Phamaceuticals firm to cut 550 UK staff as part of Europe-wide job losses

Pharmaceuticals giant Eli Lilly is to cut 550 UK staff under a Europe-wide cost-cutting drive, it emerged last night.

The US-owned firm said its decision to close its factory in Basingstoke, Hampshire, affecting 445 workers and 111 contractors, was due to an “increasingly challenging global pharmaceutical environment”.

The move, which is subject to a 90-day consultation process with employees, is part of a wider rationalisation of Lilly’s European operations, which will see the closure of research and development sites in Hamburg, Germany, and Mont-Saint-Guibert in Belgium.

In all, about 900 jobs are likely to go.

Lilly said that it would remain committed to its UK presence, pointing out that a research facility in Surrey, and a biotechnology unit in Merseyside, as well as the company’s UK headquarters in Basingstoke, would be unaffected by the closure.

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