A company has applied to the council in Stockton for permission to build a clinical research facility that will generate jobs in the area.
MAC, based in Blackpool, is one of the UK’s largest neuroscience research companies and stated that the facility would initially create a minimum of ten full-time jobs. There would be more employment opportunities within the facility as it becomes more established in the area. The company already has sites in both Yorkshire and Lancashire, with facilities in Barnsley, Leeds, Liverpool, Cannock, and Manchester. There are also two other facilities suggested nationally.
From office block to medical unit
MAC intends for Sabitier Close’s GAC office block, a two-storey building formerly used for shipping, to be repurposed. The company’s application to Stockton Council stated that their plans would see the building converted into a medical evaluation unit that would include a pharmacy, laboratories, a ‘cognitive assessment’ area and more. MAC undertakes research into a variety of serious conditions including endocrinological diseases such as diabetes, and those based around the nervous system such as multiple sclerosis and dementia. The company also hopes that the new facility will have the capacity to provide occasional overnight stays for patients and participants. Specialised clinical research facilities are widely regarded as an essential aspect of understanding illness and developing treatments. The BBC recently reported on the work of The Crick in London, currently Europe’s largest biomedical lab, and the vital research work it does into cancer, strokes, heart disease and more. MAC’s unit would contribute to similar areas.
The significance of research
A representative of MAC commented that not only would the site create jobs in the area, but that it was also essential to MAC that their outstanding standards of research were maintained across sites. When seeking to ensure that staff are appropriate and knowledgeable, it is common for medical firms to make use of a contract research organisation. It would be the role of the contract research organization to staff the facility, or the specific clinical trial, with excellent staff. Further roles that did not require specialist medical or clinical training, could then be staffed by standard means. It is hoped that the new jobs at the facility will be advertised to locals as soon as feasible.
The council is expected to give its decision by January 2017.