Grant Thornton becomes the first advisory firm at Sci-Tech Daresbury

18 July 2018

Grant Thornton has opened a new permanent office at Sci-Tech Daresbury – becoming the first advisory firm to do so. As the location looks to build on 12 months of rapid growth, Grant Thornton will look to collaborate with the small to medium businesses at the site, leveraging its new G platform in the process.

Sci-Tech Daresbury is a science and innovation campus near the village of Daresbury in Halton, Cheshire, England. In 2012, what was previously known as Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus was handed enterprise zone status and renamed Sci-Tech Daresbury. Over 1200 people work on the campus for over 100 high tech companies, while 30 new companies arrived at the Liverpool City Region-based campus in 2017, making it home to internationally-renowned companies including IBM, Hitachi High-Technologies Europe, Perfectus Biomed and Robotik Technology.

The facility is aimed at facilitating collaboration among innovators, and a recent survey of 97 business on the site showed that companies based at Sci-Tech Daresbury received a £17.3 million boost by working together last year. There are currently 161 collaborations between them, which will likely generate £4.9 million in new sales or savings, with 78% per cent of the companies collaborating with at least one more organisation on the campus.

Grant Thornton becomes the first advisory firm at Sci-Tech Daresbury

As it looks to tap into the innovative atmosphere and support the next generation of technological development for its clients, consultancy Grant Thornton has become the advisory firm to open a permanent office at the rapidly-growing campus. The move will see Ian Rowland, the firm’s regional Head of Innovation, and his tax team – which features a number of finance experts with technical experience, and backgrounds in engineering, science and computer software – working from the campus.

Grant Thornton’s new office will see the consulting firm provide its traditional accounting and advisory offering, alongside its newly-launched G service, aimed at supporting start-ups and solo entrepreneurs. The new platform, which was piloted in Liverpool in 2017, features a comprehensive range of services including financial advice, strategic planning, operational support, growth support and networking events.

In the North West, Grant Thornton’s tech and innovation group has a track record of supporting knowledge-intensive businesses. The move subsequently extends the working relationship between Grant Thornton and the campus, having been a Gold Partner of Sci-Tech Daresbury for the last six years, supporting a number of the 130 dynamic, high-growth companies at the site.

Ian Rowland, said, “Opening a permanent base here is a natural progression for us. We already work with a number of the site’s high-growth, established businesses and a permanent physical presence will undoubtedly facilitate these ongoing relationships. But Sci-Tech Daresbury also boasts a dynamic collective of entrepreneurial startups and solo operators.”

John Downes, Chair of the Sci-Tech Daresbury joint venture company, added, “Grant Thornton has been a very strong supporter of the Sci-Tech Daresbury community for many years. The establishment of this new base at Sci-Tech Daresbury is a fantastic addition to the campus and another important step in our vision to position ourselves as a world-leading location that places innovation and collaboration at its heart.”


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US change management consultancy opens office in London

23 April 2019

One year after UK consultancy Thought Provoking Consulting invested in American change management firm Change 4 Growth, it has opened its first international office in the UK. Change 4 Growth’s new London locale will see the company look to supply organisational transformation solutions crafted over the last several years in the US to British clients.

Specialising in transformational change, American retail boutique consultancy Change 4 Growth (C4G) offers an expansive range of services. This includes organisational change management, culture alignment and engagement, leadership development, training and e-learning and recruitment of staff support. Well-known retail brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, Chico’s, Eddie Bauer and Ann Taylor are already among C4G’s clients, but since receiving investment from Thought Provoking Consulting in early 2018, the company has been keen to pursue expansion of its own.

Speaking at the time of the deal, Beth Thomas, CEO of C4G, commented, "I’m so excited to be working with Thought Provoking Consulting... The move will allow us to tap into a breadth of retail expertise and help our clients find solutions that are critical in this age in areas such as pricing, promotions, planning, product development and supply chain."

US change management consultancy opens office in London

In 2019, this has seen the Ohio-headquartered consultancy announce the opening of its first international office in London. Led by UK native and Managing Director, David Lucas, the base in Britain’s capital will bring the firm’s holistic service to clients in Europe looking deal with change at every level within their organisations.

Commenting via his LinkedIn profile, Lucas said, “At a time of huge technological upheaval, the importance of organisational and cultural change, married with operational speed and agility, has never been greater. Achieving that balance between people, process and technology for the digital era is the burning platform for most organisations…The C4G team… offers a spectrum of change and re-alignment capabilities and can bring proven approaches, methodologies and solutions to support the UK market.”

In the US, C4G has been able to tap into the fact that disengagement and unhappiness at work have become an epidemic across multiple sectors, resulting in poor business performance and bottom line results. With the UK’s high streets currently faltering due to an influx of e-commerce competition, Brexit pressures, and stagnating real wages, C4G will likely also find fertile ground for its retail-focused transformation services on both sides of the Atlantic.

Remarking on the firm’s arrival ‘across the pond’, Thomas concluded, “Many of our clients are global organisations who have facilities and employees around the world, and as an avid admirer of Britain’s innovative retail community, it has long been my intention to open a C4G office in the UK… With David Lucas, who brings a proven track record of transformational change at the helm and our sister company, Thought Provoking Consulting… we’re more excited than ever to explore the synergies to be discovered in having a UK powerhouse to support not only the retail sector but all industries.”