The European Medicines Agency (EMA) had only 16 months to complete its move from London to Amsterdam, a task it previously referred to as a “demanding challenge”.
However, it was announced last week that the physical move is now underway, with the agency confirming that 350 staff members are operating out of the Spark building in the Netherlands, as of yesterday.
Staff relocation will complete by March 30, 2019, and full EMA operations will commence from the Spark building – though operating out of the temporary building will pose its own challenges, as the site is significantly smaller than its previous site in London.
The agency is only expected to spend nine months at the site, before again relocating to its purpose-built site on December 31, which is projected to become fully operational on 15 November.
The upheaval caused by a move away from London has had its impact at the agency, with the EMA noting that it expects to lose 25% of its 900 staff members.
In another blow, the EMA will be forced to pay the remaining rent on its London site, after a UK High Court ruled that it is obliged to remain in its £500m (€584m) contract with the Canary Wharf Group.