Wirral Council welcomes Port Sunlight plant jobs plan

Laundry liquid tested in a range of water types. Photo by Colin McPherson.
Image caption Unilever's Port Sunlight plant is marking 100 years of research and development

A planned £40m investment by Unilever at its Port Sunlight plant has been welcomed by Wirral Council.

The consumer goods giant said it would create 150 jobs at the site, which is regarded as the company's cradle, as well as moving jobs from other plants.

Unilever's plans also include closing a number of UK sites with the loss of up to 800 jobs.

Wirral Council leader Councillor Phil Davies said: "This announcement is potentially fantastic news."

He added: "We will do all we can to support the company throughout their consultation process.

"We are tremendously proud of the quality of work that takes place at Port Sunlight and the relationship that has developed between Unilever and the village.

"The company's contribution to the culture, heritage and economy of Wirral is massive and I am pleased that a global company like Unilever continues to have confidence in Port Sunlight as a significant base for its operations."

'Centre of excellence'

Work would transfer from Ewloe in Wales to Port Sunlight, where the workforce would increase from the current 1,500 to 2,000.

The company said its plans would "transform" Port Sunlight into a "significant centre of excellence" for the manufacture of shampoo and shower gel products, with growth potential for the next decade.

Trade union Unite, said: "The investment in the Port Sunlight plant is to be welcomed, but we need to study the statement and meet with management to see what it may mean in terms of increased employment opportunities in the future."

Unilever's Port Sunlight plant is marking 100 years of research and development.

Port Sunlight is the Victorian village which Lord Leverhulme founded to give workers at his soap factory a happier life.

From 1888 to 1914, it grew to include an art gallery, allotments, a cottage hospital, concert hall, swimming pool and church.

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