Chris Chennell from the North East Leadership Board

Chris Chennell

Director – Fire Safety Division
Hydrock

North East Leadership Board

Based in Newcastle, Chris Chennell leads Hydrock’s business in the north-east. As Regional Director he has a responsibility to oversee the growth of the business across the north-east, Yorkshire and East Riding advising clients on energy, sustainability, and engineering design in the built environment sector.

Chris specialises in fire safety design and is a market-leading expert on the ‘golden thread’ of information which is a central part of the new Building Safety Bill in response to Grenfell. A particular focus for Chris and his team is the removal of cladding to existing developments to improve the safety of residents – a commercial decision that has been motivated in no small part by the community benefits this engenders.

The north-east Business in the Community (BITC) priority of ‘inclusive recruitment and unemployment’ is a passion for Chris. Having left school at 16 with a handful of GCSEs, his route into engineering involved mature study after time served in the armed forces. Based on his own humble roots, Chris is motivated to open up opportunities for others with less privileged beginnings. Chris has had the opportunity to live and work in three counties outside the UK which has given him an appreciation of the true benefits of diversity in the workplace to drive innovation and cultural inclusivity – much aligned with the ‘race, equity, diversity and inclusion’ north-east BITC priority.