Pharmaceutical manufacturing: grow your business in the UK

  • strong research base
  • excellent track record
  • nationwide innovation
1,300 pharmaceutical companies in the UK
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing: at a glance

    The UK has a long and successful track record in pharmaceutical manufacturing. There’s a strong drive to develop manufacturing for the health and life sciences technologies of the future, such as advanced therapies, digital design or near-patient manufacturing.

    Manufacturing in the life sciences accounts for nearly 10% (Gross Value Added) of all UK manufacturing, and sector exports are more than 30 billion GBP.

    The pharmaceuticals sector alone conducts more UK-based business research and development than any other manufacturing sector, making up more than 20% of all business research and development in the UK.

  • Talent and expertise

    The UK’s pharmaceutical services sector has well-respected expertise and an excellent track record. The pharmaceuticals sector alone now accounts for more UK-based business research and development than any other manufacturing sector. This now makes up more than 20% of all business research and development.

    All of the leading pharmaceutical corporations operating in the global market have a presence in the UK. Two of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies (GSK and AZ) also have their headquarters here.

  • Innovation

    We offer direct support for innovative manufacturing businesses. Your company can access national innovation infrastructure, with 3 main elements:

    • Research Councils champion science, engineering and technology in the UK, including manufacture via centres for innovative manufacturing
    • Catapult is a specialised national network run by Innovate UK, making world-leading technical capability available to businesses to help process development, prototyping and scale-up
    • The Knowledge Transfer Network helps businesses link up with partners in the value and supply chain.
  • UK government support

    The UK provides a very attractive tax regime for regional or global manufacturing. Tax incentives make it easier to reinvest in your next generation research and development. We offer:

    • low rates of tax, with headline corporation tax rate falling to 17% by 2020
    • innovation incentives (R&D tax relief and Patent Box) which can be used by product developers and their R&D, clinical or manufacturing partners
    • one of the most comprehensive global treaty networks

    The combination of low tax rates and Patent Box could deliver an Effective Tax Rate (ETR) of 11% to 13%.

    The government also has up to 50 billion GBP available to support finance and insurance for supplies from within the UK to buyers outside the UK. This support takes the form of guarantees, insurance and loans issued by its export credit agency, UK Export Finance.

  • Next steps

    We can help you grow your business in the UK

    Whether you’ve already decided to grow your business here or you’re just starting your research, the UK government can help you make the right decision.

    Research your industry

    You should research your market to help you decide if the UK is the best place for your business. Contact our Investment Services Team to get market research and other expert help and advice.

    Want to move your business to the UK?

    You’ll need to follow several steps before moving to the UK, including applying for visas and finding the ideal location for your business. Read our UK setup guide.

    The UK government can give you free help and support every step of the way. Contact us to find out more.