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Unilever in the UK

With the purpose to popularise cleanliness and bring it within reach of ordinary people, William Lever opened the first UK soap factory in Port Sunlight – the historic home of Unilever - in 1888. Today, Unilever employs a global workforce of 127,000 people with an estimated 3.4 billion people using Unilever products every day.

As Unilever has grown globally, so has our business in the UK where, today, our brands are present in 98% of homes.

We support growth and employment across eight regions in the UK

As well as being at the heart of UK homes, we’re proud to be at the heart of the UK economy too. Our UK business generates an annual turnover of nearly £2 billion, and we spend over £145 million a year working with local suppliers nationwide.

We support growth and employment across eight regions in the UK, employing over 6,000 employees across over 20 sites which include our global, and UK & Ireland head offices, R&D sites and our factory and distribution centres.

The UK is not only Unilever's historic home but also home to some of our largest factories and innovation hubs

Our factories make some of the most iconic British brands including Marmite, Colman’s, Pot Noodle, Persil and Sure as well as global brands such as Hellmann’s, Dove and Magnum. Around 70% of the products manufactured by Unilever in the UK are sold in the UK.

The UK is also home to three of Unilever’s global R&D hubs: Port Sunlight in the Wirral; Colworth in Bedfordshire; and Leeds, where our R&D teams and scientists are using world-class science and technology to innovate our products for people and for our planet.

We’re investing in our people and the skills of the future

We are also investing in the skills of the future, with 140 different training and education programmes available to our employees, including 51 programmes that provide professional qualifications. To support equitable progression and development, we offer flexible employment opportunities and a range of industry-leading policies to support our employees at all life stages and at all levels of our business to thrive.

Our Future Careers, apprenticeship, and work experience programmes, support young people, as well as those who face the most barriers to employment with their first steps into work.

Working with Oxford Economics: The economic contribution of Unilever to the UK


Today Unilever is one of the most global businesses based in the UK. To fully understand our impact and footprint in the UK, we commissioned Oxford Economics, who provide economic analysis of businesses, to undertake independent research into our business and operations. The report looks at our impact in terms of jobs and skills, productivity, sustainability, contribution to innovation in the UK and our broader economic impact.

If you have any further questions on the report or its content, please get in touch.

About Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 as a commercial venture with Oxford University’s business college to provide economic forecasting and modelling to UK companies and financial institutions expanding abroad. Since then, Oxford Economics has become one of the world’s foremost independent global advisory firms, providing reports, forecasts, and analytical tools on more than 200 countries, 250 industrial sectors, and 8,000 cities and regions. Their best-in-class global economic and industry models and analytical tools give an unparalleled ability to forecast external market trends and assess their economic, social, and business impact.

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