Essex

Harlow site to be home to government's public health arm

Laboratories
Image caption Thousands of new laboratory jobs are promised for Harlow by 2024

The purchase of a former pharmaceutical research site by Public Health England will bring "thousands of jobs" to Essex, an MP claims.

The government's health arm has bought the former GlaxoSmithKlein site in Harlow for £25m as its major centre.

This heralds the transfer of 2,745 jobs from other parts of the country, many from Porton Down in Wiltshire, by 2024.

Plans for the move were announced in September 2015 bringing a protest from Salisbury MP John Glen.

He told George Osborne, then the Chancellor, who announced the move while visiting Harlow that he was "extremely disappointed" with the step.

Harlow MP Robert Halfon, expressed his delight that one of the world's leading science hubs was now almost certain to come to Harlow.

"We're going to be the public health science capital of the world as the only other place that does this work is Atlanta in the United States," he said.

"It will bring thousands of jobs in to Harlow. These are people with scientific expertise and the step will encourage micro-business in the town."

Richard Gleave, deputy chief executive and chief operating officer, said: "This will be Public Health England's main centre in the country and will offer lots of job and career opportunities with an organisation committed to education and development."

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