More than 2,500 people visited Syngenta’s open day on Sunday to mark its centenary year.
Workers at the plant on Leeds Road put on free fairground rides, live bands and plant tours. More than 130 staff volunteers, 25 contract partners and 150 performers turned out to put on a show paying tribute to its 100 year heritage in the town.
The firm manufactures products for use by farmers in protecting crops from weeds, pests and diseases.
Exhibits and displays showed how the company had established its roots in the town in 1916 and has developed to become Huddersfield’s largest single manufacturing site.
At its peak, the site once employed 4,000 people and today, 400 people work directly for Syngenta and another 400 indirectly with other companies such as Hansons, Gallifords, Cape, Arch and Lonza also operating from the sprawling plant.
Community relations manager Carl Sykes, who helped organise the event, said: “Putting on the event has been an enormous task and has reached out to all parts of our community.
“Our staff and contract partners have been tremendous in how they have pulled together to put on a good show with free rides to the public. We have also had support from a wide range of community groups to make it happen and we are very thankful for everyone’s involvement.”
The firm ran a six-month promotion campaign to drum up interest and wrote to its pensioners, inviting them along. At a pensioners display point, constructed by apprentices, old relationships were rekindled and fond memories of working at the plant were shared.
Star Wars themed Stormtroopers also made a guest appearance.
The public open day has been the centre piece in the company’s celebrations this year.
Workers at the plant have also organised day trips out for children in the area and is soon to launch an ale brewed with Syngenta barley seeds called Syntenary Ale, having worked with local brewer, Mallinson’s.