The University of Chester has grown its role as an anchor institution in the North West economy, helping to support local growth and productivity.

The University’s Thornton Science Park is an Enterprise Zone site of the Cheshire Science Corridor and features purpose-built laboratories, conference, teaching and industrial facilities to provide exemplary practical experience and learning opportunities.

Thornton pre-empted the recent Industrial Strategy and is built around the triple helix model where academia, industry and government interact closely, leading to innovation, collaboration, knowledge transfer and ultimately strong economic benefits.

Here are 10 reasons for businesses to join Thornton Science Park’s thriving community of companies:

  • A former Shell European Research HQ, the 66-acre site is in one of Europe’s largest active, industrial landscapes with its own dynamic Faculty of Science and Engineering.
  • Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone status enables us to offer incoming companies the possibility to build cost-effective corporate headquarters on site, including all functions such as research and development and manufacturing. We offer Enhanced Capital Allowances, where occupiers are able to write down costs of qualifying assets against taxable income.
  • We cultivate world-leading energy, environment, advanced manufacturing and automotive industry sectors by building clusters and providing technical infrastructure. Our extensive on-site capability includes an Automotive Centre, Analytical Centre and Energy Centre.
  • We have an influencing role in the decarbonisation of industry agenda. In the past, we’ve welcomed Professor John Loughhead, Chief Scientific Adviser and Rita Wadey, Deputy Director Hydrogen, both from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who visited Thornton Science Park to find out more about our R&D work investigating the clean energy potential of hydrogen.
  • It is a great setting, providing a fantastic working environment for companies. We have a range of offices and laboratories which is already being utilised to house the Faculty of Science and Engineering and our incubator and innovation spaces.
  • Active innovation and collaboration between industry and academia. At Thornton, businesses have the opportunity to join our thriving community of companies, drawing on active support and collaboration with the University and the expertise and facilities of the Faculty of Science and Engineering located on site. Here you will find industry ready graduates with demonstrable practical skills, where learning new skills and applying work skills exist side by side – encouraging the next generation of scientists.
  • We’re a major research and innovation hub, a place where businesses can benefit from a unique blend of on-site industry, innovation and academia. Each year there are hundreds of collaborative projects between commercial businesses and academia including research, consultancy, testing and analysis and product development. For analytical chemistry needs, businesses are able to use the bespoke laboratory at the newly refurbished on-site Analytical Centre.
  • We’re conveniently located within an area renowned for manufacturing and engineering, giving access to an existing skilled workforce and established supply chains. Over 25% of the UK population is within a two-hour drive of the site, which is therefore the ideal choice for a strategic research and innovation hub. As well as direct links from the site by road and rail, Thornton is within 17 miles of Liverpool John Lennon Airport and 27 miles of Manchester Airport, opening up access to international markets.
  • We provide extensive support to help businesses start and grow. As a tenant at Thornton, you can draw on a wealth of business support through different projects (such as ERDF funded projects like Innovation to Commercialisation, Business Growth Programme and Eco-Innovation) and collaboration with the academic and research expertise and facilities. Tenants also benefit from access to students on placements for short-term projects with the ability to recruit undergraduate talent emerging from the University’s science and engineering courses. It is well evidenced that knowledge sharing and innovation are crucial to driving productivity growth, which is why the co-location of academia and industry at Thornton Science Park works so effectively. Hosting innovation and promoting knowledge sharing creates a thriving business environment.
  • We do great coffee! But don’t take our word for it, come and try for yourselves

Contact the Thornton Team to arrange a visit over coffee, if you’re interested in joining a strong and ambitious cohort of exciting, innovative enterprises.