Three-way talks over Sanofi-site rescue plan

By Jim Dunton - Thu 12 December 2013, 12:00 pm

Pharmaceuticals giant Sanofi is in talks with Barking & Dagenham Council and regeneration specialist SOG over new ways to preserve the future of its former facilities in Rainham Road South, after the Greater London Authority declined a funding application for the site.

Sanofi ceased production at the site earlier this year and had sought a loan through the GLA from the government’s Growing Places Fund to allow its 17 acre state-of-the-art research and development facilities to be retained as a science and technology park.

But  the GLA’s London Enterprise Panel has now rejected its application, which involved rebranding the site “business-east” and attracting new businesses and jobs to the area.

Sanofi said it was now in three-way talks with SOG and the council to see whether an alternative financing solution could be found.

Jim Moretta, Sanofi’s site leader for Dagenham, said that the GLA’s decision had been “a huge disappointment” but added that it was not the end of the plans for the site.

“We are now hopeful that the local authority, which has been immensely supportive throughout this entire process, can help come up with a solution that will ensure the future for these superb facilities which would cost millions of pounds to replicate in today’s market,” he said.

Council leader Liam Smith said the decision was a “kick in the teeth” for the borough.

“This plan would have supported key economic sectors, safeguarded existing employment and created new jobs through reusing some of the excellent facilities which would otherwise be lost to the capital,” he said.

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