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Prince of Wales Opens New BCB International Head Office

His Royal Highness Prince Charles has visited the BCB International head office in Cardiff to thank staff for their incredible work during the COVID crisis and to officially open their new headquarters.

BCB International first got into the survival business by making cough syrup 166 years ago. Last year they converted their production lines into producing an anti-viral 80% proof Hand Sanitiser and wide range of PPE items to the essential workers on the front line, Protecting the Protectors.

At the start of the pandemic, the well-established Cardiff-based survival equipment manufacturer, BCB International Ltd, converted its fuel factory outside Llanelli in Wales to produce Dr Browne’s hand sanitiser range, to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus here in the UK, before moving production up to their Cardiff site.

His Royal Highness started the visit by touring the main headquarters, meeting the BCB team who have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic providing PPE to the Welsh NHS, Police Force and sending thousands of donations around the UK and across the world.

The Prince of Wales then joined BCB’s team, packing a Polar Survival Kit for an Artic bound vessel, before cutting BCB’s IR reflective camouflage netting, which will now be despatched to Prisons around the UK to finish production before heading to the British MOD.

After a demonstration of the eco-friendly, all weather fuel, FireDragon, His Royal Highness used a flint and striker to light his own block of FireDragon fuel before officially turning on the FireDragon production machinery and receiving the first product off the band. FireDragon was created to replace the dangerous Hexamine blocks that the British MoD were using. It is now the fuel of choice for the British MoD, being a non-toxic, clean, green fuel with a high burn point which is easy to light with waterproof properties.

The Prince of Wales then joined BCB’s Managing Director, Andrew Howell, on stage to unveil the plaque to officially open BCB’s new headquarters at Howell House and to receive survival kits that the BCB team specifically made to suit the Royal family’s interest. Before leaving he visited the ‘Bee C Bee’s Wellbeing Garden’, which was created as part of a Mental Health Awareness week initiative to provide access to nature for all staff.

The BCB team were honoured to meet The Prince of Wales and hear his appreciation for their hard work during the pandemic.

During the visit H.R.H. The Prince of Wales added, “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to be with you today and I can’t tell you how much I admire all the remarkable work you do here.  It’s been fascinating to hear about the whole range of products you produce which are clearly so sought after all around the word because of their very high quality and ingenuity.”

“I shall now be able to go way and set fire to my Firedragon. Having served in the Royal Navy all those years ago, nearly 50 years ago, I had to go on exercise with the old kit, this is remarkable.  “It is a great tribute to your efforts… I know how hard you worked throughout this pandemic…I do congratulate you and am full of gratitude, for what its worth, for what you’ve been able to do, for all of us, really, during these difficult times.  I hope you go from strength to strength, and I shall look forward to seeing what other wonderful ideas you come up with over the next few years.”

Managing Director, Andrew Howell added, “For the last five years we have been producing a solid fuel tablet made from bio-ethanol used by British Troops to warm their rations and heat their drinks. The fuel has anti-bacterial properties, so we decided to develop a hand sanitiser gel variant.”

“Last year our terrific team here at BCB, both at our Llanelli and Cardiff sites, worked 24/7 producing hand sanitisers and other important PPE and so it is a tremendous privilege to welcome His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales here today to BCB.”

“As His Royal Highness has said for over 4 decades, climate change and the erosion of biodiversity are the two greatest threats to humanity and our planet. As we have with firedragon and some of our other life-saving innovations we are ready, willing and able to take a risk and to make a change to try to help counter these threats.”

“On behalf of the whole great BCB team we will continue to invent, engineer and produce whatever we can, to help tackle this global emergency of climate change and the erosion of biodiversity.  Our new factory here in Cardiff will help to ensure that sustainability continues to be at the heart of our DNA.”

BCB International Cardiff is a family-owned business and well established designer, manufacturer and supplier of protective, medical and survival equipment to the defence outdoor and marine markets

BCB dates back to 1854, Dr Brown developed a cough medicine that was distributed to the British troops in the Crimean War, suffering in the trenches. Dr Browne’s Cough Bottle company then became BCB Ltd in 1914. In 1949, BCB Ltd was bought by Deryck Howell, a Cardiff Chemist as a wholesale pharmacy to supply his chemist shops.

Andrew Howell joined his father at BCB Ltd. in 1979 and developed the company into manufacturing the world’s first life raft survival kit. Andrew continued to develop his branch of BCB Ltd., and in 1979 he set up BCB International, to focus on designing and manufacturing survival equipment.

The company’s driving force, CANEI: Continuous and Never-Ending Innovation, sparked an array of unique survival products including shark repellent, first aid kits, ballistic protective underwear, dubbed ‘Blast Boxers’, camouflage cream and floating body armour.

Today, BCB International supplies to mainly government departments (including the MoD, police and MoJ) and blue-chip companies in the defence and marine markets in 52 countries worldwide, with 40% exports. BCB’s retail and humanitarian sectors also continue to grow, building relationships directly with consumers and countries who need to survive in the extremes and when affected by natural disasters.

This year, BCB International’s primary focus shifted to develop life-saving equipment in the battle against the Coronavirus, including an anti-bacterial and anti-viral hand sanitiser, among other protective equipment. Dr Browne’s has come out of retirement and is now the leading product in their Anti-COVID range as 80% proof hand sanitiser. BCB has been working 24/7 since March 2020, working closely with the NHS, police and, with governments around the world, suppling them with their essential PPE needs as well as donating PPE supplies around the world, more recently their donation of 25,000 face masks and 10,000 full-face protective shields to Yemen.

Find out more by visiting www.bcbin.com

 

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