About Us / Overview / The Board / Business Groups

Our Business Groups, made up of industry experts, cover Gloucestershire’s leading business sectors and ensure that what we do is firmly rooted in the real world. In addition, representatives from business membership associations are invited to meet with the LEP Board every six months to discuss challenges facing businesses.

GFirst LEP Business Group Update - 30th April 2016

GFirst LEP Business Group Update - 31st May 2016

GFirst LEP Business Group Update - 30th June 2016

GFirst LEP Business Group Update - July 2016

GFirst LEP Business Group Update - August 2016

GFirst LEP Business Group Update - September 2016

GFirst LEP Business Group Update - October 2016

Tweets by @GFirstLEP
Business Groups

The aim of the group is to:

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 in order to maximise growth potential and ensuring the right talents and capabilities are nurtured in the county.

The objectives of the group are to:

Focus on how to improve 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 with and taking 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 to widen the reach of all represented efforts.

The aim of the group is to:
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 in order to maximise growth potential and ensuring the right talents and capabilities are nurtured in the county.
Focus on how to improve 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 with and taking 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 to widen the reach of all represented efforts
Business Group members:
Members of this group are working collaboratively to see what practical actions the banks can take to support the work of the LEP and local businesses. They have already provided impartial information for the LEP website, covering traditional and alternative routes to finance, including top tips when applying for finance, grants and other business support. The Banking Group is currently looking at developing financial clinics and events that could support businesses in presenting their business cases to banks and accessing finance.
Sector Group members:
Chris Mears - Santander Corporate Banking
Mike Curran - GFirst LEP
Arthur Thomas - Lloyds TSB Commercial 
Rob Spearman - Clydesdale Bank
David Goodall - Barclays Corporate 
Di Pitts & Simon Cropper - Handelsbanken 
Simon Sheldon - Fredericks 
Paul Severs & Iain Glover
Dan Townsend - RBS/Santander 

Banking & Finance Clinics 2017:

25th April

6th June

18th July

19th September

31st October 

12th December

The aim of the group is to:

Work collaboratively with other Banks and Financial institutions to see what practical actions they can take to support the work of the LEP and local businesses in meeting the requirements of the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP)

The objectives of the group are to:

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 to widen the reach of all represented efforts.

Business Group members:
Working with local schools to enhance the employability skills of their students, this group has been conducting two pilot programmes to actively engage a range of local employers to work directly with students. A number of innovative initiatives include “The Real Game”. This involves a role playing activity that allows students see how their school work relates to occupational choices. Another initiative is a form of “Speed Dating”. This allows students and employers to seek matching partners based on employment opportunities. Businesses are currently working directly with teachers on curriculum development to ensure that the output from modules studied by students provides a direct translation to workplace requirements.
Sector Group members: 
Ruth Dooley - Hazlewoods 
Mike Curran - GFirst LEP
Katherine Johnson - Gloucestershire Education Business Partnership
Hilary Allison - Vivid Marketing Communication & Consultancy Ltd 
Alan Beresford - Omega Resource Group PLC 
Paul Baldwin - Brunsdon
Paul Clack - White Knight Group 
Matthew Clayton - Willans LLP
Anthony Flynn - The Fry Group
Rob Broadbridge - Cleeve School
Sharon Harvey - University of Gloucestershire
Tim Heal - Alder King LLP 
Ian Heather - Heather Resource Management Ltd 
Clive Lewis - Achieving the Difference LLP 
Cathy O'Donoghue - HR Champions 
Anthony Pilkington - BookCheck Ltd 
Ben Craig & John Reilly - Gloucester Academy
Ian Selwood - Randall & Payne
Andrew Webster - Gloucestershire County Council
Jo White - Co-operative Futures
Nicki Williams - Cirencester College
Anne Compton    

The aim of the group is to:

Work collectively as an Enterprise Review and Investment Committee providing views and feedback on enhancing the quality of pipeline project proposals received by the LEP for consideration for future funding opportunities.

The objectives of the group are to:

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 - within the themes of Investment, Connection, Promotion and Skills.

Provide contribution 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 to widen the reach of all represented efforts.

Business Group members: 
This group has been supporting the work of the Joint Core Strategy teams of Gloucester City, Cheltenham Borough and Tewkesbury Borough councils by reviewing the employment land requirements for each area to see where development could take place. It has also been engaged with the Gloucestershire Infrastructure Investment Fund and will continue to raise awareness of the scheme to encourage further projects to come forwards. The group also leads on the LEP Planning Matters’ forum that aims to facilitate engagement with the private and public sectors to improve future development opportunities and positive engagement with the local planning process.
Sector Group members: 
Robin Butler - Kier 
Andrew Billings - Newland Homes    
Adrian Rowley - Alder King                
Simon Carey - Barnwood Construction         
Mike Carter - EG Carter                      
Robin Copeland - Quattro                                 
Scott Winnard - Bruton Knowles   
Chris Haslam - Robert Hitchins            
Stephen Limbrick - Roberts Limbrick      
Paul Markey - Markey Builders               
Paul Fong - Hunter Page                       
Nick Upton - Nicholas Upton          
        

The aim of the group is to:

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

The objectives of the group are to:

  • Agree the quantum and broad location of the employment land with the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) teams of Gloucester City, Cheltenham Borough and Tewkesbury Borough Councils.
  • Engage with the Gloucestershire Infrastructure Investment Fund and to 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 sector groups to share ideas, and to widen the reach of all represented efforts.
Business Group members: 
The group embraces a variety of creative interest enterprises: marketing, web-design, design engineering, visual arts, video editing, literature and theatre. Through a number of activities and initiatives, it aims to increase the creative industries sector in Gloucestershire and improve its performance. The Creative Industries Sector Group has recently launched www.thecreativemovement.co.uk and is currently developing a creative strategy for Gloucestershire.
Sector Group members: 
Donna Renney - Cheltenham Festivals
Sarah Danson - GFirst LEP
Paul Bates - Style Magazines
Michele Beint - Cheltenham Design Festival
Antonia Coles - JTTEvents
Bernadette Curtis - Creative Network
Ann Dawson - University of Gloucestershire
Frances Day - Art Couture Painswick
Paul Denny - Snow Business International
Debra Drew - Fabric Architecture
Steve Kelly - Steve Kelly Design
Martin McDonald - Big on Results
Mark Owen - Moose Marketing & PR
Phil Partridge - p4films
Darren Stevens - Prestbury Marketing
Nicki Stewart - Nexus Project
 Oli Christie - Neon Play
Lee Stephens -  Action Image Productions
Stephanie Richman - Hasty Pen Ltd
Carol Freeman
Simon Bullingham - Creative Network

The aim of the group is to:

Work collaboratively with organisations and businesses in the creative and cultural sector to propose practical activities needed to allow the creative economy in Gloucestershire to contribute to the growth potential identified in the Strategic Economic Plan. (i.e.  grow Gloucestershire’s economy by £493m by 2021).

The objectives of the group are to:

Help retain more of the brightest art and design students in Gloucestershire.

Create a countywide approach to art and design, from funding to promotion. 

To help support promotion of the local creative sector outside the county. 

To close the gap between the arts & design sector and secondary schools in the county. 

Business Group members: 

In partnership with South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, the aim of the group is to: 

Ensure that energy and low carbon matters are given prominence in LEP strategic planning and project development so that the LEP is able to put in place initiatives to:

help support and grow the energy and low carbon economy and 

encourage the adoption of measures to improve energy use by businesses.

The objectives of the group are to:

To 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.

To inform and support activities to create and retain jobs in the sector.

Sector Group members: 
Colin Hygate - Green Fuels Ltd
Paul Bolton - Severn Controls
Mike Brain - SWEA
Simon Crowfoot - Ecotricity
Simon Graham - Commercial Group
Richard Hellen - Hermes Energy Services
Martin Philips - Wysenergi

Business Group members:

The Land Based Sector Group represents all land-based businesses, as well as forestry and rural economies. Although only recently formed, they are looking to support the growth and growth potential of land-based businesses through a number of initiatives and activities that will improve skills, business efficiency and competitiveness in Gloucestershire.
Sector Group members:
Bev Allen - RAU South West Rural Update
Lesley Archer - Gloucestershire Rural Community Council
John Biddulph - Rodmarton Farms NFU/CLA
Peter Carr - GFirst LEP
Neil Corbett - Gloucestershire County Council
Sarah Danson - GFirst LEP
Janet Dwyer - CCRI
Claire Edwards - Gloucestershire County Council
Henry Elwes KCVO - Colesbourne Gardens
Chris Gaskell - Royal Agricultural College
Simon King - RAU South West Rural Update
Charles Mann - National Farmers Union
Russell Marchant - Hartpury College
John Mortimer - Country Land and Business Association
Roger Smith - Business West
John Tingey - National Farmers Union
Bob Watters - Forest of Dean Local Action Group
Richard White - Strutt & Parker
William Windsor-Clive

In partnership with the Royal Agricultural University, the aim of the group is to:

Identify and communicate the needs of the Land Based Sector in Gloucestershire in relation to the issues impacting on the delivery of the SEP.  Support the growth and effective growth potential, resilience and competitiveness of land-based business and improve the competitiveness of the land based sector and its long terms sustainability.

The objectives of the group are to:

Develop a sector based countywide strategy to support the growth of this sector, and supply chain if appropriate.

Devise and implement engaging initiatives and activities that will help promote, nurture and support improved skills for the longevity of a thriving rural economy.

Promote and highlight focus on capturing and sustaining business efficiency to ensure that an entrepreneurial and innovative culture is embraced through adapting to new trends and technologies. 

Engage with other business groups to share ideas, and to widen the reach of all represented efforts.

Business Group members:

The aim of the group is to:

Positively contribute in a timely fashion to the success of retail businesses within Gloucestershire.
Bringing together the best of retail knowledge and operational experience in the county to share great retail practice.
Devising practical and simple initiatives to support the key identified challenges facing retailers, both current and future.
Promoting career opportunities and training development within retail.
Being the conduit for new developments, particularly in digital technologies.
Continuing to support the LEP’s delivery of the pathfinder objectives.

Positively contribute to the success of retail businesses within Gloucestershire.

The objectives of the group are to:

Bringing together the best of retail knowledge and operational experience in the county to share great retail practice.

Devising practical and simple initiatives to support the key identified challenges facing retailers, both current and future.

Promoting career opportunities and training development within retail.

Being the conduit for new developments, particularly in digital technologies.

Continuing to support the LEP’s delivery of the pathfinder objectives.

Business Group members: