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Latest figures show how Wales is fuelling the UK’s life sciences vision  

Two sets of figures recently released highlight the importance of Wales for the UK’s life sciences sector. They show strong performance in key areas of life science businesses in Wales.

The Office for Life Sciences (OLS) released figures on 01/12/2022 that cover data from the end of the fiscal year 2021. They show strong growth in incomes and employment for life science businesses in Wales.

The most recent export figures for Wales show the increasing global influence of Welsh life sciences. These figures were published on the 19th of December 2022 and include data for the third quarter 2022. They show significant growth in life sciences industry exports.



* OLS data shows that income growth in Wales by life sciences businesses is higher than that of other businesses in the UK. The sector generated PS2.62billion in turnover in Wales, a 12.1% increase over the previous year. However, the UK’s overall turnover for life science businesses grew by 9%.

* The number employed in the sector in Wales also increased by 1.9%. This continues a trend towards steady growth in employment figures and keeps pace with figures in the rest of UK.

* There was a slight increase in the number life sciences businesses operating in Wales, despite previous declines in this sector.


* The most recent export figures from Wales show that “Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Products are among the Top 5 Products Being Exported From Wales.” The latest pharmaceutical exports had a value of PS1.1 million, which is more than 30% higher than the previous period.

Cari-Anne Quinn is the Chief Executive Officer at Life Sciences Hub Wales.

“I was surprised, but pleased to see the latest figures that show the strength of Wales’ life sciences sector. The Welsh Government has been proactive in supporting industry growth over the past few years and creating an environment that allows life sciences businesses to thrive.

We’ve seen an industry-wide response to Covid-19. This has led to a greater collaboration between businesses and providers of health and social services. These companies are now working more efficiently together to solve real healthcare and care problems. This has been a great thing for both patients and the industry, and Life Sciences Hub Wales is proud to have played a role in it.

Given the amazing developments in 2022 with large multinationals expanding in Wales and the launching of many innovative businesses, I believe we will see more evidence of the potential of Welsh life sciences over the next few years.

Companies such as QuidelOrtho (a global company that produces innovative diagnostic products and has manufacturing facilities in Pencoed and BBI), have seen significant growth in this sector. They also provide manufacturing services, immunoassay development and other services to clients around the world. With support from the Welsh Government, Siemens Healthineers, a global medical technology company, announced recently plans to improve its Llanberis facility and create 100 jobs.

Vaughan Gething MS Minister for Economy said:

“The vitally important sector of Welsh life sciences is the Welsh economy. These latest results show that the Welsh Government is determined to help the sector grow and thrive.

“Our life sciences companies are not only creating high-quality jobs in Wales, they’re also developing products and services to address the challenges we face today as a society. As we recover from the Covid pandemic this is vital, as it allows people to live more productive and healthier lives.

CellPath, a success story in Wales, specializes in the production and global supply of consumables and equipment for the cellular pathology industry. It was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Newtown, Powys. It has grown significantly to a successful company with a turnover of multi-millions. Paul Webber, Director says:

“We’ve seen significant year-on-year growth over the past few years due to both our UK and international sales. Our team of UK territory managers is based in mid Wales, which allows us to build a strong relationship with universities and the NHS. It also gives us the chance to have a loyal, skilled, and experienced local workforce. The innovation support that we received from the Welsh Government has allowed us to implement growth plans and witness the current upshift.

Llusern Scientific is one of the many new life science companies that recently opened in Wales. It specializes in low-cost, portable and easy-to-use molecular diagnosis. Emma Hayhurst, their CEO, says:

“We couldn’t have imagined launching the business elsewhere. We are surrounded by many other innovators and the supportive environment has made it possible to start a business. Our website was developed, we gathered clinical data, displayed our product internationally and in the UK, and were able to establish relationships with customers. We also opened our first funding round.

In addition to the figures, Kemi Badenoch, UK Trade Secretary, highlighted the importance of Wales’ life sciences sector during a visit there last year. The Trade Secretary described Wales during the visit as “critical to our lives sciences sector” as well as “fuelling the UK’s position as science superpower”.

Life Sciences Hub Wales offers support for life sciences companies operating in Wales or considering opening one. Contact their experts to learn more about the support available.

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