A state-of-the-art pharmaceutical plant will secure 200 skilled jobs if given the go-ahead.

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) wants to build a £100 million facility at its Worthing base.

The 18 to 24-month project would also create some 150 temporary construction jobs on site.

The bulk sterile facility would produce best-selling antibiotic Augmentin.

The Southdownview Way base employs 950 staff in Worthing and has produced the antibiotic for 30 years.

But if GSK had opted to build the new facility elsewhere 200 jobs would have been lost at the Worthing site.

The plans confirm its commitment to producing the medicine in West Sussex for the next 15 to 20 years.

The penicillin-style, intravenously-administered medicine is used to treat infections and is exported to 157 countries around the world.

In the past 12 months the site supplied more than 100 million packs of medicines and more than 1,000 tonnes of bulk products.

Legislation giving incentives to companies to produce pharmaceuticals in the UK was a factor in persuading the company to remain on the south coast rather than relocating to Asia.

Another factor was a workforce with years of experience manufacturing the product in Worthing.

The building is part of a £200 million spending package which will pay for the bulk sterile building and filling line.

Site director Kirk Brown said: “This is fantastic for the community. It really signals GSK’s sup- port in continuing to invest in the area and in the facility.

“We’ve always had a great relationship with the community and have a number of long-serving staff at the factory, including several generations of families.”

Councillors, members of the public and businesses attended a consultation event at the site yesterday.

The firm is confident of winning support due to the investment in the town and jobs, and its position on an industrial estate.

A planning application will be submitted in February.

Production would not start until 2016/17.