Expansion will bring new jobs to Galashiels

An artist's impression of the new extension at KKI.
An artist's impression of the new extension at KKI.

More than 50 new jobs will be created in Galashiels over the next five years.

Pharmaceutical firm Kyowa Kirin International, formerly known as ProStrakan, has announced it plans to expand its headquarters within Galashiels Business Park following increased profits last year.

The company, reported a record turnover of £251m for 2016 - growth of 13% over the previous year’s revenues of £222m.

Kyowa Kirin International (KKI) has taken out a 10 year lease on the 10,000 square feet building beside its existing headquarters and has gained planning permission to build a link building between the two.

Creating a combined total footprint of 35,000 square feet, this is an increase of 40% over its existing building, in which almost 150 staff are based.

Lucy Alkin-Young, KKI’s office manager, who is project managing the development, said: “We’ve been growing so fast that we were simply running out of room in our existing head office, so the expansion is being welcomed by the whole team. Our extended facility will provide us with a headquarters that is appropriate for an international pharmaceutical company.”

Once construction of the link building has been completed, KKI plans to refurbish its existing headquarters building.

Work on the extension, which will create room for more than 50 new staff, is expected to be completed by Autumn this year.

President and CEO Dr Tom Stratford, said: “This development underlines our commitment to Galashiels and to Scotland as an excellent location from which to operate a truly international pharmaceutical business.

“The business is growing at pace and we are proud of what we have achieved since joining Kyowa Hakko Kirin in 2011. Our turnover has grown from £105m to £251m in that time, overall staff numbers have more than doubled to stand at almost 600 today and we recently filed for European approval of the first of Kyowa Hakko Kirin’s pipeline products.”

KKI’s property advisers for the project are Eric Young and Company, with design work being undertaken by design consultants, Cubit3D and project management by PMP.

Formerly known as ProStrakan, the firm was founded by Dr Stratford’s father Harry in Melrose nearly 22 years ago.

ProStrakan was taken over by the Japanese firm Kyowa Hakko Kirin in 2011 and rebranded as part of a move to become a global speciality pharmaceutical company.

KHK’s western pharmaceutical subsidiaries, including specialist divisions employing another 350 people outwith the Borders, also came under the Kyowa Kirin name, and since the takeover 20 new staff,including several qualified medics, have joined its Galashiels workforce.