Dow Polyurethanes has been present in the North West of the UK at Birch Vale in Derbyshire for 10 years. The site is the home of regular open days. Simon Robinson visited and reports.
The Dow Polyurethanes site in Derbyshire is located in one of the most scenic parts of England. It nestles in the countryside near the Peak District national park to the southeast of Manchester, not far from the start of the Pennine Way long-distance footpath that takes avid hikers on a cross-country walk of more than 250 miles, all the way to the border with Scotland.
Like many other polyurethane locations in the area, the site was once a cotton mill and has been extensively modernised and altered. It passed through a number of hands before being sold by British Vita to Dow in 2007. It is the second incarnation at the site, according to Paul Fitzgerald, marketing manager, engineering elastomers, who works for Dow’s Hyperlast division. Hyperlon came here in 1979, but that business closed in 2005, he said.
The Birch Vale site has always been a systems house, Fitzgerald explained. It complements the other Hyperlast production sites in Germany and Italy, he added, adnd technical centres in Ireland, Egypt and Turkey.
‘This site is an elastomers technical service centre for Dow Europe and commercial centre of the EMEA region,’ Fitzgerald said. ‘By having open days here, we…