University of warwick science park blog

Science Park firm goes from one to 250 staff

Brian Thomas (left) and David Grindrod

A Coventry company which employs more than 250 staff is to set-up a new headquarters in the city on the site where it started as a one-man band less than a decade ago.

Key Forensic Services, which was launched at the University of Warwick Science Park in 2005, has three bases across the UK and provides a range of forensic services to the police, international law enforcement agencies and private clients.

It is now the largest independent supplier of forensic services in the UK and has established a new headquarters at the Vanguard Centre at the science park.

Brian Thomas, Group Finance Director of the firm, said: “We have grown rapidly in the past few years and have operations in Norwich and Warringtonas well as here in Coventry.

“We continue to grow and attract new business so we decided to set-up a new operational headquarters at the Science Park.

“Our rapid growth has meant that the park has been perfect for us because of the flexibility it offers, in terms of the type of accommodation it has available but also the lease agreements it provides.

“It means we have been able to expand while staying at the same location which is good for us, our staff and the city.”

Key Forensic is one of the largest suppliers to the police, which outsources around £80 million on forensic services a year.

David Grindrod, acting director of the University of Warwick Science Park, said Key Forensic was the “perfect example” of how the science park can help companies thrive.

He said: “One of the reasons the park was established was to help young, innovative companies set-up, and create the conditions for growth. Key Forensics has done that in a very successful way and is the ‘perfect example’ of a tenant company.

“To go from a one-man start-up to employing 250 people and become a serious national player in less than eight years is highly impressive.

“Over the years we have helped the company in a wide variety of ways from having a non-executive role on the board, providing mentoring and helping attract early stage funding to more specific business support activities such as helping the company with their export plans in implementing an international training programme.

“They are all services available to companies on-site and I think they were extremely important in helping Key Forensic, especially in its early days.

“We aim to be as flexible as possible to meet the needs of companies as they take off. Key Forensics, for example, was slightly different in that it required more space than most young companies because of its need for labs, but we were able to provide that.

“Then, once the company had started to thrive, if we had not been able to offer adjacent expansion space or been flexible in our approach, then we would have lost the company and, of course, it might not have stayed in the city.

“That is exactly our reason for operating, and Key Forensic is a fantastic example of what those services can help to achieve.”