An air of employment positivity descended upon Athlone on Thursday of last week with a formal announcement by PPD of plans to create 180 jobs at their state-of-the-art laboratory facility within the IDA Business and Technology Park in Garrycastle.
The progressive pharmaceutical company, a leading global contract research organisation, is expanding its Athlone, Ireland, GMP (good manufacturing practices ) laboratory, significantly increasing the size of its current facility and adding cell and gene therapy testing to the operation’s portfolio of services.
The expansion enhances PPD’s ability to deliver global scientific and technical expertise to meet growing customer demand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region. By offering these services at its Athlone operation, PPD can provide clients in these locations with the same services already available in the US.
Welcoming the local employment economy boost, Athlone Town Mayor, Cllr Aengus O’Rourke, noted that the announcement aligns with the growth and investment objectives for Athlone and the Midlands region.
“Located in the IDA Business Park, in Garrycastle for the past 10 years, PPD plans to create 180 very welcome new jobs over the coming three years, bringing the local workforce in Athlone to approximately 500 employees.
“I would like to compliment the work of the IDA and the Irish Government in supporting PPD in its expansion and growth plans in recent years.
“This jobs boost is great news for Athlone and the Midlands region. It ties in perfectly with our growth and investment objectives for the region. As the designated regional growth centre for the wider Midland’s region, Athlone is a natural home for ambitious companies like PPD.
“Athlone has continuously shown that because of our strong educational reputation we have a much sought after pipeline of highly trained, educated and motivated young people.
“We have been very fortunate to see our IDA Park in Athlone become home to many great med-tech, pharma, science and medical device companies. Companies in these sectors tend to ‘cluster’ and this evolution has worked to our advantage as a town in recent years as more and more firms see Athlone as a good place in which to locate and do business,” Cllr O’Rourke commented.
Local Minister of State, Deputy Robert Troy, echoed similar sentiments, stating that the significant expansion was a reflection of the highly skilled workforce within Athlone and the Midlands region.
“I am delighted to hear of PPD’s plans to expand its presence in Athlone. This is a significant expansion, which will result in the creation of 180 jobs for highly skilled scientists. This announcement demonstrates that Athlone and the Midlands region have the skills, talent, people and connectivity that will enable companies like PPD to embed and grow their operations here. Regional job creation is a key priority of this Government and we will be working to secure further investment for all regions in the months and years ahead,” Deputy Troy asserted.
IDA CEO, Martin Shanahan, complimented the commitment of PPD to the Midlands region as it aims to extend its business tenure at the Business and Technology Park in Garrycastle.
“This welcome announcement by PPD demonstrates the company’s commitment to the Midlands Region where it has been in operation for more than 10 years. It will allow the company to avail itself of the rich talent pool that exists locally and will provide an economic and employment boost to the local and wider Midlands region. We wish PPD continued success,” Mr Shanahan remarked.
The pharmaceutical company’s current 4,460 sq. metre operation will grow to 7,710 sq. metres upon completion of the project, which is expected to be fully functional by mid-2022 and is projected to create 180 new jobs over the next three years.
The current operation employs nearly 300 highly skilled scientists and project managers who support the demand for PPD’s services, which includes testing to support the development of novel and advanced pharmaceuticals and therapies.