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BakerRisk is an internationally recognized firm dedicated to helping predict, prevent, and mitigate hazards from explosions, fires, and toxic releases. Established in 2001, BakerRisk has grown considerably to become an international consulting firm with over 150 scientists and engineers spread globally across six offices. Their UK office is based at Thornton Science Park, an Enterprise Zone site forming part of the Cheshire Science Corridor.

In February 2015, BakerRisk’s UK team were looking for new premises, having previously been based in Chester City Centre. The location of Thornton appealed to them because of its close proximity to key companies within the oil and gas and chemical processing industries. Having wanted to develop more local business for some time, they believed Thornton would provide this opportunity. The site is also more aligned to the nature of BakerRisk’s business due to the commercial research and development activities that take place on site. With the parent company in America working closely with the University of Texas, the UK team identified an opportunity to create similar links in the UK with the University of Chester.

Since moving to Thornton, BakerRisk have formed collaborative links with the Faculty of Science and Engineering co-located on-site. In 2016, the company participated in a student placement scheme via the University’s Work Based Learning initiative. The scheme enabled BakerRisk to gain an extra member of staff at no added cost, whilst simultaneously gaining fresh ideas and perspectives to working practices and challenges. The placement was extended and BakerRisk recognised the benefits of employing students on long term projects.

BakerRisk have also expanded upon and developed relationships with other commercial tenants located at Thornton. They have recently collaborated with Wood Group, a technical services company for the energy and industrial markets. Wood Group were working on a well integrity project in Holland and approached BakerRisk to assist them with examining the safety of the well. As a result of the project, both companies were able to form closer ties with each other, whilst simultaneously gaining new business contacts.

The University of Chester’s Commercial Operations team have also supported BakerRisk. With help from members of the team, BakerRisk were able to organise an event at Thornton for the European Process Safety Centre. The event was a huge achievement for the company because it enabled them to showcase their business, as well as the Thornton site. Guests at the event were very impressed with the organisation and had high praise for the food and service from staff.

Overall, BakerRisk feel they have benefitted from being based at Thornton. They have experienced a 25% growth in staff numbers and have raised the profile of their business. Robert Magraw, Operations Manager, comments:

“Our main motive for moving to Thornton Science Park was to gain more local business and we have achieved this. Additionally, the site itself bears relevance to our company and we have now built a connection with the University of Chester, in the same way that our parent company in America works collaboratively with the University of Texas.”

To find out more about the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park, please email businessgrowth@chester.ac.uk or call 01244 567 500.