ONE of Wrexham’s biggest employers, a global biopharmaceutical manufacturer, has lodged plans to expand to meet growing demand.
Wrexham Council’s planning department has received proposals from Ipsen BioPharm Ltd for a new manufacturing facility at its Ash Road North base on the city’s industrial estate.
Ipsen produces medicines used in oncology, neuroscience and rare diseases, and the Wrexham site is key in the manufacture and development of biological neurotoxins.
They provide unique therapeutic indications for severe diseases like spasticity, cervical dystonia in adults and children.
The proposals feature a new three-storey manufacturing facility to add to existing facilities on the Ipsen west site, housing manufacturing on the first floor and a large plant room at ground floor level with air-handling units on the second floor.
A design and access statement produced by Lovelock Mitchell Architects and submitted with the plans outlines the proposal.
“The masterplan for the Wrexham site has previously focused on the main production site located on the west side of Ash Road North”, it says.
“Ipsen also owns the site on the opposite site of the road, and the masterplan has now been recently extended to include this site. Ipsen have identified the need to increase manufacturing capacity to meet demand and have initiated this new facility to meet this requirement.
“It also keeps Ipsen at the cutting edge of pharmaceutical technology, building a long-term future in Wrexham.”
The firm currently employs more than 400 people at its Wrexham site having been based there since 1995.
If these plans are approved, when the new facility is built in 2025 there will be an additional 24 new staff with the firm having a “local recruitment agenda”.
The design and access statement adds: “The scheme has been developed to meet the high international standards set both by the pharmaceutical industry and Ipsen Biopharm.
“With more than 400 workers Ipsen is Wrexham’s third biggest employer and attracting and retaining staff by creating attractive places to work is of paramount importance to the business.
“The proposed development is intended to provide a high-quality facility for the production of new products with finished goods despatched through the neighbouring Building One.”
An additional 24 car park spaces form part of the proposals, but staff are encouraged to walk or cycle to the site.
According to the plans, the manufacturing process at the facility would not lead to any special category wastes or process emissions to air or water which would require an environmental permit.
They add that “various environmental assessments and technical reports have been provided with the application to enable Wrexham Council to understand the relevant key impacts of the development in the context of the policies of the Statutory Development Plan”.
Emissions to air would be typical of those associated with large manufacturing warehouses such as HVAC ducts, breather vents and small-scale steam emissions, according to the proposals.
Industrial noise emissions would be limited to the operation of air source heat pumps and air-cooled chillers. The proposed development does not involve any chemical or biological processes.
“The proposed development is a manufacturing facility which would be similar in nature to other buildings and operational facilities within Wrexham Industrial Estate”, the design and access statement adds.
“Of key relevance is the fact the site is located within a purpose-built industrial estate which is allocated for employment uses of a type similar to that proposed.”
The plans can be viewed in more detail at the planning section of Wrexham Council’s website.
Council planners will make a decision on the proposals in due course.