Press release

DIT supports Plymouth firm producing 2.6 billion products a year

Minister for Export Promotion, Baroness Fairhead, celebrated the international success of life sciences company, Becton Dickinson (BD).

A photo of some of Becton Dickinson's blood collection tube products
Becton Dickinson specialise in the production of blood collection tubes which sell to hospitals and medical facilities in all corners of the globe.

Renowned for their high quality medical technology, Becton Dickinson (BD) have operations in the likes of the US, Japan and the Middle East, employing 65,000 people across the world. In the UK and Ireland, they have eight sites which employ 2,800 associates in a variety of research, manufacturing and retail roles.

DIT have helped BD, whose Plymouth operation is predominantly manufacturing based, with export and investment advice and support from our network of International Trade Advisors, who are based across the UK.

With 2.6 billion products being produced at the south-west facility every year, the company specialise in the production of blood collection tubes which sell to hospitals and medical facilities in all corners of the globe.

Speaking on the visit, Baroness Fairhead said:

Becton Dickinson are a great example of a global business whose export and manufacturing operation is helping to drive growth in their local community through initiatives such as their apprenticeship scheme.

The Department for International Trade stands ready to support any business in south west England, and across the country, who has the ambition to export. This support includes our network of Trade Advisors who are on hand to offer guidance, our award-winning export credit agency, UK Export Finance, and a variety of export opportunities through GREAT.gov.uk.

The visit comes after BD announced a further investment of more than £170m last year, which will see additional manufacturing lines added to their Plymouth site.

Mike Fairbourn, VP Country General Manager UK & Ireland, said:

With over 3000 associates working in clinical research, manufacturing and commercial roles, BD UK and Ireland is proud to be helping support the safer, more efficient delivery of healthcare. Our mission is to advance the world of health, and we continue to invest in helping UK and Irish healthcare providers to improve patient outcomes that ultimately give people the best lives possible.

With a need to recruit more engineers in the South West of England, BD are running an apprenticeship scheme which has 40 apprentices working at the site at any one time, including 12 who specifically look at engineering and spend four years working at the site. This is all part of a strategy which the company has set out, with government support, to engage with young people in the Plymouth area.

The South West saw a solid increase of 7% in its goods exports last year with £21 billion of products being sold in markets such as the US, Germany and the UAE. This is partly due to a dedicated team of more than 20 trade advisors in the region. These advisors work with the government’s network of HM Trade Commissioners, the UK’s overseas partners and private companies to locate export and investment opportunities to match the strong ambitions of regional businesses.

DIT’s recently launched Export Strategy sets out how the government will support businesses of all sizes to make the most of the opportunities presented by markets around the world.

A government-led collaboration with business, developed after extensive engagement with a range of UK firms - the Export Strategy sets a new ambition from government to increase exports as a proportion of UK GDP to 35%.

Published 9 November 2018