The plan, which will be carried out over the next five years, will add offices, warehousing and laboratory space at the Craigavon facility and bring Almac’s global workforce to around 3,000 employees.
Company chairman Sir Allen McClay told the Belfast Telegraph that: “It’s an exciting development and the latest step since Almac was set up from scratch in 2001.”
John Irvine, Almac’s director of commercial development, told the paper that the expansion received planning permission last week, adding that the firm is keen to move forward with the project.
The expansion is part of a significant development programme that Almac has undertaken over the last few years. In June, the firm completed the first phase of a $15m manufacturing capacity expansion at the facility.
The contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) is also constructing a $112m (€78.6m) plant in Pennsylvania in the US, which is on schedule to complete in summer 2010.
Almac’s rapid expansion has also seen it redouble its recruitment efforts, with a particular focus on hiring new graduates, as McClay explained.
“We have attracted graduates from all over the world working with us, including many from countries like Russia, India, China and France. We are working with local universities to attract the right sort of people to our company.”
The creation of the McClay Foundation earlier this month is a prime example of Almac’s approach to building its links with academia.
The Foundation, a charitable trust set up in collaboration with Queen’s University in Belfast, is designed to support and encourage research into cancer diagnostics and disease prevention.
Speaking at the time McClay said that: “In an era which has seen rising drug development costs and lower levels of innovation, I am confident that increased levels of collaboration across industry and academia can deliver improved healthcare solutions.”