New jobs are needed to neutralise Dagenham plant closure, drug company says

New jobs are urgently needed to compensate for the closure of the Ford stamping plant, regeneration bosses at Sanofi pharmaceuticals said yesterday.

Sanofi site leader Jim Moretta spoke out as his company forged ahead with plans to turn their 450-staff drug factory due to close next year into a vibrant business park called businesseast.

The global drug manufacturer has already announced it had struck a deal with Sainsbury to open a 400-staff supermarket at the site of its factory in Rainham Road South, Dagenham.

Sanofi bosses are also in talks with a leading IT company to turn part of the site into a mini Silicon Valley featuring one of Europe’s biggest information centres.

Mr Moretta said: “Our main aim is to take the opportunity to use our existing buildings to create start-up, incubator and established business space to create jobs – something which is urgently needed in the Dagenham area, especially given Ford’s announcement.

“News of the Ford closures with the loss of jobs here in Dagenham sharpens the focus on how essential it is for businesseast to succeed.”