LONDON, 15-1-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne today visited the Unilever hub in Port Sunlight to see first-hand how investments in innovation, manufacturing and information technology are creating an unparalleled global hub in the heart of the North West.
The investment programme reinforces the sustainable growth strategy of the company in the UK and abroad and sees the opening of a new global IT centre, the creation of a new personal care factory and several new R&D facilities and initiatives involving key partners, institutes and the UK Government. The investment has resulted in around one third of the company’s 7,500 strong UK workforce now being located at Port Sunlight, the historic home of Unilever.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor were escorted by Unilever UK representatives on a tour of the new state-of-the-art factory due to open later this year as the new home for the TRESemmé and Radox brands. They also met with Unilever apprentices before taking part in an employee question and answer session in the recently completed IT centre which they formally opened today.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Backing business to create jobs and build a more resilient economy is a key part of our long-term economic plan. Unilever’s decision to invest £200 million into their Port Sunlight hub secures jobs for the future and is fantastic news for the region and a vote of confidence in the UK.”
Unilever UK and Ireland Executive Chairman, Graeme Pitkethly, said: “Unilever’s presence in Port Sunlight goes back over 125 years – it is the historic home of our company which today operates in more than 190 countries. With everyday products and much-loved brands produced here and found in nine out of ten British households, our £200 million investment into Unilever Port Sunlight will provide a platform for growth from which our business in the UK and across the globe can benefit for years to come.”
“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to show the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer the investments made and to demonstrate Port Sunlight’s continued strategic importance as we look to the future and continue to build on the Lever legacy.”
A key element to the investment programme is the development of new science and technologies. In order to accelerate this, a range of partnerships and initiatives have been established, examples of which include the Materials Innovation Factory, the Advanced Manufacturing Centre and Materials Institute. These are in tandem with key strategic partnerships with The University of Liverpool, Manchester University and Daresbury Institute, home to one of the world’s most powerful computers.
Notes for the editor
- Unilever Port Sunlight is home to factories that produce famous brands such as Persil, Surf and Radox
- Unilever Port Sunlight R&D centre is home to over 800 scientists from across 20 countries who are working on innovating the next generation of Home Care and Personal Care products for brands such as Dove, Persil, Comfort, TRESemmé and Domestos
- The investment includes the newly relocated global IT hub, the Enterprise and Technology Services ‘ETS’ Centre.
- Unilever has committed £65 million to the new Materials Innovation Factory in Liverpool
- The announcement comes as Unilever reports the doubling of its apprenticeships to around 130, thirty of whom are based within the Port Sunlight hub
- 70 per cent of Unilever products sold in the UK are manufactured in the UK
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