• Business Groups

Our business groups are made up of industry leaders who keep us on track and help to make sure we spend our funding in the areas that need them most.

Each business group focuses on a key part of our economy – from engineering to retail and everything in-between – and has an aim and several objectives. In addition, representatives from business membership associations are invited to meet with a GFirst LEP board member every six months to discuss the challenges facing businesses in the county today.

Get involved

All of our business groups, with the exception of our Construction and Infrastructure group, are currently looking to recruit additional members. We are looking for innovative, dynamic and enthusiastic individuals to represent the voice of business and who can help make a positive difference to Gloucestershire’s economy.

If you would like to be considered to become a group member, please contact Karen Campbell on 01242 715 492 or email karen.campbell@gfirstlep.com

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Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing

Members

AIMS

Address the major issues related to the current and future skills shortages in the sector by ensuring that any misconceptions are confronted and highlighted effectively, maximising growth potential and ensuring the right talents and capabilities are nurtured in the county.

OBJECTIVES

  • Focus on improving the skills, planning, infrastructure and communications within the wider sector in Gloucestershire.
  • Promote and support the joining up of activities in this sector within an education and training context to inspire future generations.
  • Work collaboratively and take into account the views of employers in the sector to ensure a collective effort to address their main challenges.
  • Engage with other business groups to share ideas and widen the reach of all represented efforts.
MembersMembers
  • Chair: Neill Ricketts – Versarien
  • GFirst LEP Lead: Karen Campbell
  • Andrew Robinson - Arc Energy
  • Anne Johnstrup - Truturn Precision Engineering
  • Chris Gibbs - The Growth Hub
  • Chris Pockett - Renishaw
  • David Nairn – Fluid Transfer International Ltd
  • Fiona Doughton - Engineering UK
  • Gary Ridgway – Poeton
  • Helen Harrison – Star Hydraulics Ltd
  • Jackie Reece – Ultra Electronics
  • John Pattison – Mecwash Systems Ltd
  • Julian Grail – Grail Engineering
  • Kathrin Beckerleg – Delphi Diesel Systems
  • Les Davis – Ultra Pals
  • Mark Roderick – Allcap Ltd
  • Peter Ronan – Fluid Transfer International Ltd
  • Phillip Johnston – Trackwise Designs Ltd
  • Rob Loveday - GE Aviation
  • Suzanne Hall-Gibbins - Circle 2 Success
  • Tom Suwart – Spirax Sarco
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Agri Food and Rural

Members

AIMS

In partnership with the Royal Agricultural University:
Identify and communicate the needs of the land-based sector in Gloucestershire in relation to the issues impacting on the delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).
Support the growth and effective growth potential, resilience and competitiveness of land-based businesses and improve the competitiveness of the land-based sector and its long-term sustainability.

OBJECTIVES

  • Develop a sector-based, countywide strategy to support the growth of the land-based sector and supply chain if appropriate.
  • Devise and implement initiatives and activities that will help promote, nurture and support improved skills to ensure the longevity of our thriving rural economy.
  • Promote and focus on capturing and sustaining business efficiency, ensuring that an entrepreneurial and innovative culture is embraced throughout by adapting to new trends and technologies.
  • Engage with other business groups to share ideas and widen the reach of all represented efforts.
MembersMembers
  • Chair: Professor Jo Price – Royal Agricultural University
  • GFirst LEP Lead: Karen Campbell
  • Board Member Representative: Mike Warner – Warners Motor Group
  • Bob Watters – Forest of Dean Local Action Group
  • Charles Mann – National Farmers Union
  • Chris Lyons – Business West
  • Claire Edwards – Gloucestershire County Council
  • Elin Tattersall – Gloucestershire Rural Community Council
  • Gill Reindl – Hartpury College
  • Graham Clark – County Land and Business Association
  • Graham Nichols – National Farmers Union
  • Janet Dwyer – University of Gloucestershire (CCRI)
  • Jeremy Davies – Campden BRI
  • John Biddulph – NFU/CLA
  • John Mortimer – Country Land & Business Association
  • Jill Matthew – Gloucestershire County Council
  • Nick Waloff - Cotswold Taste
  • Roger Mortlock – Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
  • Russell Marchant – Hartpury College
  • Simon King –
  • Simon Weaver – Turnstone Farming Co Ltd
  • Will Frazer – NFU
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Banking and Finance

Members

AIMS

Work collaboratively with other banks and financial institutions to take practical action in supporting the work of the LEP and local businesses, allowing them to meet the requirements of the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).

OBJECTIVES

  • Give focus to businesses on the understanding of what finance is available to them and how they can be supported.
  • Enhance the strength and growth of the local economy through the provision of impartial advice.
  • Provide clear hints, tips and advice to businesses when applying for grants and additional financial support.
  • Develop specific events and practical forum clinics to support businesses in presenting their cases to banks for accessing finance.
  • Engage with other business groups to share ideas and widen the reach of all represented efforts.

Banking and Finance Clinics 2017:

Tuesday 12 December

 

MembersMembers
  • GFirst LEP Lead: Mike Curran
  • Chair: Chris Mears – Santander
  • Board Member Representative: Adam Starkey – Green Gourmet Ltd
  • Andrew Kirk - Lloyds Bank Plc
  • Angie Preece - BCRS
  • Angela Spenley - The Growth Hub
  • Barry Chapman - Folk2Folk
  • Chris Gibbs - The Growth Hub
  • Chris Mapp – Unity Trust Bank
  • Di Pitts – Handelsbanken
  • Emma Fells – Barclays
  • Gareth Jones - Clydesdale Bank
  • Jonathan Powell - Clydesdale Bank
  • Julie Powell – NatWest Bank Plc
  • Mark Wilton – HSBC
  • Martyn Mangan - Elkro Ltd
  • Nick Blaxhall - Select Invoice Finance
  • Phil Mitchell – Harbour Key Ltd
  • Simon Sheldon – Harper Sheldon
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Business and Professional Services

Members

AIMS

Work collectively as an Enterprise Review and Investment Committee, providing views and feedback that will enhance the quality of pipeline project proposals received by GFirst LEP for consideration for future funding opportunities.

OBJECTIVES

  • Represent and communicate the needs of the Business and Professional Services group in Gloucestershire in relation to the issues impacting the delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).
  • Contribute to achieving the aims and objectives of GFirst LEP, with the themes of Investment, Connection, Promotion and Skills.
  • Contribute to the strategic direction of GFirst LEP and the implementation of the LEP plan via the GFirst board.
  • Engage with other business groups to share ideas and widen the reach of all represented efforts.
MembersMembers
  • Chair: Ruth Dooley – Hazlewoods
  • Board Member Representative - Roman Cooper, All Cooper Group
  • GFirst LEP Lead: Mike Curran
  • Bryan Stiles – Ex-HSBC
  • Clive Lewis – Achieving the Difference LLP
  • Fiona Spencer – Fiona Spencer Ltd
  • Ian Heather – Heather Resource Management Ltd
  • Jeremy Harrison – Barbican HR
  • Luan Wise – Luan Wise Marketing
  • Matthew Clayton – Willans LLP
  • Nicki Williams – St. James's Place Wealth Management
  • Paul Mourton – Lodders Solicitors LLP
  • Paul Owen – Angus Day LLP
  • Ruth Cornish - Amelore
  • Vanessa Coates – Prosser-Knowles
  • Vikki Walters – Gloucestershire County Council
  • Will Abbott - Randall & Payne
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Construction and Infrastructure

Members

AIMS

Support the Growth Zone theme of the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) to identify and facilitate planning of employment land in the M5 corridor of the county.

OBJECTIVES

  • Agree the quantum and broad location of the employment land with the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) teams of Gloucester City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council.
  • Engage with the Gloucestershire Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) and raise awareness of the scheme to encourage further projects to come forward.
  • Lead the LEP ‘Planning Matters’ forum to facilitate engagement with private and public sectors.
  • Help improve future development opportunities and positive engagement with the local planning process.
  • Engage with other business groups to share ideas and widen the reach of all represented efforts.
MembersMembers
  • Chair: Stephen Limbrick – Roberts Limbrick
  • GFirst LEP Lead: Mike Curran
  • Board Member Representative: Mike Warner – Warners Motor Group
  • Adrian Rowley - Alder King
  • Andrew Billings – Newland Homes
  • Angela Presdee - Gloucestershire County Council
  • Ben Ramsay - Kier Group
  • Chris Haslam - Consultant
  • Garry King – Two Rivers Housing
  • Jeremy Williamson – Cheltenham Borough Council
  • Mark Ryan – Gloucestershire Airport
  • Michael Carter – EG Carter
  • Mike Court – Quattro Design Architects
  • Nick Upton – Nicholas J Upton and Partners
  • Paul Fong – Hunter Page
  • Paul Markey – Markey Builders
  • Robert Duncan – Duncan Property Developments
  • Robert Weaver - Tewkesbury Borough Council
  • Scott Winnard – Bruton Knowles
  • Simon Carey – Barnwood Construction
  • Simon Tothill – Robert Hitchins
  • Steve MacPherson – Bloor Homes
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Creative

Members

AIMS

Work collaboratively with organisations and businesses in the creative and cultural sector, proposing practical activities that will allow the creative economy in Gloucestershire to contribute to the growth potential identified in the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).

OBJECTIVES

  • Help retain more of the brightest art and design students in Gloucestershire.
  • Create a countywide approach to art and design, from funding to promotion.
  • Help support promotion of the local creative sector outside the county.
  • Close the gap between the art and design sector and secondary schools in the county.
MembersMembers
  • GFirst LEP Lead: Mike Curran
  • Anne Dawson – University of Gloucestershire
  • Bill Burford – University of Gloucestershire
  • Hollie Smith-Charles – Gloucester Culture Trust
  • Jane Jenkins – Gloucestershire College
  • Julie Finch – The Cheltenham Trust
  • Louise Bardgett – Create Gloucestershire
  • Nicky Godding – NK Media Ltd
  • Pippa Jones – Create Gloucestershire
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Energy

Members

AIMS

In partnership with South Gloucestershire and Stroud College:
Ensure that energy and low carbon matters are given prominence in LEP strategic planning and project development, allowing the LEP to put initiatives in place that help support and grow the energy and low carbon economy, and encourage the adoption of measures to improve energy use by businesses.

OBJECTIVES

  • Provide representation of energy sector businesses in Gloucestershire.
  • Support the LEP in ensuring that the GREEN project is able to deliver its ambitions to support the skills needs of the growing low carbon energy sector.
  • Inform and support activities to create and retain jobs in the sector.
MembersMembers
  • Chairs: Andy Slaney – SGS College/ George Ridd - SGS College
  • GFirst LEP Lead: Mike Curran
  • Christopher E Gleadle – CMG Consultancy
  • David Evans – Schneider Electric
  • Helen Pearce – BEIS
  • Jeremy Miller – Spirax Sarco
  • Kris Atkins – Sustainable Direction
  • Matt McKerrow – McKerrow Engineering
  • Mike Brain – Severn Wye
  • Peter Wiggins – Gloucestershire County Council
  • Richard Hellen – Hermes Energy Services
  • Simon Pickering - Ecotricity
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Retail, Tourism and the High Street

Members

AIMS

Positively contribute in a timely fashion to the success of retail businesses within Gloucestershire.

OBJECTIVES

Bring together the best retail knowledge and operational experience in the county and share great retail practice.
Devise practical and simple initiatives to support the key identified challenges facing retailers, both current and future.
Promote career opportunities and training development within retail.
Be the conduit for new developments, particularly in digital technologies.
Continue to support the LEP’s delivery of the pathfinder objectives.

To help meet these objectives, our retail business group has developed an innovative retail toolkit to breathe life into the county’s high streets. Click here to find out more about our retail toolkit.

MembersMembers
  • Chair: Nigel Jobson
  • GFirst LEP Lead: Karen Campbell
  • Board Member Representative: Diane Savory – GFirst LEP
  • Adam Wassell – Gloucester City Council
  • Chris Nyland – Nettl Gloucester
  • Craig Tucker - Kingfisher Treasure Seekers
  • Dean Guston – Senior General Manager, The Greenway Hotel
  • Dorian Wragg – Bruton Knowles
  • Gideon Darley – Stroud District Council
  • Ivan Taylor – Truscott Jewellers
  • Jason Robinson – Eastgate Shopping Centre
  • Jo O’Connell – Gloucestershire College
  • Katie Power – Tewkesbury Borough Council
  • Kevan Blackadder – Cheltenham Business Partnership
  • Matthew Bird – Gloucester Quays Centre Manager
  • Nathanael Arrowsmith Kingfisher Treasure Seekers
  • Paula Burrows – Forest of Dean District Council
  • Polly Barnfield – Maybe*
  • Raphael Herzog – General Manager, Hallmark Hotel, Gloucester
  • Sally Graff – Cotswold District Council
  • Sophie Barton - SOHO Coffee Company
  • Stephen Gardner - Waitrose Cirencester
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NEW GROUP Cyber Security

AIMS

To support the key Government objective of making the UK one of the most secure places in the world to do business in cyberspace, resilient to cyber-attack and better able to protect our interests, helping to shape an open, vibrant and stable cyberspace that supports open societies.
To take advantage of the UK’s existing capabilities and ‘brand’ in cyber security to build a successful and competitive knowledge-based industry to exploit the need for cyber security in the UK and other countries.

OBJECTIVES

Map the key headquarters and delivery locations of cyber security providers in the county and work with them through the Growth Hub to raise awareness of the need for cyber security.

Work with the Scheme Promoter of the Cheltenham Cyber Park to achieve their aim of opening the UK’s first dedicated hub to support the growth and development of existing and new cyber security business, research and skills by 2020.

Work with Tech Nation to demonstrate that Cheltenham is ideally placed to warrant becoming a leading cluster as it brings together the best technology minds from local SME’s and Start-ups to fully harness the rich cyber security ecosystem that flourishes around Cheltenham, the home of the National Technical Authority for Information Security and GCHQ.

Identify the needs of businesses working in the cyber security sector, including skills and talent supply, and help facilitate solutions that will contribute to the economic growth of the county.

Support SMEs in understanding their market opportunities and foster links between SME suppliers to develop their reach and knowledge knowledge in the cyber security sector.

Expand initiatives to encourage more SME involvement in Government work.

Improve SMEs’ exploitation of HE and FE research knowledge, IP and skillsets.

Build alliances, partnerships or even mergers to achieve scale.

 

If you think you could assist on any of the above activity and you’re interested in coming along to an initial meeting please email karen.campbell@gfirstlep.com

 

If you’d like to help us in strengthening the economy of Gloucestershire, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

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