Firm behind the famous Kitemark moves out of Maylands centre

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THE company behind the well-known Kitemark is closing an historic part of its operation in Hemel Hempstead.

The British Standards Institute (BSI) is pulling out of Kitemark House in Maylands Avenue – where it has been based for more than 50 years – with the loss of an undisclosed number of jobs.

The firm has refused to reveal what impact the move will have on staff numbers in the town, but says a new ‘centre of excellence’ will be created at its nearby Finway Road base.

BSI, which develops standards and carries out product testing across the globe, has been in Maylands Avenue since 1959.

In 2003 the firm declared Hemel Hempstead to be the ‘spiritual home of the Kitemark’, with 230 people employed in Maylands Avenue, where ‘virtually all’ its testing was done. A new £500,000 testing lab was also unveiled.

In a statement the company said: “In our aim to continually improve the service BSI provides to its clients, we are undertaking incremental and substantial investments in the UK in our testing laboratory facilities – centres of excellence – located at Loughborough and Hemel Hempstead.

“Whilst these investments will involve specific site rationalisations and the closure of BSI’s Maylands Avenue site in Hemel Hempstead, the new centres of excellence will remain in Loughborough and Hemel Hempstead and will create a sharper, increased focus on selected areas of expertise that support the wider BSI product certification business.

“The majority of staff from Maylands Avenue have already been relocated to sites across the UK but as with any site closure there are some unfortunate job losses.”