IRVINE missed out on the GlaxoSmithKline big one but landed a £50m consolation prize.
The company are to build a massive £350m biopharmaceutical plant at Ulverston in Cumbria – their first new factory in 40 years.
The Irvine and Montrose plants were in the running but instead will share a £100m investment programme.
Production of antibiotics at Irvine will increase with the creation of up to 50 new jobs.
The company are also investing in the production of green energy and environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes at Irvine.
The company said they were motivated to expand in the UK by the Chancellor’s confirmation that the Government would introduce the so called patent box.
These allow companies to pay a lower rate of tax on profits to enable further investment in the business.
GSK boss Sir Andrew Witty said: “The introduction of the patent box has transformed the way in which we view the UK as a location for new investments, ensuring the medicines of the future will not only be discovered but can continue to be made here in Britain.
“We are also actively considering other investments in our UK manufacturing network which would create further jobs and reinforce the UK’s international competitiveness and as a world leader in life sciences.”
Prime Minister David Cameron – in Scotland for the Scottish Tory Spring Conference at Troon – said the GlaxoSmithKline decision was excellent news for the UK.
He claimed it showed the Government was right to cut business tax and focus on making the UK a dynamic and competitive place to attract high tech investment.
First Minister Alex Salmond and Finance Secretary John Swinney visited Irvine within hours of the announcement.
The said the company’s expansion decisions demonstrated their commitment to working in Scotland.
Mr Salmond said Irvine was set to become the centre of excellence for the production of the most widely used antibiotic in the world.
Scottish Government jobs agencies had worked closely with the company to ensure the Scottish expansion he said.
But the visit was slated by Cunninghame South MP Brian Donohoe.
He said the First Minister should “hang his head in shame” as Scotland had missed out on the £350 new plant investment.
Mr Donohoe said: “Mr Salmond has the audacity to paint this £50m investment at Irvine as a great victory for Scotland.
“It is his separatist policy which drove the company away from Scotland.
“The SNP are a one issue party with no plan for growth, and as such, have created a climate of fear and uncertainty amongst major players in the business world.”
The Irvine expansion was welcomed by Cunninghame South MSP Margaret Burgess and Lib Dem candidates Ruby Kirkwood and Gordon Bain.