantique bio-science cluster looks like being well-provided for the future.
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