ALMOST 300 jobs will go from Shell’s Thornton research centre after it was confirmed the base will close.
Last May Shell announced it was shutting the laboratory, which develops new fuel and oil products, with the work transferred to Germany and the US – 180 jobs have since moved across to Hamburg.
Office-based scientists are also based at Thornton, which commissions research from Shell’s other labs across the world.
At the time Shell said there would be a ‘presence at Thornton for the foreseeable future’ but the company has now confirmed the whole base will close in 2014.
A Shell spokesman said: “Shell is making changes to its research and product development activity in the UK. Shell informed about 280 employees at Shell Technology Centre Thornton in Cheshire that their roles will relocate in 2014 to other parts of the UK.
“Some of these positions will migrate to London to be in Shell’s Downstream Headquarters while others will remain in the North West. No employees will have to move out of the area and those who prefer to stay in the North West region will be able to work out of offices in Manchester.
“This relocation of employees within the UK follows the decision last year to move the site’s laboratory activities – largely to Hamburg but also to other sites globally – as part of a global review of our technology footprint.”
The closure of Thornton follows the sale of the nearby Stanlow refinery to Indian company Essar and is seen by some as a more general retreat by Shell from the UK.