ALS Pharmaceutical toast opening of ‘wonderful’ new £2.1 million laboratory in Ely

Cllr Ian Lindsay and laboratory technician Daniel Tuck cut the ribbon to the new extension at ALS El

Cllr Ian Lindsay and laboratory technician Daniel Tuck cut the ribbon to the new extension at ALS Ely. - Credit: Archant

Glasses of bubbly were raised as a £2.1 million extension was unveiled at an Ely pharmaceutical testing laboratory.

The mayor of Ely, Councillor Ian Lindsay cut the ribbon as ALS Pharmaceutical, one of the UK’s top microbiology and chemical analysis laboratories, welcomed 70 clients and guests to the official opening day which is expected to create up to 15 new jobs in the region.

The company, with five sister laboratories located across the UK and Ireland, offers a range of high quality analytical testing services. Clients include local NHS hospitals and many of Europe’s leading manufacturers of medicines, as well as nutritional and cosmetic producers.

“Our laboratory has experienced double-digit growth for the last five years, and we now perform over 40,000 chemical and microbiological tests every month, helping to ensure medicines and cosmetics meet safety standards and their stated shelf-life,” said Sharon Hanly, general manager of ALS Pharmaceutical.

“It has been fantastic to welcome everyone here today and in particular to have the chance to thank the staff in public for their incredible contribution that has led to the opening of the new laboratories.”

Cllr Lindsay was joined by laboratory technician Dan Tuck, who won the company’s competition to help open the extension, and Ms Hanly, marketing director Nigel Richards and ALS’ European general manager, Andreas Johnson, who flew in from Stockholm for the occasion.

Cllr Lindsay, himself a retired physician for the RAF, cut the ribbon leading to the expanded facilities, and then toured the state of the art HEPA filtered laboratory and purpose-built chambers which are to be used for stability trials.

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“I am delighted to see this inward investment to Ely, especially in the life sciences sector,” said the Mayor. “It reinforces the powerful ‘knowledge-base’ of this region, and having a world-class facility draws in other top companies, both as clients and as investors themselves.”

The mayor then explained that he himself had some experience of analytical testing when he was required to test the water in the Ascension Islands after the Falklands war.

Cllr Lindsay said: “It’s really nice to hear that ALS is bringing high-tech, well paid jobs to the city.

ALS, one of the UK’s leading food and pharmaceutical testing groups, celebrated years of consistent growth by investing over £2 million into extending its current laboratory on Bartholomew’s Walk at the Cambridgeshire Business Park.

Work began on the extension in June 2015 and after 15 months of building work and over 40 hours of meetings between staff and contractors, the new labs were opened for business today (September 7).

The laboratory has effectively quadrupled in size, boasting 560 square metres of floor space. A quarter of a kilometre in work benches will be used for over 40,000 chemical and microbiological tests every month.

Mr Johnson and Ms Hanly thanked the 37 staff at ALS Ely and looked to the future.

Mr Johnson said: “We believe in our team in the pharmaceutical market and this is a facility that the team deserves.”

Ms Hanly added: “This is a happy occasion and we have a wonderful facility to work in.”

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