Unilever Research & Development Port Sunlight Laboratory
|Unilever Research & Development Port Sunlight Laboratory|
View from the east
|Former names||Port Sunlight Research Laboratory|
|Alternative names||R&D Port Sunlight|
|Address||Bromborough Road, Wirral, CH63 3JW|
|Elevation||20 m (66 ft)|
The Unilever Research & Development Port Sunlight Laboratory is the multinational consumer goods company Unilever's main research and development facility in the United Kingdom. It is located in Bebington, Merseyside.
Unilever's predecessor companies conducted research in Bebington from 1890 and the first dedicated research building was built in 1911 by Lever Brothers. Unilever was formed in 1929, and until 1951 Port Sunlight was its main research laboratory worldwide. It created a research division in 1961. By 1970 its research division had 4,600 scientists with a budget of £32 million (current value £431.9 million), rising to £219 million in 1983 (current value £644.8 million), then £330 million in 1987 (current value £809.9 million). By the end of the 1980s there were around 400 scientists at Port Sunlight.
In the 1970s scientists at Port Sunlight discovered tetraacetylethylenediamine (TAED), which allows clothes to be washed at lower temperatures.
Over 750 scientists are currently based at the laboratory. The current Laboratory Director is Dr Mike Parkington.