Global medical equipment manufacturer to build new £80 million facility near Hull

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Photo credit: Smith+Nephew

Historic British medical equipment manufacturer Smith+Nephew, founded in 1856, is set to build a new £80 million production and R&D and manufacturing facility for its Advanced Wound Management franchise on the outskirts of Hull.

The company will invest more than £80 million to create a world-class R&D, manufacturing and flexible office environment. The development will also be supported by a grant from UK Government. The new facility is expected to support more than $10 billion of sales in its first ten years of operation.  

Simon Fraser, President of Advanced Wound Management, Smith+Nephew, said:

“This major investment demonstrates our commitment to the UK and to building our leadership in Advanced Wound Management. Our vision is for a world-class working environment that encourages innovation and collaboration to deliver next-generation products that improve the standard of care for the NHS and customers around the world. Smith+Nephew was founded in Hull in 1856 and we are proud to make this major investment in the region for future generations.”

Lord Grimstone, Minister for Investment, said:

“As set out in our Life Sciences Vision, we are committed to harnessing our skilled workforce and existing strengths in R&D to continue to attract large scale manufacturing and the economic opportunities that come with them. Today’s announcement from Smith+Nephew is a major vote of confidence in our thriving Life Sciences sector, cementing the UK’s status as a global science superpower and helping us to level up economic growth across the country.”

Lord Kamall, Minister for Innovation, said:

“Life sciences are crucial to transforming our health service and ensure the NHS is able to deliver world-class care. Coupled with health research, it has been vital in our fight against Covid and in saving thousands of lives through the rapid creation of vaccines and identifying life-saving treatments like dexamethasone.  Smith+Nephew’s new R&D base will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of life sciences and innovative research, levelling up the health of our nation, tackling disparities and saving lives.”

Subject to planning approval, the new facility will be at Melton West business park (HU14 3RS) approximately eight miles from Smith+Nephew’s current Hull site, which it will replace and where we have been located for more than 100 years.

The Advanced Wound Management R&D programme will benefit from advanced laboratories better able to support the development of new technologies to satisfy unmet clinical needs. This ensures that the UK remains one of the world’s leading wound care R&D locations.

Manufacturing will focus on the production of high-technology products, supporting the fast and efficient launches of new products, and manufacturing complex materials used across Smith+Nephew’s portfolio.

The new facility will be designed to high sustainability standards with a focus on energy and resource efficiency. Working with regulators, we will utilise the Best Available Techniques within our processes to minimize or prevent impact to the environment from our operations.

Melton West business park is the closest available suitable site to our current Hull facility. It offers the size and established infrastructure to accommodate the new facility and is allocated under the East Riding of Yorkshire Local Plan for developments of this kind.

Dominic Gibbons, Managing Director of Hull-based Wykeland Group, owner and developer of Melton West, said:

“We are delighted the strategic, long-term investments we have made in the infrastructure at Melton West business park have enabled Smith+Nephew to stay within the region and make such a huge investment in a state-of-the-art new facility. Smith+Nephew is one of the region’s leading employers, with a proud local history and heritage. This investment will open an exciting new chapter in that story.”

The new site is expected to open in 2024. Smith+Nephew worked closely with Hull City Council but unfortunately were unable to find an appropriately sized and deliverable site within the city. Smith+Nephew is committed to continuing to work with the City Council and other stakeholders regarding future options for the current Hull site.

Smith+Nephew was founded in Hull in 1856, and their Advanced Wound Management business has a long track record of developing pioneering products in the UK. In recent times these included PICO, the world’s first single-use Negative Pressure Wound Therapy System and the leading ALLEVYN◊ Life Foam Dressing family.

Smith+Nephew’s collaboration with the University of Hull has created one of the world’s largest Wound Care Research Clusters, including eight multi-disciplinary PhD studentships.

Smith+Nephew is also an active member in the local community, including being a co-founder and sponsor of the Ron Dearing University Technical College, offering STEM students a unique, employer-led education.

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