A TEESSIDE chemical company has announced plans to create a new global business centre in the region.
Huntsman Pigments, which has its international headquarters and research and technology centre in Haverton Hill, Billingham, will move to Wynyard Business Park.
The Pigments Division of Huntsman is taking a 54,000 sq ft high quality building that will include modern purpose-built offices, and creating 31,000 sq ft of innovative new laboratory space.
Huntsman Pigments president Simon Turner said: “This is a very exciting time for us and marks a key milestone as we have been transforming our business for the last two years. This relocation demonstrates our continued commitment to the North-east where we have operated for many years.
“We have a world class workforce that is passionate about our business and they are right here, so why move anywhere else?
“Wynyard Business Park provides the level of services we need, combined with efficient, modern, purpose-built facilities right on our doorstep. The pigments division is a $1.5bn global business with manufacturing sites in seven countries on four continents.
“We are proud to have a major business centre here on Teesside. We have a fantastic business that is built on the creativity and innovation of our people.”
The new base will accommodate around 290 staff currently based at Wilton and Haverton Hill.
The announcement has been hailed as a massive boost for 700-acre Wynyard Park and a huge vote of confidence in the Tees Valley and the North-east in general.
Chris Musgrave, Wynyard Park chief executive, said: “We are proud that one of the world’s leading chemical companies has chosen us as the base for the new business centre of its pigments division.
“We started out in 2005 and have since attracted more than £250m of private investment.
“We currently have around 60 companies and in excess of 1,000 people on site, all benefiting from our range of high quality facilities and services.
“Huntsman’s decision is further endorsement of our ongoing commitment to provide the perfect environment for businesses of all types and sizes to flourish.
“It is also great news for Teesside and the North-east. Coming on the back of other recent big industrial announcements, including SSI and the former Corus plant at Redcar, Hitachi in Newton Aycliffe and Nifco UK in Stockton, this is further evidence of how the region is spearheading the economic recovery.”
Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham welcomed the announcement, saying: “This is fantastic news and a tremendous vote of confidence in both the Wynyard Park development and the region as a place to work and do business.”
Neil Schneider, Stockton Borough Council chief executive, added: “Securing the future of a globally important business like Huntsman in Stockton is crucial to supporting the existing local workforce and in providing employment opportunities in the wider supply chain.
“Huntsman’s announcement demonstrates the commitment that the company has in the area and confirms Wynyard Park as a business location of international standing. Following the recent investments by Nifco and SSI, it really reinforces the message that we are open for business.”
Stephen Catchpole, managing director of Tees Valley Unlimited - the area’s Local Enterprise Partnership - said: “This decision is a massive show of faith and tops off what has been an excellent few weeks.”