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Princess Royal visits Specsavers Labs

Specsavers Vision Labs welcomes Royal visitor

HER Royal Highness The Princess Royal was in Kidderminster this week visiting a lens manufacturing site owned by Specsavers.

The Princess unveiled a plaque commemorating the occasion and spoke with many of the employees, some who had been there for more than 30 years, as well as two Ukrainian refugees who work at the facility. Also in attendance were Specsavers’ Founder Dame Mary Perkins and several local dignitaries, including the MP for Wyre Forest, Mark Garnier, the Mayor of Kidderminster, Councillor Kevin Gale, the High Sheriff of Worcestershire, Andrew Manning-Cox and members of the county and district councils and Chamber of Commerce.

Vision Labs, along with sister companies International Glazing Services and Lens Online, between them employ more than 700 people, making them one of the largest employers in the area. The plant provides lens surfacing for Specsavers’ UK optical business, surfacing up to 20,000 prescription lenses a day.

Lee Timbrell, Visions Labs General Manager, said it was a huge honour to welcome The Princess Royal and to show her round the premises: ‘We are extremely proud of what we’ve achieved here, especially after the challenges we faced due to the pandemic, when we were forced to close for a short period of time.

‘We have a large, diverse workforce and are investing millions of pounds to maintain our manufacturing and distribution within the UK, making a vital contribution to the British economy at a time when times are tight for everyone. A visit from The Princess Royal is fantastic recognition for all of our hard-working colleagues and certainly lifts the spirits on a cold spring morning!’

Dame Mary Perkins, who founded Specsavers with her husband Doug nearly 40 years ago, was delighted to be part of the tour and to learn more about the latest manufacturing processes.

‘Manufacturing and distribution is an integral part of our business model as it enables us to supply our millions of UK customers with the lenses that help them to see better – and that’s what we’re all about – helping to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

‘The Princess Royal was absolutely charming and showed great interest in what we do at Vision Labs. She was extremely knowledgeable, asked lots of questions and showed genuine interest in all the people she met during her visit.’