Kent

Former Pfizer employees start new firm at Sandwich site

Pfizer's Sandwich premises
Image caption The Research Network is one of the first companies to take offices on the site Pfizer is leaving in Sandwich

A company set up by a group of former Pfizer employees is one of the the first businesses to be based at the east Kent site which Pfizer is leaving.

The Research Network, which employs seven former Pfizer workers, is operating from Discovery Park in Sandwich.

In February, the drugs giant said it was closing its Sandwich base.

On 17 August the government announced the site is to become an enterprise zone.

Andrew McElroy, Chief Executive of The Research Network, was made redundant from Pfizer in July.

He said: "There's a lot of change happening at the Pfizer site and as other Pfizer groups disband we're growing; we're a small island there of activity that's expanding.

"We're one of probably about a dozen different spin out groups, we just happen to be the first to occupy some offices there."

'Dating agency'

The Research Network works to connect staff and businesses across the pharmaceutical industry.

Mr McElroy said: "It's a bit like a dating agency for scientists.

"We'll find the right person to work with, the right company to work with and then we'll help with the logistics.

"We've certainly learnt a lot over the last five or six months, we've had a lot of help and support as well from government agencies and Pfizer in terms of learning how to set up a new company."

After it put the site on the market in June, Pfizer said there would be a phased exit from Ramsgate Road by 2012.

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