RB plc, the leading global consumer health and hygiene company, today announced it will invest £100m in its consumer health R&D operations with the creation of a state of the art Centre of Scientific Excellence to be based in the UK.
The decision underlines RB’s commitment to growth across its consumer health and hygiene brands, providing trusted, innovative solutions that help people live healthier lives.
One of six major RB R&D facilities worldwide, the new UK centre will become the global technical innovation hub for products such as Nurofen and Strepsils.The decision to locate the new Centre in the UK at the company’s Hull site followed a review which considered RB’s other R&D centre locations across the globe. The decision reflects both the existing consumer health expertise in the UK and the UK Government’s positive attitude towards encouraging innovation, science and technology.
Making the announcement, RB Global CEO, Rakesh Kapoor (pictured above), said: “Growing our global consumer health business is at the heart of our vision to provide innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes. The availability of effective self-medication is a critical part of the growing socio-economic need to help people manage their health; and this is more than just a major investment for RB. It is a statement of intent to drive positive change consumer health. It not only shows the importance we place on innovation, but also underlines our faith in the UK as a place to invest in technical expertise and in consumer health R&D.”
RB is a major player globally in consumer health, and one of the largest British listed companies in the space. RB also has long associations with the UK. Not only did part of the business start in Hull almost 200 years ago, but the UK has remained instrumental in the company’s consistent growth record ever since. Several of its global health and hygiene Powerbrands were developed in RB’s laboratories in Hull and Nottingham, including Dettol, Gaviscon, Strepsils and Nurofen - as well as renowned UK brands like Lemsip and Optrex.
RB already supports a number of scientific and educational projects in consumer health across the UK, and has a reputation for working with entrepreneurs and small technology companies to develop new ideas and innovations. The UK also continues to be a leader within the knowledge industries, attracting businesses and talent from both home and overseas. This includes from RB, a truly global business which not only sends British people to work all over the world, but as importantly brings international talent here helping to ensure the UK stays at the forefront of this industry.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Right Honourable George Osborne MP, today welcomed the announcement by RB plc:“RB plc is a great British success story and their decision to invest in the UK is testament to the steps this government has taken to make Britain open for business. "A key part of our long term economic plan is making the UK a world leader in science and innovation, and the new state of the art Centre of Scientific Excellence will help us deliver this, giving greater economic security for hardworking people."
The project will include the development of a major new building on the site equipped with state of the art consumer health laboratory facilities. RB’s objective is to make the Centre a ‘magnet for talent’ for technical science expertise. In addition RB will be significantly upgrading the current home care category R&D facilities in Hull, and completing work already begun on general improvements across the site.
Most importantly, the investment will both secure the long term future of the existing operations and 1,200 jobs in Hull; and create new opportunities. It will also have a very positive knock-on reputation and economic impact in the region both in the construction phase of the project and beyond.
Work has already begun on the design and planning aspects of the project and RB expects building work to start early in 2015 with the new Centre of Technical Expertise to be fully operational by early 2018.