Horsham Novartis closure plans branded ‘shocking’ and ‘detrimental’

Today’s announcement from pharmaceutical giant Novartis to potentially close its Horsham site has been branded ‘shocking’ and ‘detrimental’ to the district’s economy.

Roger Paterson Horsham District Council cabinet member for the local economy
Roger Paterson Horsham District Council cabinet member for the local economy

Roger Paterson, (Con, Pulborough and Coldwaltham) Horsham District Council’s cabinet member for the Local Economy, said: “This shocking announcement from Novartis is a most regrettable decision and one which will negatively impact on Horsham’s local economy.

“We don’t know what the fall-out will be but it will have a detrimental affect - there’s no question about it.

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“We greatly sympathise with the tragic loss of jobs that this creates at the Novartis site and are determined that the council will do everything it can to assist Novartis and its employees at this difficult time.

“The council understands that the decision to close the Horsham site is a consequence of the company’s strategic review of its international operations rather than a reflection of local circumstances. However, decisions such as this highlight how unpredictable future employment has become, particularly for international companies making remote decisions based on global demand, without regard to the effect on local employment or local economies.”

Novartis revealed this morning (Tuesday November 5) that 371 jobs are at risk, as well as 170 local contractors, as part of a global strategy programme to create three major research and development hubs in Boston USA, Basel in Switzerland and Shanghai.

“It also confirms the need for Horsham District Council to create the most competitive inward investment conditions, especially the provision of corporate standard business parks, in order to provide employment land available to suit major national and international companies. It is essential we do this in order to both attract new employment to the area and provide high quality replacement jobs for local residents and their families.

“The council places the highest priority on the success of the Horsham district’s local economy and will continue to do so by ensuring that our policies, plans and decisions place maximum emphasis on the need to support business and to work closely with partners in the private and public sectors to develop and maintain economic growth.”

For the full interview buy Thursday’s County Times (November 7).