• The History of Cherwell Laboratories

    Founded in 1971 as a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, Cherwell Laboratories has evolved into a manufacturing and distribution company offering a fully integrated range of products for environmental monitoring, cleanroom bio-decontamination and validation of sterilisation processes.

    Despite the changes and significant growth, we are proud of our origins and maintain a focus on supplying high quality products with excellent customer service.

    Lawrence Whittard
    ‘It is very satisfying to see how the company has developed, although I would never have guessed the path it would follow back in 1971! I am very pleased it has matured into a stable and profitable enterprise with a stable customer base.’

    Lawrence Whittard, Founder of Cherwell Laboratories


    2011 – 2018







    • Following the completion of phase I of our cleanroom expansion and the addition of new automated packaging systems, phase II began. Initial works saw an extension to the plate filling area, followed by extended production support areas and new areas for bottled media production. Once completed, the new clean room facility will extend to over 950m2 and provide capacity for future demand from our ever increasing customer base. Press release: Redipor Success Drives Cherwell Cleanroom Expansion
    • New ‘Microbiology Product Specialist’ joins the Cherwell team to enhance levels of customer support. Press release: Cherwell invests in industrial microbiology expertise


    • The scope of our ISO Quality Management System is extended to include the distribution and sales of laboratory equipment and consumables. Our updated ISO certificate is available for download: ISO9001:2008 Certificate (Dated: 10/08/2012)
    • Councillor Daniel Sames (Mayor of Bicester) officially opens Phase I of our cleanroom expansion, with Phase II scheduled for 2013. Press release: Cherwell expands cleanroom facilities for Redipor prepared media



    1991 – 2010



    Our ISO Quality Management System is upgraded to the new 2008 version.


    In response to the increasing use of vaporised hydrogen peroxide (VHP) decontamination methods, Cherwell develops and validates Barrier Pack, new gas impermeable packaging for the Redipor range of irradiated microbiological media.


    Cherwell relocates to a new site in Bicester bringing the various elements of the business under one roof for the first time in 8 years. Designed and built from a clear site, the new facility provided improved manufacturing capabilities within a 5,000 sq. ft. cleanroom manufacturing suite.


    Cherwell becomes one of the first UK based prepared media manufacturers to successfully achieve transition to the new ISO9001:2000 quality management standard.


    • A new range of ‘MiniCub’ incubators is developed by Cherwell, the compact units for up to 20 dipslides or 30 petri dishes feature several design/construction enhancements on the previous Enkab Mini Incubator model.
    • Due to increasing demand from business growth, Cherwell’s cleanroom manufacturing facilities at Churchill Road undergo further development and expansion.


    Our Redipor prepared media manufacturing facility is registered to the ISO Quality Management System


    Cherwell’s cleanroom, used to produce Redipor prepared media, was developed and expanded to keep up with business growth.


    Cherwell develops the Multi-SAS microbial air sampling system with a major pharmaceutical manufacturer. The system is developed to allow higher numbers of samples to be taken whilst minimising the increase in staff costs.


    Cherwell sees the construction of their first cleanroom on site at their unit in Churchill Road.  This allowed production of Redipor prepared media to switch from a laboratory environment into a more controlled space.



    1971 – 1990 (The Early Years)

    Late 1980’s

    The veterinary laboratory closes but the microbiology facility is retained to support the marketing of Redipor prepared media.

    Early 1980’s

    In response to customer requests for pre poured Contact plates for their air samplers, Cherwell Laboratories started the manufacture of Redipor prepared media. From these humble beginnings manufacturing hand filled contact plates in a small laboratory, a full range of prepared culture media products has developed.


    Cherwell begin marketing the SAS environmental air sampler, a fairly unique battery powered, portable unit offering opportunities within new markets, particularly the pharmaceutical industry.


    Appointed UK agent for Pool Bioanalysis Italiana (now PBI International) promoting and servicing a range of media preparation equipment for microbiology laboratories


    Incorporated as a limited company

    Early 1970’s

    Cherwell approached to carry out analytical and advisory work for a company supplying liquid feed for cattle plus hay and silage analyses for another feed company.


    Cherwell Laboratories founded on 1st November 1971 by Lawrence Whittard as a veterinary diagnostic laboratory. The company was originally based in temporary accommodation (a large greenhouse) before moving into purpose built facilities.

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