RB confirms £200m UK investment commitment including new Science & Innovation Centre3 December 2019
RB plc, the leading global consumer health, hygiene and home company, today opens its state-of-the-art Science and Innovation Centre (“S&I Centre”) in Hull.
The S&I Centre, with brand new consumer health laboratory facilities, is the first milestone of RB’s ongoing £200m investment programme in the city. Alongside the new centre, RB is committing £95m to significantly upgrade the manufacturing facilities on the Hull site which employs 1,400.1
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 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 decision to locate the new Centre in the UK at the Hull site followed a comprehensive review which considered other centres 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, especially in the north.
Opening the Science and Innovation Centre today, Laxman Narasimhan, CEO, 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.”
The S&I Centre combines state-of-the-art research and development facilities with the talent and passion to drive forward the latest discoveries in consumer health.
It is a fusion of old and new, incorporating the Humber Suite, a historic office building dating back to the 1920s, which has been remodelled and seamlessly connected to a high-spec, three-storey facility. A listed First World War memorial, a landmark on the site, has also been fully refurbished and is the centrepiece of a new sensory garden.
At the heart of the building is the “Innovation Pathway”, a large open-plan atrium that is designed, along with other collaborative areas, to drive a culture of community, innovation and partnering.
The building has been designed to be sustainable and energy efficient, as part of RB’s commitment to continually reduce emissions while growing the business. It uses low energy LED lighting throughout, photovoltaic cells generating electricity cover most of the available roof space and water and heat is reclaimed.
Design features have been benchmarked against the globally recognised LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard, with the target rating for the S&I Centre being LEED Gold.
Sendra Van Roon, RB’s Global Office Services Director, said: “The Science and Innovation Centre is a very high-end R&D facility, in combination with a high-performing agile work environment, where people can deliver their best.
“At RB improvement is very much focused on faster decision-making and quick communication – really living the RB magic. This centre enables colleagues to connect faster in a great variety of work spaces.”