A COMPANY which aims to make the world a safer place has opened a new £10million campus in Basingstoke, creating new jobs for the area.

UL invited customers and other guests to the launch of the new facility in Wade Road last week, where they toured the laboratories which are used to test products from payment security to medical devices.

Government minister for investment Graham Stuart, from the department of international trade, addressed those at the opening, before the ribbon was cut to declare the campus officially open.

He said: “UL’s further investment in the UK and development of its new site in Basingstoke is proof the business is continuing to go from strength to strength, following its original investment into the UK 20 years ago.

“This new site will provide high-quality and skilled jobs for the local community and drive growth in the region as it provides its critical services to some of the UK’s leading and largest businesses.

“The UK is the number-one destination for foreign investment in Europe, and my department will continue to ensure the benefits of foreign direct investment are felt right across the country.”

Phil Davies, site leader for the new campus, said the facility consolidated five other UL sites, bringing them together under one roof.

“Our mission statement is about making the world a safer place, and I love this company because they mean it,” he explained, adding: “We help our customers sell their products around the world by ensuring their products are compliant and safe and adhere to industry standards.”

Customers of UL, which has been in business for 125 years, range from start-up businesses to some of the biggest telecom companies in the world.

At the opening guests listened to a debate about cyber security with Girish Menon and David Bibby, from Discover, and Kevin Emery from UL.

Questions about how the UK can move to a cashless society were asked, with Mr Bibby saying it is feasible in the future.

He added: “It’s something that people have been interested in for a long time and you can see it more and more organically that cash is going. There are quite a few shops where I live that only take cards. I think there’s a way to go but it will happen organically.”

Those at the event also heard from Colleen Powell, director of regulatory affairs at Spectrum Medical, which is one of UL’s customers.

She spoke about how the company’s services have directly benefited her family, after her husband Glyn had open heart surgery eight weeks ago.

During his surgery, medical devices which have been tested by UL were used.

She said: “UL has tested and certified our medical devices since 2009. It enables us to market our devices safely and effectively.”

Spectrum is currently working with UL on a device to remove the global issue of the M-Chimaera bacteria, which has resulted in people dying following open-heart surgery after catching the potentially deadly bug from contaminated medical equipment.

Mrs Powell credited some of the devices tested by UL used during her husband’s surgery for speeding up his recovery, including non-invasive sensors.

“It’s made such an incredible difference in the way he’s been able to move and walk afterwards,” she explained.

Speaking to The Gazette after his wife’s talk, 63-year-old Mr Powell said: “Without today’s technology then five year’s ago I wouldn’t be up and about by now.”

Following the talk, guests had the chance to explore an interactive experience centre, before touring the facility.