BOSSES at a rapidly-expanding laboratory firm hope to build new headquarters in the heart of Horwich town centre.

Woodley Equipment, which produces laboratory diagnostic equipment, plans to demolish existing industrial units and bring together their entire workforce at a new building on St John Street, next to Old Station Park.

The firm, which currently operate from five buildings on three sites in Horwich and also has  warehouse premises in New York, USA, say they need to operate from one base in this country for logistical purposes and to expand the company.

A design and access statement lodged with Bolton Council in support of the plans, said: “Woodley was established in 1989 and supplies products to veterinarians worldwide along with clinical trial equipment.

“The company has an approximate yearly turnover of £15.1M and has grown 17.5 per cent for the last five years. and employs 30 people.

“Its expected growth rate for the next five years is 20 to 25 per cent.

“The company is currently split between five buildings on three sites in Horwich and this application seeks to gain approval for a single headquarters building alongside an existing building on St John Street.”

The plans would mean the demolition of two existing industrial units on the site.

The new building would be used for office staff, laboratories and warehouse and distribution.

The building would be three-storeys high and the plans say the design would ‘improve the aspect of the rear of St John Street’.

There would be 21 car parking spaces created around the building.

The statement concluded: “Woodley is a successful local company wishing to remain in Horwich and we hope that Bolton Council’s planning committee can support this application.”