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The Commercial Operations team has worked with many businesses, below are some feedback and testimonials about how the services have benefitted their business.

Altimex

Altimex

Altimex Ltd specialises in electronics and optics. With research and development and manufacturing functions located at Thornton since May 2015, Altimex has successfully grown its business and is expanding into a larger building on site during 2016. Director, Davinder Lotay, says of his experience: "Keeping ahead of technology is a challenge for all organisations designing and manufacturing state-ofthe- art electronic controls, we work very closely with the University to ensure this is achieved. Our presence at Thornton Science Park enables us to exploit the skills and knowledge of both the Faculty of Science and Engineering and the Business School. We also benefit from the placement scheme, which allows us to work with dynamic and talented students. In turn, these students gain an invaluable insight into working in an innovative industrial environment."

MDecon

MDeconMDecon develops innovative solutions to waste management challenges and has been present at Thornton since the opening of the business incubation unit in July 2015.

Technology Manager Dr Steve Black says: There are many benefits to an SME of being based at Thornton Science Park, it provides a unique environment with a commercial science park in the heart of a science and engineering faculty. The range of facilities that are provided within the shared user laboratories and through close collaboration with the academic staff have opened up opportunities that would otherwise have required longer term investment. The ability to work alongside academia also provides us with opportunity to input to the training of the students and our experience with interns has been highly beneficial.

Just Thai Kitchen

Without the NoWFOOD Centre our business just wouldn't exist today. A year ago we were dreamers with an idea, today we are a micro-business selling a range of food products in multiple shops across Cheshire.Miles

Just Thai Kitchen is a Cheshire based business that specialises in creating authentic Thai ready meals. The company was founded by mother and son duo Nooch and Miles with the vision of producing handmade Thai dishes using authentic and quality ingredients to give consumers a true taste of Thailand. With the help of the NoWFOOD Centre and the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme, they have achieved exactly that.

Having developed a basic concept for a profitable business back in 2015, Nooch and Miles wanted to take their ideas to the next level by scaling up production. They approached the University of Chester's NoWFOOD Centre (North West Food Research Development Centre) and became the centre's first commercial client. From here they have developed into a growing and profitable micro-business.

The NoWFOOD Centre provides facilities and expertise to food and drink manufacturers to enable them to explore new markets and develop new product ideas. The University of Chester’s expert staff at the NoWFOOD Centre supported Nooch and Miles by helping them carry out product testing to meet food standard requirements. They also provide Just Thai Kitchen with access to a fit-for-purpose production kitchen from which they can operate their business. As a result of all the support Just Thai Kitchen have received, they now have seven products currently stocked across three farm shops in Cheshire and have seen double-digit monthly revenue growth within the first 12 months. As they celebrate their one year anniversary in the NoWFOOD Centre, Just Thai Kitchen continue to be optimistic about the future, and aim to move to bigger premises as the company expands. They have accessed further support from the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme to help them do exactly that.

We hope that by being a part of the programme we can expand current channels to market and explore new ones, with the eventual aim of generating sufficient cash flow to set up our own production facility.Miles

The University of Chester is a delivery partner of the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme, an ERDF programme set up to support SMEs in Cheshire and Warrington. The programme helps businesses understand the key skills they need to develop in order to facilitate growth. Nooch and Miles became aware of the programme through their involvement with the NoWFOOD Centre. They felt it would be a good opportunity to develop the skills they need to take their business to next level.

Within one year Just Thai Kitchen was able to evolve from concept to a fully functional business. Now, the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme is helping them expand their business further.

Further Information

For further information on the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme, and to access 12 hours of fully funded support, please email businessgrowth@chester.ac.uk