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Axed Livingston Covid vaccine contract cost taxpayers £358million

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A West Lothian biotechnology company which had its contract to make covid vaccines cancelled by the UK Government still received £358 million of taxpayers’ money, it has emerged.French firm Valneva was supposed to manufacture more than 100 million vaccines at its site in Livingston but the contract was axed by ministers in 2021.The UK Government said it pulled out of the deal at the time because the company had breached the terms of the agreement, but this was denied by Valneva.

The Daily Record reported that 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 is now also reportedly considering selling the Almeida plant that was specially built at the Livingston site to manufacture the Covid vaccines.It was reported this week by the BBC that the French firm has hired a commercial real estate firm to explore options for the mothballed 75,000sq ft facility.SNP MP for Livingston Hannah Bardell said: “It’s sadly no surprise that the Tory UK government has been shown up for absolutely shafting this iconic Vaccine plant in my Livingston constituency.“The UK government could have saved much heartache and key jobs if it had stuck to its contract & maintained its promises and the commitment to a ‘diversity of vaccines.’“Having apparently learned no lessons from the Covid

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