The Almac Group have bought and demolished the neighbouring CarnGrove Hotel at Seagoe, in line with their ambitious expansion plans.
A statement from the global company confirmed the purchase of the two-acre site, which includes the hotel and adjacent land for planned expansion. They are using the site for car parking in the interim, and have not disclosed the price.
The statement added, “The Almac Group bought the site in a strategic move to enable further long-term expansion of our Craigavon-based operations. The hotel has been demolished. It has been derelict since it ceased trading in 2012.
“As demand for our pharmaceutical contract services increases year-on-year, planning is also underway to construct two new purpose-built facilities at our Seagoe Industrial Estate.”
The CarnGrove was originally owned by the Kearney family and operated for the best part of 30 years. The once-popular hotel had 35 bedrooms, a restaurant and bar, as well as two function rooms and five conference rooms. But it was no longer viable as a hotel and there have been rumours over the past three years that the swiftly-expanding Almac would swoop and purchase the site for expansion.
The bulldozers moved in on Monday morning and razed the building during the week. On Tuesday Almac issued the statement confirming they had bought the site.
It is another guarantee that Portadown will remain the global headquarters of Almac. Around 1,000 are employed on the site, with another 2,500 employed internationally – there are operations in the USA (Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California) as well as Asia (Singapore and Tokyo).
All this has happened since Sir Allen McClay founded the firm in 2002 with five employees, a rather Spartan office and one telephone. He died in 2010 in Pennsylvania while setting up the operation there - he married his long-term partner Heather Topping in a hospital ward in the States. Thanks to his efforts, Almac remains a privately-owned company.
They provide an extensive range of integrated services to over 600 companies globally within the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. The services include research and development, formulation development, clinical trial supply, through to commercial-scale manufacture.
The statement said, “The latest Portadown developments will help meet our growing client demand in addition to providing much needed office space for their increasing employee base.”
Watch our video of the hotel building being demolished online at www.portadowntimes.co.uk