Thornton Science Park

The University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park is home to the Faculty of Science and Engineering. The high-tech campus has seen multi-million pound investment, with industrial innovation placed at its core.

The 66-acre site offers both students and industry access to world-class research facilities, as well as providing a home for developing enterprises via a 22-unit incubation hub. It boasts one million sq ft of industrial laboratories; workshops and office space; and a new £7 million​ Energy Demonstrator.

Energy Innovation District

The Energy Innovation District (EID) is an existing and developing cluster of energy-related industries. This includes largescale energy assets, energy-intensive industries and Research and Development destinations. The EID will set the blueprint for creating a new energy system – ensuring a supply of secure, low-carbon and low-cost energy helps unlock supply chain and global investment opportunities. Spearheaded by the Cheshire Energy Hub, the EID brings together energy users, network owners, innovators and partners – including EA Technology, Burns & McDonnell, Urenco, Cadent Gas, SP Energy Networks and Peel L&P Environmental – working alongside Cheshire & Warrington LEP, Cheshire West and Chester Council and the University of Chester.

Net Zero North West

Driven by industry, Net Zero North West is driving investment into the net zero economy and post COVID-19 green recovery. By supporting and safeguarding existing jobs, creating at least 33,000 new jobs and attracting over £4 billion investment, Net Zero North West will be a catalyst for economic growth. The North West is the only region which already has all the elements required to deliver a low carbon industrial cluster by 2030 – including renewables, hydrogen, carbon capture usage and storage, nuclear and smart grids. With an unrivalled range of projects, the Cluster offers a multi vector energy system that can drive clean growth.

Together these projects could save over 10 million tonnes of carbon per year, making a significant contribution to the UK’s legally binding target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

North West Hydrogen Alliance

The North West Hydrogen Alliance brings together some of the UK’s most influential organisations driving forward the work to develop the region as the UK’s primary hydrogen economy. The region’s reputation as the industrial North – including the necessary industries, academia, innovation, skills and natural assets – means it is in pole position to grasp the opportunity of hydrogen use.

UK Geoenergy Observatories

The British Geological Survey is planning to create a world-class observatory in Cheshire which would see around 50 boreholes drilled down to 1200m, with 9 on land at Protos. The UK Geoenergy Observatories (UKGEOS) project will enable scientists to gain the clearest picture yet of the underground environment, helping to unlock new clean, green, low-carbon energy technologies.


HyNet is the most advanced hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) project in the UK which could see hydrogen blended into the gas grid and piped into homes and businesses by 2024. The project will initially save one million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions every year (rising to up to 10 million tonnes per year), creating a replicable model for the rest of the UK and beyond. HyNet could see hydrogen injected as a blend into the existing gas network across Manchester, Liverpool, Cheshire and Warrington, helping to decarbonise homes and businesses. It would also see hydrogen supplied in new pipelines to major manufacturing and power generation sites reducing the carbon footprint of industry while safeguarding jobs and delivering clean growth.

North West Evergreen Fund

The North West Evergreen Fund exists to support the delivery of commercial property and infrastructure projects in Greater Manchester, Cumbria, Cheshire and Lancashire. The fund, which is supported by European Regional Development Funding and the JESSICA Programme as well as by 16 local authority partners, is a new approach to investment which sponsors a wide range of development opportunities where there is a clear benefit to the region’s employment, regeneration, environmental and economic prospects. The fund will commit capital to commercial and light industrial regeneration opportunities, which meet European Regional Development Fund regeneration targets covering employment, remediation and floorspace outputs. Developers with commercial property or infrastructure projects that can both drive regional economic growth and generate a financial return are able to apply to CBRE, who is the Investment Advisor to the Fund for loans of up to £15 million per project. Money from the repayment of these loans will be recycled back into the fund to finance new projects. By backing sustainable schemes through an innovative mix of public and private funding, the partnership intends to underpin the region’s long-term growth prospects. Involvement at Protos: The North West Evergreen Fund is providing a £5 million loan for infrastructure works.