BLACKBURN will become the production hub for one million bottles of PPE firm Sanditize’s new anti-bacterial hand gel thanks to a deal the company has secured with retailer Wilko.

The move will bring 24 jobs to the town and could bring millions of pounds of investment as well as proving crucial to the UK-wide recovery from the coronavirus pandemic as new health and safety measures require such gel to be used more and more frequently.

Sanditize, the brainchild of entrepreneur Mohammed Patel, is the sister company of vaping liquid firm Vape Dinner Lady, which supplies retailers across the UK, Europe and America.

Buyer for Wilko Ashley Dove said: “Over the last couple of week hand sanitisers have been swept off the shelves and retailers have struggled to keep up with demand for this now-essential product.

“We set out to source a new product from a UK supplier that would enable us to offer great value in a market where prices and demand is rising rapidly.

“Sanditize filled those requirements and has enabled us to help our customers stay safe,” he added

The deal will see the product distributed across 400 of Wilko’s stores across the UK.

Sanditize says that its product range has been brought to market in record time and that it will soon be extending its range to include premium facemask and other personal protection equipment.

The company’s chief marketing officer, John Taylor, said: “Hand gel and facemasks have become key products for retailers like Wilko and we have leveraged our global supply chain and local operations centre to make these products available to them today.

“We know just how important these products are for consumers at this uncertain time and I would ask any retailer or organisation, large or small, requiring hand gel and facemasks to contact us immediately,” Mr Taylor said.