The Wokingham Paper

Health Secretary opens £37 million HQ for life sciences firm Sanofi and praises company’s Brexit planning

THE HEALTH secretary cut the ribbon to declare open a £37 million investment into Wokingham borough.

Life sciences company Sanofi officially opened its new UK and Ireland headquarters in Thames Valley Park on Thursday, October 10. 

Matt Hancock MP, the secretary of state for health and social care, was joined by Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson and Hugo Fry, the pharmaceutical company’s UK managing director, for the event. 

More than 750 people are employed by the company at the 70,000 sq ft facility, bringing together staff from Oxford, Maidenhead and Guildford. 

All three addressed the staff before heading out of the building to allow Mr Hancock to cut the ribbon. 

Mr Hancock said: “It’s fantastic to see Sanofi putting £37 million investment here into Berkshire, it’s a real vote of confidence in people locally and in the UK, which I’m very pleased to support – a French global company investing in the local area. 

“And we’ll do everything we can to support them and support the UK Life Sciences industry to make the innovations and the inventions that ultimately save people’s lives.”

Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock with Sanofi’s leadership team outside the new HQ in Thames Valley Park, Earley

During his address to staff, he paid tribute to the company’s preparations for all possible Brexit outcomes. 

He told The Wokingham Paper: “We have full plans in place to ensure that patients are safe in all Brexit scenarios, I very much hope and that we leave with a deal because that’s the best way to deliver on the referendum result. 

“But we need to be prepared for all Brexit scenarios. 

“Sanofi and the rest of the pharmaceutical industry have played a very impressive professional role in ensuring that we’ve got the supplies and medicines that we need, and that those plans are in place should we need them. 

“But I also hope that the best way to leave the European Union is with a deal.”

Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock, the secretary of state for health, opened the new £37 million headquarters of life sciences firm Sanofi Picture: Phil Creighton

He added: “I’m going later today to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, which we have given the go-ahead in principle to a major investment in the years to come, all part of our investment in the future of the NHS. 

“So I’ve got a great day in Reading a combination of welcoming French investment into Berkshire and welcoming fresh investment into the local NHS.”

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