Opening the site yesterday (September 25) Fallon said: “This new centre of excellence will attract world class expertise and be a considerable economic benefit to the local area.
“It also provides further proof this country and our manufacturing base is worth investing in. Innovation at this factory in Slough will be central to the future success of Mars.”
Largest research facility
The new facility in Slough houses the firm’s largest research facility in Europe. It will accommodate more than 100 R&D staff working on projects such as: new product and packaging development, design, sensory science and longer term science and technology platforms.
Housed in the new centre were modern kitchens and laboratories. It also included a pilot production line where new products will be test-manufactured.
The centre will deliver new products to European markets and support Mars’ global research programme.
Fallon said: “People keep saying we don’t make anything anymore yet the UK actually makes more from manufacturing than from financial services. This is the reason the government is making strenuous efforts to raise the profile of manufacturing and redefine its public image.
“We want our best and brightest young people to see innovative, high-tech, high-value manufacturing as a desirable, rewarding career, with a status to match.”
The opening event was hosted by Fiona Dawson, president of Mars Chocolate UK. Dawson said: “We are very proud to be officially unveiling our new R&D facility today. Slough is the home of Mars chocolate, and this investment demonstrates our passion for innovation and our continued commitment to British manufacturing. 2012 is a very special year for us as we look to the future with our new facility while celebrating 80 years in the UK.”
Dawson guided Fallon, the mayor of Slough and local MP, Fiona MacTaggart around the new R&D Centre.
The Slough factory manufactures: Mars, Snickers, Galaxy, Minstrels, Maltesers and Revels.
The site produces more than 2.5M Mars Bars every day and is staffed by more than 1,000 people.
Meanwhile, PepsiCo boss Dr Bruce Linter stressed the key contribution of R&D last week. To read his comments, click here.
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