Preston firm’s £2.5m centre given the royal seal of approval

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A chemicals firm’s new £2.5m research and development centre has been given the royal seal of approval.

Sika’s new centre in Miller Street, Preston, was officially opened by the Duke of Kent yesterday.

Opening: The Duke of Kent officially unveils the plaque at Sika research centre

Opening: The Duke of Kent officially unveils the plaque at Sika research centre

Following the acquisition of Liquid Plastics and Incorez in 2009, Sika has continued to invest in this area of its business to support the development of technologically advanced liquid roofing membranes and new developments in its product technologies.

From its Preston site, where it employs 179 people, Sika exports these products all over the world.

Jan Jenisch, Sika’s chief executive, said: “Our aim is to develop a Centre of Excellence in liquid roofing at our new R&D Centre in the UK.

“We recognise the expertise we have in this area and we are excited to develop and nurture that talent to the benefit of our Sika subsidiaries and customers across the globe.”

Work began on the new R&D Centre in 2013 on the site of an existing 100-year-old warehouse.

Now completed, the new structure includes more than 30 Sika products, including the roof waterproofing and internal floor coatings.

It took 12 months to complete and has doubled the size of the original laboratories.

During the official opening, Sika was joined by the Duke of Kent and the Mayor and Mayoress of Preston, Coun Nick and Mrs Barbara Pomfret.

The Duke was given a guided tour of the facility where he could see the Sika chemists in action and learn more about the pioneering work that takes place in Preston.

Sika AG, located in Baar, Switzerland, is a globally active specialty chemicals company. Sika supplies the building and construction industry as well as manufacturing industries.

It trades in 89 countries and employs 16,000 employees globally.

The Duke was also due to visit a scouting event in Preston last night.