4 reasons Birchwood Park is the home of nuclear innovation

11 July 2024

For over 60 years, Birchwood Park has been synonymous with nuclear innovation. Nestled within the heart of the UK’s vibrant North West business landscape, our Park is recognised as one of the most successful centres for nuclear services in the country, boasting a roster of industry giants who call it home, including Rolls-Royce, NNL, Jacobs, Nuvia and Cavendish Nuclear to namedrop just a few.

The Park is poised to play a critical role in the country’s focus on more sustainable energy sources. Here, we discuss what makes the Park’s unique offices and amenities perfectly suited to foster growth and collaboration within the nuclear sector.

A rich nuclear history

Generations of nuclear expertise is woven into the very fabric of the park, after the UK government transformed a former ordnance factory, at the future Birchwood Park site, into the headquarters of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) in the 1950s.

In 1956, the UKAEA established a centre for nuclear research and development, overseeing all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle in the UK. After undergoing rapid expansion in the subsequent years, the UKAEA became a major employer in the region, boasting a workforce of more than 45,000 across the UK at the height of its influence.

EngineRooms: Then

EngineRooms: Today

With a solid foundation already built for nuclear research and development, the site was able to benefit from networking opportunities and collaboration which ushered in significant expansion. Birchwood Park has since solidified its position as a top nuclear research and development hub from the late 1990s, fostering collaboration and allowing industry leaders to exchange expertise, leading to ground-breaking advancements in the sector.

In the present day, the Park is now home to over 165 companies and is considered the go-to business destination for so many nuclear-focused businesses looking to grow their team.

Accommodating business needs

Birchwood Park isn’t just a haven for established nuclear businesses, it’s also a breeding ground for the next generation of innovators in the industry. The concentration of nuclear expertise within Birchwood Park provides start-ups with a readily available pool of talent and allows smaller organisations to tap into the knowledge and experience of professionals and likeminded businesses with years of experience in the field.

Moreover, Birchwood Park’s flexible workspace offering, such as our small suites, allow organisations to upscale or downsize in line with the needs of the business. The range of spaces and flexible contracts enables our occupiers to always have the right capacity, ready to grow and expand their office or warehouse space when the time comes.

Home to some of the best meeting rooms in the North West, the EngineRooms at Birchwood Park are built with hospitality in mind. From our on-site meeting rooms to our conference spaces, nuclear occupiers can utilise the spaces tailored to specific industry events.  In January 2024, Nuvia hosted a Nuclear Careers Evening in The EngineRooms, with hundreds in attendance. Featuring many of the Park’s other nuclear occupiers, the event welcomed individuals from a range of backgrounds and experience levels who were eager to kickstart a new career in nuclear, promoting the wide range of jobs that are available in the sector.

Thriving nuclear cluster

Employing over 4,000 people, our nuclear cluster is home to many nuclear-focused businesses. Organisations such as Jacobs, Rolls-Royce, the National Nuclear Laboratory, and Nuvia are more than just occupiers; they’re active participants in a thriving cluster that fuels advancements in this ever-growing industry.

Regular networking events and careers evenings facilitate knowledge exchange upon some of the most prominent global companies at the Park and highly skilled individuals in the nuclear industry and we are proud to host such a thriving community-led workplace at Birchwood Park.

Our own pursuit to providing a pioneering approach to workplace wellbeing has enabled us to be recognised as leaders in all areas of the nuclear industry, including nuclear decommissioning and new build projects.

Strategically located

The close proximity to the M6 and M62 allow for easy reach to major nuclear sites such as Sellafield, Capenhurt and Heysham power station in Lancashire and has allowed Birchwood Park to develop into a pioneering centre of expertise. As key players in the UK’s nuclear landscape sit within easy reach on the Park, a culture of collaboration and knowledge exchange is prevalent and our occupiers can quickly access established infrastructure and expertise, accelerating innovation and ensuring real-world applicability of their solutions.

Furthermore, the strong transport links and access to major cities like Manchester and Liverpool, allow our occupiers to access a wide talent pool, whilst attracting individuals with diverse expertise, making the park a magnet for skilled professionals in the nuclear field.

By strategically leveraging the location, we position ourselves as leaders in the UK nuclear innovation landscape, as well as attracting and retaining the very-best talent working specifically in the sector, and more broadly engineering roles.

The future of the industry holds immense promise, and the Park is actively preparing to be at the forefront of this exciting journey. It’s not just about attracting new businesses; it’s about creating an environment where future generations of nuclear innovators can thrive and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Current Occupiers