A SOAP plant in Ellesmere Port is to close with its work-ers transferring to Greater Manchester.
The makers of famous brand Imperial Leather, PZ Cussons, has released plans for a £26m manufacturing and innovation centre in Salford.
The company says the Agecroft site will enable it to keep its workers and use research from local universities.
Around 150 people will be employed at the site with most transferring from existing plants in Stockport, Kersal Vale and Cromwell Road in Ellesmere Port, which trades as Fragrance Chemicals.
A company announcement yesterday said the Port factory will be closed but no compulsory redundancies were expected as a result of the move.
The new Salford centre is expected to be opened in 2009.
Alternative locations for the centre were considered, including eastern Europe and the Far East.
As well as Imperial Leather, the company produces a range of other brands including Carex and Original Source brands.
Cussons' deputy chairman Graham Calder said the company was making the 'right decision' to stay in the North West of England.
PZ Cussons started life when George Paterson and George Zochonis - PZ - set up a trading post in Sierra Leone in 1879 to export cotton, palm oil and coffee and by 1886 they had opened an office in Manchester.
PZ bought a soap factory in Nigeria in 1948 and acquired soap maker Cussons Group in 1975.
The firm now employs 11,000 people, including at operations in Africa, Australia, India and Thailand.
No one from Cussons was available for comment as the Pioneer went to Press.