Drugs firm celebrates 75 years in Welwyn Garden City

PUBLISHED: 15:10 26 August 2012

Richard Heskell (left) and Dr Cedric Hassall cut the cake celebrating 75 years of Roche in Welwyn Garden City

Richard Heskell (left) and Dr Cedric Hassall cut the cake celebrating 75 years of Roche in Welwyn Garden City


ROCHE Products Ltd celebrated 75 years in Welwyn Garden City last weekend.

The Swiss pharmaceutical company first moved to a Broadwater Road base in 1937 before opening its current site in Shire Park in 2005.

Roche now employs more than 1,500 people in Welwyn Garden City.

To help celebrate three-quarters of a century in the town, the firm invited dozens of retired ex-employees to a tea party at its headquarters last Saturday.

Among the guests were former head of research Dr Cedric Hassall, who retired from the company in 1984, and former site director Richard Heskell, who left in 1985.

Cedric said: “WGC has an important role to play in the development of Roche and it’s important to recognise that.

“These occasions give us the chance to look back on our life’s work and celebrate our links with the local community.”

Richard added: “Over the past 75 years a lot of people in the area have contributed to Roche’s success; without them none of us would be here today.”

Since moving to WGC, Roche has raised thousands of pounds for local charities.

“In the last two years alone over £36,000 has been raised for the Isabel Hospice, £43,000 for Keech Hospice Care for Children and £15,000 so far in 2012 for Age UK Hertfordshire.

“Employees are also encouraged to donate their spare time to support good causes in the area and the company sponsors a number of school projects, recently building a sustainability garden at Monk’s Walk School, a specialist science college.”

Managing director John Melville said: “We’re very proud to be able to celebrate 75 years in WGC.

“We’ve built some strong links with the community over the years, especially with schools and charities, which is very important for us.”

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