RB plc, the global consumer health, hygiene and home company, has created 200 jobs by opening its state-of-the-art Science and Innovation Centre in Hull.
The S&I Centre, which has a new consumer health laboratory facility, is the first milestone of RB’s £200m investment programme in the city.
Alongside the new centre, RB will spend £95m to upgrade the manufacturing facilities on the Hull site which employs 1,400 people.
A spokesman said: “This investment marks the latest chapter in RB’s 179-year history in Hull and puts RB at the forefront of consumer health innovation.
“The S&I Centre acts as a magnet for the best scientific talent globally and locally with 200 new jobs created.”
One of six major RB R&D (research and development) facilities worldwide, the new UK S&I Centre will be the global technical innovation hub for household name consumer health products such as Nurofen and Strepsils.
The spokesman said the decision to locate the new centre at the Hull site followed a “comprehensive review” which considered other centres across the globe.
The spokesman added: “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, especially in the North.”
Opening the Science and Innovation Centre Laxman Narasimhan, the CEO of RB said: “Despite the current macro-economic uncertainty in the UK, it is our firm belief that our new centre will help the country further develop its scientific talent and R&D credentials. It underlines our view that the UK is the best place to invest in consumer health R&D.”
As well as the significant site investment, RB is joining forces with Hull York Medical School and the University of Hull to offer a new MSc in Pharmacology and Drug Development.
The MSc programme will provide students with insights into the “development journey” of a clinical drug from laboratory to consumers’ homes.
Students will have access to RB’s healthcare S&I Centre in Hull, and RB employees will deliver lectures and provide mentoring.
Dr Bruce Charlesworth, Chief Medical Officer for Relief, Hygiene and Wellness, who heads up the Hull site, said: “As a leading consumer health and hygiene company, RB’s mission is to create innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes.
He added: “The Science and Innovation Centre supports that mission, helping us identify unmet needs and create superior solutions that put self-care in the hands of consumers around the world.”
Through its two business units, Health and Hygiene Home, RB has operations in more than 60 countries and its products are used by millions of people globally every day.