Contract cost

Axed Scottish Covid deal cost taxpayer £358m

Valneva’s plant is looking for a new occupier

A French company which which had its contract to make Covid vaccines in Livingston cancelled by the UK Government received £358 million from the taxpayer.

Valneva was awarded the contract to manufacture more than 100 million vaccines at the site and In February 2022, Scottish Enterprise agreed to provide a grant of £20 million to expand the plant and invest in R&D.

But the contract was axed by ministers in 2021 who claimed the firmhad breached the terms of the agreement, denied by Valneva.

A financial statement published online shows Valneva received hundreds of millions of pounds in payments despite the deal being cancelled.

A form filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission states Valneva received advances totalling £358 million as part of its agreement with the UK Government.

It shows the company received around £40.5 million under a settlement agreement, another £66.5 million to cover capital expenditure, and the remainder related to prepayments for vaccine doses.

Valneva has hired commercial real estate firm JLL to help determine what to do with the 75,000 sq ft plant.

“Valneva is exploring options for its Almeida manufacturing facility in Livingston (Scotland), initially built to produce its COVID-19 vaccine, including a possible sale or a repurposing to produce Ixiaro and its chikungunya vaccine, if approved,” the company said.

Last month the company’s CEO, Thomas Lingelbach, told Bloomberg that roughly a dozen biomanufacturing companies had inquired about the site.

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