GlaxoSmithKline subsidiary to close Sligo plant with loss of 165 jobs

17 Aug 2018

GSK building. Image: Ricochet64/Shutterstock

GSK operation in Sligo to be wound down over the next three years.

Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to close subsidiary Stiefel Laboratories’ Sligo plant with the loss of 165 jobs.

The plant is to wind down, with final closure tabled for 2021.

GSK said it has informed employees at the skincare manufacturing site of these plans to phase down production over the next three years.


GSK explained that demand for its skincare products had not materialised.

“Demand for the products made on site has not grown in line with previous expectations, due to the highly competitive market in which we operate, making our current business model unsustainable,” GSK said in a statement.

The company said it had not arrived at the decision lightly and had evaluated a number of alternatives for the Sligo site.

“None of them were considered feasible without significant further investment.”

GSK said it is now focused on supporting the highly skilled professionals working at the Sligo plant.

It is understood that GSK’s other factories in Cork and Dungarvan will not be affected by the decision.

GSK employs 1,500 people across four locations in Ireland.

The Stiefel plant was threatened with closure before in 2009 after GSK acquired the company, but the decision was reversed.

GSK has been in Sligo for the past 43 years and the plant is a dedicated supply site for Stiefel skincare products.

GSK building. Image: Ricochet64/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years