The RSK Group of integrated environmental, engineering and technical services businesses, parent to ADAS since late 2016, has acquired the Water Research Centre (WRc).

The WRc was originally established as a government body in 1927 and pioneered work on water quality and sewage sludge treatment. It was privatised in 1989 and now advises UK and international clients on a range of water related issues including river catchment management. The Centre includes the National Centre for Environmental Toxicology (NCET) which advises on chemical and microbiological contaminants including pesticides.

The acquisition will become part of RSK’s agriculture, land and property management division, and will continue to be led by its present chief executive Mark Smith. The WRc has over 170 staff and is based in Swindon.

“This is a unique acquisition for RSK that brings together an exceptional brand that is renowned for independent thinking and delivery to create an ability to address global issues including climate change, green growth and water and sanitation services through applied engineering excellence,” states RSK chief executive and founder Alan Ryder.

“RSK’s environmental, scientific and engineering capabilities and global presence combined with WRc’s leading, independent thinking will enable both companies to deliver ever improving and more sustainable solutions to our clients while promoting the circular economy in everything we do.”

This is RSK’s fourth acquisition in the last twelve months – it bought an asbestos removal specialist, PA Group, and the civil and structural engineering company RoC Consulting in July. These follow the funding arrangement agreed through Ares Capital Europe in December 2018 to grow the group’s international reach.