Swindon specialists lead training for new Irish pharmaceutical facility

Wasdell Packaging

A specialist team from the Wasdell Group, in Swindon, has been training new staff in Ireland, as the company’s new €36m facility in Dundalk gets ready to start production.

Wasdell has built the new pharmaceutical packaging, testing and distribution facility to support further expansion throughout Ireland and Europe, and to maintain a foothold in Europe for their international clients which need certainty of access to the EU market.

The team of trainers, led by operations manager Tony Smith and technical manager Tim Wakely, includes skilled engineers and production and quality control specialists, most were drawn from the group’s Swindon facility.  Many of the Swindon staff developed their specialist skills through their own professional development at the Wasdell Group facility in Blagrove, and are now able to perform key training roles to support the growing firm’s expansion.

“This has been a massive undertaking, but for every area of the business, we have created Standard Operating Procedures, and set up Matrix systems to enable us to deliver training needs across the whole of the new operation in Ireland,” Tony Smith explained.

“We’ve used key staff from Swindon to send across to Ireland, to run much of the training in situ. We have seven trainers out there now, working across two shifts.”

The facility should start operation this month, with a number of Wasdell’s clients now in Ireland to witness the validation of the new production lines.

Whilst much of the work for pharmaceuticals bound for the EU will now be moving to Ireland, in preparation for Brexit, the Swindon plant remains open.

“We’re recognised as one of the fastest growing companies in the UK, and we’re always taking on new clients as a result of continual innovation in our technology and processes,” said Tim Wakely.

“In Swindon, for example, our specialist team who deal with medicines for clinical trials in patients has grown rapidly.”

Another round of training will take place over the summer to enable the plant to deliver the latest serialisation technology designed to tackle counterfeit medicines, an area in which the Wasdell Group has already taken a lead in the pharmaceutical sector.

Further training will continue to be led by the Swindon teams, as the new facility in Ireland ramps up to full operation.

Wasdell’s new Irish facility will enable the company to continue its work around clinical trials packing, primary and secondary packaging and distribution of biopharmaceutical products.

Wasdell also offers contract manufacturing services with FDA and MHRA approved analytical and microbiology laboratories, and this 70,000 sq ft new facility will be the company’s EU hub for Qualified Persons pharmaceutical release, analytical testing, primary and secondary pharmaceutical packaging and distribution.

The new facility has been supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.

Wasdell is Europe’s largest independent manufacturing and packaging supplier to the pharmaceutical, medical and healthcare industries.  Chairman Martin Tedham brought the company to Swindon in 2010, and since then has seen an increase in turnover from £2m to £50m.

The company employs more than 800 people in the UK, including scientists, doctors, packaging designers, administrators, quality controllers and packers.  Around 650 of those employees are currently based in Swindon.

Wasdell was included in the 2018 Sunday Times’ Profit Track 100 – the definitive list of Britain’s best private companies with the fastest-growing profits – and with 55.5 per cent annual profit growth was the only Swindon-based company to make the list.