Rika International, a Japanese-owned firm leading the way in chemical research and development, has doubled the footprint of its European HQ in Chadderton, Oldham ready to meet an upturn in demand.
The expansion was secured following a successful bid earlier in the year to the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) for grant funding to support the firm’s capital investment required to grow capacity.
The company, which successfully services clients across mainland Europe, Middle East and US markets from its Oldham site, undertakes research, product development and technical service for polypropylene (plastic) markets such as packaging, housewares and medical applications on behalf of its global petrochemical customer base.
MIDAS, Manchester’s Investment and Development Agency, and NWDA worked closely with Rika International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the New Japan Chemical Company, to support the firm as it embarked on its up scaling process, assisting with property searches, building the business case to support the funding application and working directly with its Japanese parent to ensure the operation grew in Oldham.
Liam Killough, Managing Director at Rika International, said: “A key factor in our success to date is undoubtedly our location and its infrastructure. As the only subsidiary outside Asia, we need to access a huge spread of markets quickly and effectively. Manchester Airport’s links to major hubs across Europe and the US allow us to do just that, whilst time zones allow us to speak with both the US and Japan in the same day.
Manchester has a strong heritage in chemical and polymer development and a talent pool of people with the specialist skills we require. The ability to tap into additional research and development expertise at the universities, as well as Oldham’s regional science centre, also remains fundamental to our future plans. We certainly have everything in place to ensure our strategy for growth is a success.”
Angie Robinson, Chief Executive of MIDAS, commented: “It’s fantastic to see such an innovative, global player as Rika International growing in Manchester City Region. Their impressive expansion plans demonstrate the firm’s commitment to their base in Oldham and indeed Greater Manchester’s ability to support operations like this. We look forward to continuing to work alongside Rika International as they develop and grow their business here.”
Mark Hughes, Chief Executive of the NWDA, said: “This is an excellent example of how businesses can really benefit from our funding and continued support even after they have successfully located to the Northwest. Rika’s decision to expand within the region is testament to the key infrastructural facilities we offer. Our international airports, excellent road and rail links make this region an attractive place for an international company to invest and I look forward to hearing about Rika’s expansion progress in the near future.”
Councillor John McCann, Oldham Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Environment said: “Oldham Council welcomes Rika International’s decision to expand their business in Oldham and is working closely with them to support their future growth plans. The company is typical of the growing number of advanced manufacturers and knowledge based industries who are investing in Oldham due to the borough’s exceptional science and R&D offer coupled with our quality business parks offering easy access to Manchester City and the Airport via the M60 and Metro Link”.