Following rapid expansion over the last 20 years, Shire is now a force to be reckoned with in the biopharmaceuticals sector, employing 4,000 staff worldwide.
With a corporate purpose of enabling people with life altering conditions to lead better lives, Shire specialises in products for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, gastrointestinal diseases and human genetic therapies. The company is listed on the London and NASDAQ stock exchanges and generates multimillion pound revenues annually .
Shire has a major corporate office housing sales and marketing functions for Europe, Asia and Australasia in Basingstoke, comprising around 400 people. It has sister offices in Philadelphia and Boston, USA.
Having begun its existence in the village of Overton, Shire moved back closer to its roots in 2001 when it relocated to Basingstoke from Andover following further expansion. Basingstoke made a convincing case for that relocation: it offered affordable, high quality business space on Chineham Business Park, which could accommodate the growing company and allow for future expansion - two counts that London just couldn’t compete on. Shire is currently in the process of extending its two offices to accommodate its growth.
The local area and region also offered a talented workforce pool, with the strength of nearby Oxford in biotechnology presenting a valuable resource for research and development purposes.
The icing on the cake was the easy access to international airports from Basingstoke, since travel to and from Shire’s offices around the world is commonplace for most senior managers.
As do many businesses in and around Basingstoke, Shire prides itself on community involvement. Staff get ‘hands on’ working with young people - helping school children learn to read, for instance, and offering work experience and mentoring to older students to foster entrepreneurial activity. The company also provides financial support to local sports facilities and charities, having recently assisted with the refurbishment of a rugby club and providing funding for a local school’s garden and toddler’s gymnastic club.
Shire employees also benefit from a free shuttle bus which runs between the railway station and Chineham Business Park, making a ‘green’ travel choice easier for the daily commute.