A BURY-based major international provider of proficiency testing services has consolidated its roots in the town by opening a new 19,500 sq ft building.

LGC Standards’ new facility houses a purpose- built office, laboratory and warehouse space to provide a global centre of excellence for the operation of the firm’s proficiency testing business.

The new building is located at Bury’s Chamberhall Green, close to Greater Manchester Police’s Bury divisional headquarters.

So it was appropriate that the force’s Assistant Chief Constable, Dawn Copley, should conduct the official opening on behalf of Chief Constable Peter Fahy and unveil a plaque.

Ms Copley and other guests were given a tour of the new building by LGC Standards staff, who moved into their new base in January.

The company is a major international supplier of proficiency testing services, providing in excess of 35 schemes to around 7,000 laboratories worldwide.

Proficiency testing schemes are designed to improve the quality of analysis by enabling laboratories to confirm their ability to perform tests competently. LGC Standards is part of LGC, whose science and technology division acts as the UK national measurement institute for chemical and binoanalytical measurements. LGC Standards has offices worldwide.

At the opening, LGC chief executive David Richardson said the company was originally started in 1842 and has been involved in forensic work since 1910.

Commenting on the new Bury development, he added: “This investment represents a pretty important step for our group.”

Bury-based Brian Brookman, general manager LGC Standards proficiency testing, said: “This move to much larger, modern premises, housing our laboratory, despatch and administrative functions, is a key milestone in the development of our business.

“It will allow us to continue our growth plans, adding new schemes to our portfolio and will give us the opportunity to further improve the service we offer to our customers.”

LGC has had a presence in Bury since 2004 and employs 45 staff, including microbiologists, chemists plus customer service, sales and marketing and logistics personnel.