Gillingham’s hopes of attracting new businesses in the future was given a boost on Monday 18 November when one of its leading employers, the leading science and technology company Merck, unveiled its new £9 million distribution centre in the town.
The new building at the company’s site on the Brickfields Business Park, where it employs 174 people, cements Gillingham’s position as the global company’s UK and Ireland distribution centre.
‘This expansion increases our distribution capacity, reinforces our efforts in safety and allows us to operate more efficiently,’ said Mark Jackson, Gillingham site director at Merck at an official ceremony inside the new building. ‘It also helps to boost the local economy. With nearly a half million orders every year and more than 400,000 units in inventory at any given time, Merck’s distribution centre is essential to the UK’s Life Science sector.’
Also at the gathering was Peter Schuele, head of global supply chain and distribution at Merck’s life science business, who said that the Gillingham centre was a ‘key player’ in the massive group’s plans.
‘Gillingham is part of our future. A £9 million investment is something,’ he said, praising the ‘great team’ that worked at the Gillingham centre.
Gillimgham’s mayor Barry Von Clemens, who also took part in the formal opening ceremony, told Merck’s executives and staff: ‘I’d like to congratulate you on this fantastic achievement it’s something that Gillingham as a town is very proud to see.’
Councillor Von Clemens continued: ‘We see Merck as a big part of our town’s community and to see such a large investment in our town is very important to us.
‘Gillingham is a growing town with 1,800 houses due to be built here and we are very eager to encourage businesses to come to the town. And what better way to get people to come and open a business in Gillingham than to say this is the home of Merck and it’s not only the home but they’ve recently made a huge investment. I’d like to thank Merck for this commitment.’
The Gillingham site supplies the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology companies, research institutes and academic centres with biochemical and chemical reagents, laboratory supplies and testing services. All three of Merck’s business sectors (Life Science, Healthcare and Performance Materials) are represented in the UK, where the company employs around 1,300 people at 11 locations.