HubRx has signed contracts for major new premises in Yorkshire and specialist installation of bespoke technology to realise its ambition of creating the UK’s first centralised automated dispensing hub for independent community pharmacists, which will create nearly 100 new jobs.

The company, which launched last July, has taken a 15-year lease on 3,000sqm warehouse at Logic Leeds Business Park in Yorkshire. Part of the initial £8m investment involves a deal with leading automated technology experts KNAPP to install bespoke technology that will enable automated dispensing for up to 200 independent pharmacies across the country.

CEO Daniel Lee hailed the contracts as a ‘giant step forward’ in the company’s mission of freeing up independent pharmacists’ time to identify more profitable revenue opportunities to transform their business. The move follows the passing of legislation in March that for the first time allows independents to outsource dispensing to a third party provider.

Daniel said: “We are delighted to agree the lease on Trilogy 33, a brand new facility at Logic Leeds - just off the M1 - giving us fantastic motorway access to customers up and down the country. We have commissioned Knapp, an international company with a first-class reputation for delivering end-to-end bespoke automation to deploy our robotic pharmacy technology.

“All of the technology can be scaled up to multiple hubs as our customer base grows - this is just the first phase of a business that is set to expand.”

Matthias Dalkner, vice president of Healthcare Solutions at KNAPP said: “We are delighted that HubRx has chosen KNAPP as a technology provider for its first distribution centre in the UK. With our experience in automation for warehouses and automated dispensing solutions like our Pack-to-Patient Line we are confident to contribute to the success of this project”

Daniel added: “Working with us, pharmacies will maintain their independence, providing patients with the core NHS prescription service and keeping the patient relationship. Retaining patient loyalty and goodwill will ensure they have the ability to develop and offer an enhanced range of products and services in the future.

“Transparent, at-scale purchasing for all HubRx partner pharmacies will deliver whole-market buying power for independents. Purchasing margin benefits, based on the entire HubRx capacity, will be passed through to our partner pharmacies.”

Work will begin immediately on essential facilities for HubRx’s new Leeds headquarters, followed by the automated technology deployment, and is expected to complete within 15 months. HubRx was advised on the Logic Leeds deal by Knight Frank.

Tom Goode, associate for Knight Frank in Leeds said: “Knight Frank Leeds are delighted to have worked with Hub RX Ltd on the acquisition of their new premises at Logic Leeds. Strategically located adjacent to J45 of the M1 whilst within reach of Leeds city centre, the newly built unit offers the modern specification to compliment Hub RX’s growth ambitions and operational requirements”.