A company that produces coronavirus tests has announced it will be creating around 300 new jobs in Rhymney.
Innova Medical Group, which is one of the world’s biggest producers of rapid antigen tests, has gone into partnership with Sharp Clinical, which has a factory on the Heads of the Valley Industrial Estate.
Innova has announced an initial investment, which could see around 1.2 million lateral flow tests produced at the site each day from July.
Lateral flow tests can produce a result in around 20 to 30 minutes.
The California-based company has said it will announce “additional investments” later this year to expand production capacity further.
Daniel Elliot, President and CEO of Innova, said the company “understands the importance of speed in the fight against the pandemic and strategic contract manufacturing allows us to start local production quickly”.
He added: “By domestically sourcing as much of the processes as possible, we are confident this partnership with Sharp will deliver value to our UK customers.
“We look forward to the launch of Innova’s lateral flow test production in Wales and to expanding that into other markets and regions across the UK.”
Ian Morgan, General Manager of Sharp UK, said the partnership “allows us to expand our facility by a third” and provides “much-needed opportunities for our local community”.
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney Senedd Member Dawn Bowden said: “Sharp initially moved to Rhymney with financial support from the Welsh Government.
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“The company is a global leader and this will enhance the reputation of our whole area.”
Ms Bowden added: “Many of us have worked hard to ensure that communities in the Heads of the Valleys get new investment, so this great news is a boost for jobs, the economy and for local communities.”
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney’s Member of Parliament, Gerald Jones, also welcomed the news.
He said: “Rhymney and the surrounding communities are a great place to establish a business and I look forward to Innova and Sharp being a key part of our community for many more years to come.”
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