Abbott to invest £85 million in Witney plant, creating 400 jobs
Abbott needs to grow to meet demand for its FreeStyle Libre flash system which measures blood sugar levels in diabetics.
The planning application for the expansion at its site on Range Road in the Windrush Industrial Park was submitted earlier this year.
The investment will create hundreds of new jobs by 2028 and see staff numbers at the site increase by almost 50 per cent.
The site has already grown job numbers from 650 in 2016 to 1,000 people.
The number of people diagnosed with diabetes is rising.
According to Diabetes UK, more than 4.9 million people are living with diabetes in the UK, and this is expected to increase to 5.5 million by 2030.
The FreeStyle Libre systems are now used by 65 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes in the UK and by over 4.5 million people across more than 60 countries.
Instead of pricking their finger, it lets people with diabetes check their sugar levels by wearing a small sensor on their body day and night.
This sends the information to their mobile, or other device.
NICE has recently granted approval for it to be used for people with type 2 diabetes and, in May 2023, for children with type 2 diabetes.
Abbott’s Witney site also manufactures glucose strips which change colour to indicate the concentration of glucose in the blood.
And it makes ketone test strips used by people following the popular low carb ketogenic diet to see if their body is in ketosis, and burning fat.
Last month Abbott applied for permission to build a two-storey car park creating an additional 132 parking spaces, in addition to the 731 spaces that are already there.
The firm, which has its head office in Maidenhead, has 74,000 employees around the world.
Shaun Smith, site director of Abbott’s diabetes care site in Witney, said: “Our FreeStyle Libre portfolio is a game changer for the millions of people living with diabetes, and these expansion plans will help us continue to meet the growing demand globally.
“Our Witney site was the original home of FreeStyle Libre manufacturing and is pivotal in bringing this life-changing technology to millions worldwide.
“This further investment will ensure it continues to be a centre of excellence for high-end STEM manufacturing and R&D, in the heart of Oxfordshire.”
Robert Courts, MP for Witney & West Oxfordshire, added: “I welcome Abbott’s continued investment in Witney, especially the addition of hundreds of highly skilled STEM jobs in our local community.
“Abbott is already the largest private employer in West Oxfordshire, and I wish them every success as they continue to expand their operations and access to this vital technology for people living with diabetes.”
The new jobs will be in manufacturing, operations and other STEM related roles. People can find out more at www.jobs.abbott/witney