Merck Credits Glasgow’s Exceptional Talent Pool for Growth

13th Dec 2023

A scientist in a lab coat and glove using technology in a lab setting.

Global science and technology giant, Merck, has had a presence in Glasgow for over 30 years. Glasgow is the largest of Merck’s 12 UK sites, providing non-clinical biosafety testing and contract bio-manufacturing services. 

The biosafety testing services at Merck’s Scottish sites (Glasgow and Stirling) have experienced strong, double-digit growth over several years. This sustained growth is due in large part to their expert and experienced workforce – thanks to historically strong life science and technology sectors in Glasgow and a rich talent pool. 

David McClelland, Site Head & Managing Director, said:

Merck is a truly global science and technology company, but our contract biosafety services were largely born in Glasgow. From our 1990 beginnings as a spin-out from the University of Glasgow, we continue to grow our business here, and continue to offer a world-leading service fuelled by the local talent we are able to attract, train and retain at our Glasgow facility.

Earlier this year Merck announced an investment of €35 million for its Scottish sites. This is a significant investment for Merck in Scotland and an acknowledgment of the great work of their on-site teams. The expansion will create nearly 500 new jobs, bringing Merck’s workforce to over 1,200 employees across the two sites (Glasgow and Stirling). 

The centrepiece of the investment is a new 1,200-square-meter facility in Glasgow, which will house molecular biology and sequencing services. The company also has plans to expand its testing capacity in biosafety testing, analytical development, and viral clearance suites.

David McClelland credited local talent and university links, saying: 

Despite technological advancements, the success of our business at Merck is reliant on the quality of our people. We have been able to continually find committed and talented staff in Glasgow, during a multi-year period of sustained growth. This is testament to the scientific ecosystem in and around Glasgow, starting from our high-quality Colleges and Universities who have developed their life science programs to produce industry-ready scientists.

Glasgow is the business, academic and knowledge capital of Scotland. It has one of the most highly skilled and flexible workforces in Europe with an incredible concentration of knowledge. 

Glasgow’s universities and colleges are business-minded and generate high levels of industry collaboration, research funding, spin-outs and student satisfaction. Moreover, 51% of graduates choose to remain in Glasgow ensuring a pipeline of skills and with 54% of the population educated to degree level, finding and retaining talented staff is easy.