Press release

Over 1,000 life sciences companies driving £10 billion into Northern Powerhouse

George Freeman MP announces Northern Powerhouse life sciences businesses contribute over £10.8 billion to the UK economy each year.

George Freeman MP at BioTrinity Conference

George Freeman MP at BioTrinity Conference

  • life sciences in the North of England contribute £10.8 billion to the UK economy each year
  • over 1,000 life sciences businesses in the North support over 38,000 high skilled jobs
  • Northern Powerhouse companies export over £8.1 billion of medicinal and pharmaceutical products per year

George Freeman MP, Minister for Life Sciences, today revealed that life science businesses in the Northern Powerhouse are contributing over £10.8 billion to the UK economy each year – helping to support over 38,000 highly skilled jobs.

Data published today also showed there are 1,000 life and health science companies in the Northern Powerhouse. 97% of these companies are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) providing a strong supply chain for new investors to the region. It was also revealed that these companies manufacture and export over £8.1 billion of medicinal and pharmaceutical products per year.

Announcing the data at the BioTrinity Conference in London, Life Sciences Minister George Freeman MP said:

This data shows that the UK’s £56 billion life sciences industry is a powerhouse in the Northern economy.

Through our life sciences strategy we are creating jobs, opportunities and security across the North. With its world-leading universities, innovative life sciences companies and millions of NHS patients across the region, the North has unique capabilities with excellent growth potential for international investors.

The statistics originate from the 2015 Strength and Opportunity Report. The data will assist in driving inward investment into the thriving life sciences sector in the North.

This data underpins the UK Trade and Investment Northern Powerhouse life sciences proposition, commissioned by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). It was created in collaboration with the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) and launched as a document for UKTI’s global network with the purpose of driving inward investment into the region.

NHSA chair, and Vice-President and Dean of The University of Manchester’s Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, Professor Ian Greer said:

The great universities and NHS organisations of the North have been working collaboratively with each other and industry to establish some of the most advanced facilities populated by world-leading experts in their field.

Together with a 15 million population there is a massive untapped resource for international investors and industry to work with the Northern Powerhouse for mutual benefit.

The proposition showcases the world class facilities that the North has to offer such as:

  • the £38 million National Biologics Manufacturing Centre within the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) which will host the £20 million CPI Biologics Factory of the Future
  • the £4 million UK AMR Centre - a £4 million investment in AMR therapeutics development
  • Medicines Discovery Catapult - the Catapult will operate at the earliest stages of medicines development, developing and validating new technologies for testing of potential medicines before human trials and supporting the important UK strength in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and contract research organisations
  • Alderley Park in Cheshire - with over £550 million invested by AstraZeneca in world-class facilities and infrastructure over the past decade, Alderley Park is one of the best invested bioscience R&D sites in Europe

The North also boasts one of the Europe’s strongest clusters in biological, medical and surgical manufacturing with Eli Lilly, Allergan, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, Seqirus, JRI Orthopaedics, and DePuy Synthes based there.

Notes to editors


UKTI’s Life Sciences Organisation (LSO) works to bring high quality inward investment into the UK, from the earliest R&D collaborations through to clinical trials, commercial and manufacturing operations.

The team offers both new and existing inward investors a bespoke service, tailoring support to the requirements of the client. From 2016, LSO will work as a joint team with the Office for Life Sciences, better aligning life sciences policymaking with delivery of exports and inward investment.

Northern Health Science Alliance

The Northern Health Science Alliance Ltd (NHSA) is a partnership established by the leading Universities and NHS Hospital Trusts in the North of England to improve the health and wealth of the region by creating an internationally recognised life science and healthcare system.

The NHSA links 8 universities and 8 NHS Teaching Trusts with the newly formed Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs). Together the Alliance and the 4 Northern AHSNs cover a patient population of over 15 million people.

The NHSA acts as a single portal bringing together research, health science innovation and commercialisation to provide benefits for researchers, universities,

The Health TechNorth app is available for download on iPad at the apple store.

Published 26 April 2016