Stradishall firm Wychem breaks new ground with Haverhill Borough sponsorship

Haverhill Borough chairman Ben Cowling, left, with Wychem chairman and Isochem president, Bjorn Schlosser.
Haverhill Borough chairman Ben Cowling, left, with Wychem chairman and Isochem president, Bjorn Schlosser.

For the first time in its 48 year history a chemical manufacturer has moved into community involvement through the sponsorship of Haverhill Borough.

Wychem, which produces chemical products that are applied as intermediates for the synthesis of pharmaceutical ingredients, has been based in Stradishall since 1968.

On December 1, 2012 it was acquired by the French company Isochem, a move that has resulted in business being doubled, staff numbers rising by about 30 per cent and now a community investment that has seen it sponsor Borough’s change strip.

The link-up has not come about by chance, as Borough’s chairman and former manager, Ben Cowling is Wychem’s operations manager and has been with the firm since leaving school 20 years ago.

Ben said: “It’s a local company supporting the club, which is essential for us to exist and the money that Wychem pays goes a long way towards paying the bills.

“It’s hopefully a beneficial relationship to both parties. If we can promote the brand and get some exposure to Wychem then brilliant.

“It ties in with Wychem wanting to be involved in the community.”

George Morgan, Wychem’s general manager, said its acquisition by Isochem has so far proved very fruitful.

Not only has the business doubled and taken on ten new employees, it has also enabled Wychem to compete with emerging economies like India and China.

He said: “Ninety per cent of our business is exported and the biggest export market is Japan.”

It is hoped that the arrangement with Borough will raise awareness of Wychem and what it does. As part of this, the firm even hopes to hold open days at its plant.

Mr Morgan added: “We want Wychem to have a larger presence in the community.

“We want people to understand what we do and recognise the importance of what we do to the local community and the wider world and it’s very difficult to communicate because chemicals immediately put people off. They see chimneys and smells and people think, we don’t know what they do.

“We hope by the simple presence of Wychem on the shirts people will say, Wychem, who are they.”