TWO hundred new jobs are coming to Redditch – because of a company playing a key part in the national fight against Covid.

The DCS Group are currently fitting out a unit on the Ravensbank industrial estate in a rapid move out of their existing factory which isn’t big enough to cope with huge extra demand for hand sanitisers and liquid soap.

The move has been so rapid that it sparked a row with a local parish council because it’s planning application for chemical storage tanks was done retrospectively.

But the DCS Group say it’s all because they have had to move so fast amid the clamour for more sanitisers and soaps to keep people safe in the pandemic.

The Oxford-based DCS Group are well known for distributing some of the most well-known health, beauty and home products – including Domestos, Fairy and Johnsons.

But it also has a plant at Stratford making sanitiser gel and liquid soap.

The firm were already looking to relocate to bigger premises when the pandemic struck and suddenly demand for gel soared 100 times and soap also rose sharply.

So they took the decision to take over premises at Redditch with enough space to be able to rapidly increase production.

“The reason we had to move so quickly was the pandemic,” said DCS manufacturing general Manager Martin Rolfe.

“Everyone was desperate for hand sanitisers. The government were asking for it and we were a producer, and we needed to move to meet the demand.

“We found this new factory in June-July and we expect to move the whole operation over next month. It has been very rapid.

“Ideally we would have planned this further ahead.”

Now the firm are producing 1 million unit of sanitiser every week – units of anything between 50ml and 5 litres.

They are supplying 46 police forces, fire services and hospitals, among others.

“I’m very proud. It’s important work keeping people safe as they go out and about in the pandemic, and we will be employing 200 people when we are in full swing.

“Redditch is more automated so we can increase output.”