World-beating manufacturer Sartorius Stedim Lab Ltd has opened a new technical centre at Stonehouse near Stroud.
The Moorings, developed and refurbished by Robert Hitchins Ltd at Stonehouse Park, was opened by Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie.
She was given a tour by Managing Director Chris Biddell who started the business in his uncle’s garage in Oakridge more than 30 years ago and now heads up one of the most successful companies in Gloucestershire.
Sartorius now employs 240 people in Stonehouse who develop and manufacture consumable devices for scientists working in medical research and food and beverage testing laboratories all over the world.
The Moorings will house the growing product development team, headed by Chris and specialising in 3-D printing, materials and metrology.
“This is a really significant step,” said Chris. “We’ve grown enormously in the last year, partly because of Coronavirus, but also because the world market has grown – especially in China and India – and because Sartorius is a leading supplier and number 1 in Bioreactor technology.
“This new building is perfect for us. Stonehouse Park is a great environment, and because it’s a stone’s throw from our main building, there has been very little disruption for our staff.”
The Sartorius team boasts a range of skills, from the factory line staff (who Chris calls ‘the Crown Jewels’) to a host of top engineers and scientists.
MP Ms Baillie praised the ingenuity of Sartorius. “It’s fantastic to hear about the key part the company has played in the pandemic and to witness such excellence. It’s also great to see a local employer increasing skills in the Stroud area. I look forward to supporting them and their future plans for expansion and recruitment.”
The Grade A office complex is being leased from Robert Hitchins Ltd which carried out an extensive refurbishment of the 7,600ft self-contained two-storey building for Sartorius.
The company’s purpose-built manufacturing facility close by was also developed by Robert Hitchins Ltd and opened by the Princess Royal in 2016.
Harry Hitchins, Land and Property Surveyor for Robert Hitchins Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be part of Sartorius’ continuing success story and to be able to accommodate the company’s growing needs at Stonehouse Park.
“The Moorings have undergone a transformational refurbishment with sustainability, healthy working and Covid in mind. Low-energy LED lighting has been installed throughout the property and the bathroom and shower facilities have been overhauled to promote healthy commuting by bike or on foot.
“Sartorius also now has the choice to either naturally ventilate its space or use the new energy-efficient A/C heating and cooling system – both options essential to the post-Covid world.”
Globally Sartorius employs more than 10,000 people. Its clients include global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies who demand a state-of-the-art environment and the highest standards.
Stonehouse Park sits alongside the Stroud Water Canal and close to J13 of the M5.