THE UK’S largest consumer testing company is to expand its base in Ellesmere Port town centre.
Borough councillors have given permission for 4 Front Research, which already occupies 119 Station Road to extend into Nos 115-17.
And planners hailed the scheme as a way of improving the vitality of the run-down Westminster area.
Applicant Jon Holt says 4 Front want to convert Nos 115-17 into offices and extend its present clinical research business into there.
The application site is a vacant two-storey property and was last used in November 2006 as a pharmacy.
General manager Steve Thorn said no additional parking or traffic would be generated by the move, as their testing volunteers usually walk to them or use the bus.
He added: “4 Front Research is the UK’s largest consumer testing company.
“We test healthcare products, toothpastes, shampoos, sun cream, etc.
“We run studies with volunteers trying the latest test products and providing feedback. All testing is on human volunteers and is not pharmaceutical.”
The company, which has seven research sites across the UK and others in France and India, has its headquarters on Capenhurst Technology Park.
Borough planning case officer Lynsey Hurl said in a report to the planning committee: “Westminster shopping district has been struggling in recent years. The application premises have been vacant for a considerable time.
“In the interest of enhancing the image of this strategic entrance to Ellesmere Port, it is considered beneficial to allow the extension.
“This increased activity would have a positive impact in improving the vitality and viability of the area.”