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4 minute read

New £26m pharmaceutical manufacturing facility opens in Devon

Who would have thought that an NHS trust is directly involved in manufacturing? Not many I suspect and I certainly didn’t. So it was a bit of a surprise last week when I heard news that a new pharmaceutical manufacturing plant has been built in Devon.

Torbay Pharmaceuticals, part of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, held an official opening to mark the completion of its new manufacturing unit in Paignton.

The £26m project has delivered a brand new, 78,000 square foot manufacturing unit that has all the latest technology and equipment required to provide a modern, class-leading pharmaceutical facility.

£26m has been invested in a new 78,000 sq ft manufacturing unit / Picture: Torbay Pharmaceuticals


Torbay Pharmaceuticals employs over 170 people in a wide range of roles from scientists and pharmacists to engineers and sales and marketing. Employees include some of the region’s most experienced and knowledgeable pharmaceutical specialists.

The unit develops and makes a wide range of medicinal products which are then sold to and used by all UK NHS hospitals and healthcare organisations across the world. Proceeds of the income generated by the pharmaceuticals unit are ploughed back in to local health care in Torbay and South Devon. Each year this provides a multi-million pound cash injection for our local population’s health care needs.

Prior to the build of the new manufacturing unit, Torbay Pharmaceuticals’ units were spread over four different sites across the Bay. Many of these sites required significant investment to bring them up to the modern standards and to enable the demand for its products to be met.

Inside the new facility – the company employs 170 people / Picture: Torbay Pharmaceuticals


A team of designers, planners, engineers, architects LHC Urban Designs and appointed building partner Balfour Beatty, worked to turn this vision into a reality.

Work began to prepare the site back in March 2013. Since the buildings physical completion back in December 2014, rigorous testing has been taken place. With the regulatory requirements being met, the building is now approved and fully operational.

The Trust’s Chairman (Sir Richard Ibbotson), Managing Director of Torbay Pharmaceuticals (Emma Rooth), Technical Director of Torbay Pharmaceuticals (Mark Andrews), together with staff, representatives from Balfour Beatty and other partners, marked the milestone with a celebratory opening ceremony with Sir Richard unveiling a commemorative plaque.

Sir Richard Ibbotson, Chairman of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are incredibly proud of Torbay Pharmaceuticals and all that they have achieved over the years. Not only have they created a range of highly skilled career opportunities, but they generate income which directly supports the health and care of local people. This is a first-rate example of what innovation in the NHS can contribute to local communities.

“These fabulous new facilities offer a modern, class-leading environment which will enable Torbay Pharmaceuticals to further grow and flourish. I, on behalf of the Trust Board, cannot thank everyone enough for their hard work in seeing this superb project come to fruition.”

Work on the site started in 2013 and following rigorous testing & meeting all regulatory requirements the facility is now fully up and running / Picture: Torbay Pharmaceuticals


Emma Rooth, Managing Director of Torbay Pharmaceuticals, said: “Torbay Pharmaceuticals is proud to be such a successful part of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust. Being part of the NHS enables us to have our finger on the pulse of healthcare needs and respond appropriately with new products, plugging shortages and anticipating the latest developments in medical science.

“Since the establishment of the original pharmaceutical department at Torbay Hospital back in the 1970s, we have grown from strength to strength to meet not only our local population’s needs, but also the needs of the wider NHS and health care providers globally.

“The official opening of our new class-leading sterile product facility is a very exciting time for Torbay Pharmaceuticals. By strengthening our production capabilities and ensuring the delivery of high quality products for our patients through this investment, we have created the platform upon which we can achieve significant growth for the organisation, its people and the region.”

Bryan Taylor, UK Property Director for Balfour Beatty, said: The official opening of Torbay Pharmaceuticals new manufacturing unit in Paignton marks the completion of 8 years of involvement by Balfour Beatty. Having secured the plot, designed, developed and constructed the facility, the project reflects the all-encompassing skills, expertise and capabilities of Balfour Beatty in providing clients with whole project lifecycle solutions.” Working with you, for you

Proceeds of the income generated by the pharmaceuticals unit are ploughed back into local health care in Torbay and South Devon / Picture: Torbay Pharmaceuticals


The new pharmaceutical unit’s sterile environment enables the research and development of new and innovative medicinal products. It is the largest NHS manufacturer of sterile products in the UK.

The new unit enables Torbay Pharmaceuticals to research, develop, manufacture, test and distribute medicinal products to thousands of customers in the UK and overseas. With automated production lines, two new autoclaves for sterilization, the ability to produce larger batch sizes, on-site storage and direct delivery from its vast warehouse, the new manufacturing unit ensures the reliable supply of essential pharmaceuticals.

History of Torbay Pharmaceuticals:

• 1970s: Originated by Torbay Pharmacy Department to meet local needs

• 1980s: Focused on manufacture for local hospitals

• 1983: New purpose built laboratories on Torbay Hospital site

• 1995: Off-site manufacturing unit site (in Paignton)

• 1998: First product licensed (Morphine)

• 2007: Additional off-site storage developed

• 2014: Class leading 78,000 ft² manufacturing site built

• 2015: Torbay Pharmaceuticals starts penetrating overseas markets

• 2016: MHRA fully approve new site