Malcolm Irving, Head of Global Supply Chain Safety Division at Dräger, commented on the new site, “We’re very proud to officially open this new manufacturing facility in Gateshead. The production lines are now operational and the first orders have been delivered to NHS hospitals.
“The new site has established a sustainable UK-production base to manufacture high volumes and to provide a long-term solution for the supply of high protection FFP masks for our NHS workforce and other front-line workers.”
Complying with lockdown regulations, the site was opened virtually by Councillor Michael Hood, the Mayor of Gateshead and attended online by Rainer Klug, Dräger Executive Board member for safety division and other members of the Dräger Safety UK team.
Dräger worked closely with local representatives, including, the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), to secure the order and with Gateshead Council to acquire the new site.
Health Minister Jo Churchill said, “I am delighted that Dräger’s new PPE facility is opening in Gateshead. The factory will create new jobs in the area, making and delivering millions of FFP3 facemasks to our frontline health and social care workers.
“We have been working tirelessly to deliver PPE throughout the pandemic, with around 32 billion items ordered and over 7.3 billion items delivered to the frontline.
“This represents another significant milestone in establishing a UK PPE manufacturing industry to help us continue this vital work and build a more resilient supply chain in the future.”