WALES’s Deputy First Minister has officially opened a new £2.7m pharmaceutical facility which will create 65 jobs and safeguard 19 existing ones.

Ieuan Wyn Jones, who is also Minister for the Economy and Transport, visited Quay Pharma’s new facility on Deeside Industrial Park.

The company has invested £2.7 million in the new buildings, protecting 19 jobs and ultimately creating a further 65 new graduate and post-graduate jobs in research and development.

This was supported by £784,000 Single Investment Funding which the minister announced last November.

The 40,800 sq ft building, which is four times the size of Quay’s existing premises on the Wirral, will feature a variety of state-of-the-art equipment.

The company currently employs 33 people.

Mr Wyn Jones said: “We are proud of Wales’s healthcare and bioscience sector which employs some 15,000 people and is worth £1.3 billion every year.

"I am therefore especially pleased that we have been able to offer assistance to the company to facilitate their expansion programme and I hope that their R&D (research and development) funding will be of further assistance."

Quay Pharma’s chief executive Mike Rubinstein said: “Our extensive knowledge and experience can play a crucial role in the critical early stages of drug development and in recent years we have seen increasing demand for our services.

“By creating this new advanced facility to our specific requirements, we will be able to offer an enhanced level of support to our clients.”