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Monday, 28 July 2014

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New owner of Carlisle lab reassures workers

The new owner of Kingmoor Technical Services in Carlisle says the business has a bright future.

ALS, which is listed on the Australian stock market, has paid an undisclosed sum to buy the food-testing laboratory at Kingmoor Park.

The Cumbrian business employs around 70 people.

ALS has moved quickly to scotch any fears that the site might close, although it will be rebranded as ALS.

Nigel Richards, sales and marketing for ALS in the UK and Ireland, said: “We are looking to retain the Carlisle site.

“We have bought it because it gives us access to a customer base in a part of the UK that is difficult to reach from our existing sites and gives access to Scotland as well.”

ALS is a global testing, inspection and certification business with operations in 55 countries.

Its UK and Ireland subsidiary is based in Cambridgeshire.

This employs 1,000 people at 12 sites, focusing on testing for the oil and gas, minerals and life sciences sectors, including the food and drink, pharmaceutical and environmental industries.

Kingmoor Technical Services was established in 2000 by James Francis, a former pupil of William Howard School in Brampton, and accountant Stephen Dunbar.

Both previously worked for a food-testing organisation in Lancashire. It has grown to become one of the leading microbiological laboratories in northern England.

Kingmoor works predominantly with food manufacturers, which send samples of products for testing to ensure they are safe to eat and achieve quality standards.

Its expertise in microbiology has seen Mr Francis appear on TV, including ITV’s Holiday Horrors and a BBC Inside Out investigation where it tested for bacteria at a hotel in Scarborough.

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