A PHARMACEUTICAL company's base in Westhoughton is on course to close later this year with around 150 people set to lose their jobs.

Towards the end of last year, workers at Catalent on the Winsgate Industrial Estate were told that the clinical services site was set to be shut in 2021.

A consultation on staff members' positions was launched, and after it finished in December, plans to shut the site and make workers redundant were agreed.

The company, which has its headquarters in America, said the "regrettable" move came amid concerns raised by their customers about trading with the UK after Brexit.

Workers union Unite, which had 77 members affected, said that the closure would be "a body blow for the Bolton economy" and "desperately sad" for the employees and their families.

In January, it was revealed that there would be a phased closure over the following nine months.

And now the union said the site is expected to shut in four or five months.

A Unite spokesman said: “The site is still set to close around September/October 2021.

"The company is still managing the redundancy process with employees leaving the company on a staggered basis.

“Some pharmaceutical companies and other employers have been in touch with both Unite and Catalent with regards to employment opportunities and all vacancies have been posted on the sites notice boards with some employees securing new roles via these means.

“Both Unite and Catalent have been offering their full support throughout the process and will continue to do so.”

Catalent has been approached for a comment on the ongoing situation.

Earlier this year, Catalent's director for global communications and marketing, Chris Halling said the company was "committed to mitigating the impact on all those affected".

The firm had "started to consult with individual employees to determine their date of exit and provide outplacement support", Mr Halling added.