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Proctor and Gamble

8 October 2020

The Project

Procter & Gamble’s bid to move its Greater London Innovations Centre from Egham to Reading was approved in 2017. Their Reading lab, fortuitus in expanse possibility, allowed the company to consolidate its activities by swelling the location by 250 Egham-office habitants. Although office space allowed such a move to be easily negotiable, P&G needed to build a high-quality research facility on site, with 56 laboratory units which could enable their scientists to “thrive in an increasingly competitive world”.

Their Reading location, which has been a favourite amongst P&G since its acquirement of the property in the 1950’s has long been the base for new product innovation, with the lab-build completed in 2019, bringing it into the 21st Century.

Upon completion of the build, Johnsons were awarded the relocations contract for both the laboratory and office elements. Commencing project planning in 2019, the works were completed during the spring and summer of 2020.

Scope of Services

  • Phased project planning with the Egham team relocating and the Reading team already in situ
  • Relocation of stability rooms (rooms where a specific temperature and humidity had to be upheld to house certain chemicals and testing samples)
  • Chemical moves (full ADR aspects included)
  • Packing and unpacking of chemicals
  • Counterfeit product moves
  • Finished product moves
  • Packing and unpacking of microscopes
  • Bespoke-built crates for the microscopes and autoclaves
  • Relocation of 600kg autoclaves
  • Relocation of non-biological samples
  • Project Manager written instruction guide on the safe handling and packing of smaller items

Covid-19 Implications

In March 2020, the month which our original programming saw the commencement of relocations for P&G, the UK went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the globe.

After gaining approval from the Government to continue working under strict guidelines, the programme was shifted to accommodate for the temporary downtime we experienced, and for the build of new Risk Assessments, Method Statements (RAMS) and the delivery and internal distribution of new, enhanced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Once the new methods had been approved both internally and by P&G themselves, the Project Manager rescheduled, rebuilt and re-resourced the programme.

The reprogramming included liaising with the scientists as their own schedules had been reorganised due to the limitations of people allowed in the laboratories. We therefore reserved our attendance for packing the larger items and moving the scientist-packed crates to when the building was at minimal capacity.

Autoclave Relocation

One of the largest items we were to relocate was a 600kg autoclave. The equipment had been in situ for such a length of time that it had sank into the foundation of the building. We used safe scoots to lift it from its position to avoid damaging it. 

The Result

Despite the change of programme and delayed delivery due to Covid-19, the project was handed over to P&G with full compliments. The handling of the pandemic and our swift ability to alter and adapt our working practices, to ensure the works could still happen at all, was fully appreciated by the client.


“We have very positive feedback from the end users regarding all the crews involved in the move. Indeed at a steering group meeting this week one of the senior scientist not only praised the move teams but also requested if the same teams could be used for the move into the CL2 building next year.”

The Pirbright Institute

“The Johnsons team worked well with our own internal project team to make the overall move a success. The main phase went without any significant issues, and this was a testament to the close management and supervision of the Johnsons team at both sites during the 3 days of the move.”

Mark Garrod, Redx Pharma

“We have a good working relationship and specifically use Johnsons as they are competitive, always turn up on time with the correct number of operatives, and their removal team is always courteous which matters especially when patients and our staff are affected.”

David Shepherd, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

“Johnsons Laboratory Logistics have been providing relocation services to us for a number of years now. They are competitive, reliable and trustworthy.”

Iain Ramsey, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

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