To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason the Government is selling the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
16 December 2021
VMIC was a project set up in the 2017 Life Sciences Sector Deal to support UK leadership in next generation vaccine manufacturing technology. The pandemic has dramatically accelerated both the demand and the technology of vaccine production since VMIC was established. The Government has invested over £380 million to secure and scale-up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities to be able to respond to this pandemic, as well as any future pandemics, and in support of vaccine innovation at numerous facilities across the UK. Our positive engagement with industry and the UK’s strong science base and international reputation has also seen a number of private investments across the whole of the UK announced over the past year. These include Serum Institute of India’s £50m investment into Oxford Biomedica, Thermo Fisher Scientific’s £70m expansion of its Swindon site and Fujifilm’s £400m investment into its Billingham, Teesside facility.
One such facility that the Government provided support to is the Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC) which has the potential to be a significant part of the UK vaccine manufacturing ecosystem. VMIC is a private company, limited by guarantee, and as such the UK Government does not exercise any ownership rights.
Officials are working closely with VMIC and other third parties to ensure that the UK retains a strong domestic vaccine manufacturing capability to contribute to our response to COVID-19 and resilience to other future health emergencies. We will ensure that the UK’s vaccine capabilities continue to benefit from the public investment. Discussions are commercially sensitive between VMIC and private potential acquirers.