Construction begins on new North West Innovation Centre
(Press release Unilever:) Leatherhead, Surrey, 23 November 2015 - A groundbreaking ceremony marking the construction phase of the new Advanced Manufacturing Centre facility is taking place at the Unilever hub in Port Sunlight today.
Due for completion in 2017 the 6,500 m2 Centre, which once completed will roughly be the size of a football pitch, is to house a state-of-the-art pilot plant enabling scientists and engineers to test new ideas during personal care and home care product development on a factory scale.
The appointment of a contractor means work is now underway on the Centre at Unilever’s Research & Development site. Senior company and construction representatives were on hand to mark the occasion for what is a new milestone in the 127 year history of the site and the latest in a line of recent investments into the Port Sunlight hub totalling £200 million.
Cameron Jones, Unilever Port Sunlight site leader, said: ‘Today heralds a new phase on our journey of research and development at our historic Port Sunlight home. In building the Centre we are renewing our commitment to R&D in the UK and the North West. From here we will have the capacity to innovate products with increased speed and efficiency, which we will turn into winning products to be enjoyed by tens of millions both here and around the world. The Centre will complement existing and new facilities such as the Materials Innovation Factory currently under construction at the University of Liverpool due to open in early 2017, where new materials will be explored by our scientists that could then be further developed here at the Unilever Advanced Manufacturing Centre.’
The Centre, which is boosted by investment from the UK Government’s Regional Growth Fund, will be configured to allow close working with industrial and academic partners. It will be a flexible facility that will test new and transformational technologies and will house replica equipment and conditions found in Unilever sites around the globe. This will allow the team of scientists and engineers to create consumer focused innovations and quickly scale them for Unilever’s global supply chain team also based in Port Sunlight.
Notes to editors
- The Advanced Manufacturing Centre is designed by DLA Architects and BAM Construction has been appointed as preferred contractor for both the enabling works and two-stage design and build contract.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. It has 172,000 employees and generated sales of €48.4 billion in 2014. Over half (57%) of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world, including Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s, PG Tips, Ben & Jerry’s, Marmite, Magnum and Lynx.
Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) commits to:
- Decoupling growth from environmental impact.
- Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being.
- Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.
Unilever was ranked number one in its sector in the 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index, it achieved the highest environmental score of 5. It led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2015 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the fifth year running, and in 2015 was ranked the most sustainable food and beverage company in Oxfam’s Behind the Brands Scorecard.
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For more information on the USLP: www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/.