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Board Meeting Agendas & Minutes


GFirst LEP Board of Directors - Register of Interests

25th April 2017:


Agenda Item 2 - Gloucestershire College Funding Approval

Agenda Item 4 - LEP Board Membership

Agenda Item 5 - Industrial Strategy Response

Agenda Item 6 - Growth Hub Project Update

Agenda Item 6 - Growth Hub Business Plan Draft

Agenda Item 6 - Growth Hub Business Case

Agenda Item 7 - European Funding Update

Agenda Item 8 - Growth Deal Forward Look

Agenda Item 8 - Growth Deal Programme Update

Agenda Item 8 - Reallocation of Growth Deal Funds

Agenda Item 8 - Summary Table

Minutes from 25th April meeting

GFirst LEP Board of Directors - Register of Interests updated 16th March 2017

14th February 2017:


13th December 2016:


4th October 2016:


9th August 2016:


21st June 2016:


19th April 2016

16th February 2016

15th December 2015

6th October 2015

25th August 2015

Airport Funding Approval 11th August 2015

24th July 2015

29th June 2015

19th May 2015

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Board Members & Executives
  • Dr Diane Savory OBE

    Dr Diane Savory OBE DL - Chair

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    Diane is the Chair of GFirst LEP, and also represents Gloucestershire as part of the Future High Streets Forum with the High Streets Minister. 

    In 2013, Diane was awarded an OBE in recognition of her work with GFirst LEP and her contribution to business.

    In 2015, Diane was appointed as one of six, new Deputy Lord-Lieutenant's by Dame Janet Trotter, Gloucestershire's Lord-Lieutenant.

    With a passion for fashion she studied Retail and Exhibition Design at Cassio College, Watford. After joining Cult Clothing, the predecessor of Supergroup PLC, Diane rapidly progressed through the organisation to become its Chief Operating Officer transforming the company from a small, local enterprise to the now distinctive, nationwide fashion retailer. Furthermore, she has mentored businesses to help them succeed in today's challenging environment and is a board member for a number of organisations.

  • Adam Starkey

    Adam Starkey - Vice Chair

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    Adam Starkey is a British innovator, and founder and CEO of Green Gourmet, an award-winning food company based in Gloucestershire.

    Driven by his passion for healthy eating, well-being and making things happen, he has forged a unique business model that has, in turn, transformed the fortunes of a number of other UK businesses.

    As a pioneering thinker, he coaches and mentors people and businesses looking to transform themselves and realise their dreams. A futurist at heart, Adam believes that success comes from personal motivation and engaging head on with technical change.

    His expertise and passion have led to him being elected Chair of the Children’s Food Trust having first being appointed by the Secretary of State to the board what was then the School Food Trust. In his time the organization has advised government on regulations for schools and built a network of 2500 volunteers teaching children to cook.

    His influence as a business leader now reaches further than the food industry. He currently holds non-executive directorships at a diverse range of companies; Tarnside Consulting – who have helped charities raise £100m in 10 years; Stroud Brewery - an award winning micro-brewery, BEAF – a product and design innovation agency; Rod & Bens – an artisan farm-based food manufacturer; Batata Comunicações – Brazilian translation experts; and Gilbey Films – creators of disability access videos and training films.

  • Matthew Burgess

    Matthew Burgess

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    Matthew was appointed Principal of Gloucestershire College in 2013, where he feels privileged to be part of a team that is pushing the college forward into exciting times.

    After graduating in 1989, then training as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG, he moved into education spending some time at Stockport College, then at Gloucestershire College within various roles, before becoming Principal.

    As well as being passionate about the value of education in social mobility and its links in supporting business, Matthew is committed to putting Gloucestershire College at the heart of its community.

  • Roman Cooper

    Roman Cooper

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    Roman Cooper is Executive Director of Allcooper Group who specialise in security and fire systems for businesses, homes and private clients.

    Brothers, Gerard and Roman, who own the company, split the day-to-day running of the four divisions by area: Roman running home and business from Gloucestershire and Birmingham; Gerard running private client and consulting from London.  The company was founded in 1987 and continues to grow year on year, now employing 130 staff.

    Allcooper hold many awards which include Coutts Family Business of the Year.  Roman also champions Apprentices and has done so for many years. In 2016 he helped create a specific security training programme with SGS College for apprentices; this has had great success and is now being embraced by the industry. Also, for his work supporting Apprentices over the years, he has won Outstanding Contribution to Apprenticeships of Gloucestershire.

    Roman has sat on the GFirst LEP Board for 6 years and has now taken on the remit of Small Business Champion for GFirst LEP.

  • Mark Hawthorne

    Cllr Mark Hawthorne

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    Mark is the Leader of Gloucestershire County Council. Upon taking over as Leader, Mark became the driving force behind the council’s Meeting the Challenge project – a fundamental redesign of how the council operates with a view to saving £114 million over four years. Two years on the programme is on target with £65million savings made already.

    Looking to the future, Mark’s focus is continuing the economic stimulus programme and supporting Gloucestershire’s businesses, while keeping council tax as low as possible. Delivering a new highways contract that will improve how Gloucestershire’s roads are maintained is a key task for the year ahead, along with transforming social care and increasing the ability for communities to decide on and deliver more of the services that are important to them.

  • Cllr Steve Jordan

    Cllr Steve Jordan

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    Steve is the leader of Cheltenham Borough Council and represents 'Leadership Gloucestershire' on the board of GFirst LEP.

    'Leadership Gloucestershire' (LG) brings together public sector organisations which allocate and spend significant resources in Gloucestershire. Steve was elected Leader of Cheltenham Borough Council in 2008 and has a portfolio that includes responsibility for both economic development and strategic land use.

    Away from council, Steve spent over 20 years in the IT industry, as programmer, systems analyst and project manager most recently with Swiss Reinsurance.

  • Stephen Marston

    Stephen Marston

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    Stephen Marston is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire. The university currently has currently over 9,500 full and part-time students, and has four campuses located in Cheltenham and Gloucester. Stephen joined as Vice-Chancellor in 2011.

    Before then, Stephen was Director General for Lifelong Learning and Skills in the former Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and prior to that he was Director of Skills Group at DfES. Stephen joined the Department for Education and Science in 1983, where he worked on a range of schools, Further Education, Higher Education, and finance issues in various posts across the Department.

  • ClaireMould

    Dr Claire Mould

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    Dr Claire Mould is the Chief Executive Officer of OPENhouse, to help young and vulnerable people in the Stroud district and across Gloucestershire receive help and support with housing, training and education, information, support, advice, and links to employment experiences.

    Claire is also the Chair of the Gloucestershire Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Alliance, that provides an independent and collective voice of the VCS. She is also an active Ambassador of GFirst LEP to help share her expertise and inspire others.

  • Neill Ricketts

    Neill Ricketts

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    Neill is the Chief Executive Officer of Versarien. Specialising in the application of a patented manufacturing process for developing and supplying advanced engineering solutions to leading multinational firms, Versarien is a high technology company based in Cinderford.

    As an active Ambassador and a member of the Advanced Engineering Sector Group, Neill is passionate about sharing his expertise to enthuse and inspire others.

    His input into the Strategic Economic Plan right now will be vital to help us gain the support and influence from the business community in how we secure Government and EU funding to underpin our three flagship projects.

  • MichaelWarner

    Michael D Warner

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    Michael is Chairman of the Warner Group, a family business he joined after studying mechanical engineering and business management. The Warner Group has 300 employees in the food, retail and motor industries, giving Michael beneficial experience in small and medium sized business within a range of sectors. As an active GFirst LEP Ambassador, Michael believes that SMEs are a great driver for future growth in Gloucestershire.

    Michael has lived and worked in Gloucestershire almost all his life and is a previous director of Gloucester Rugby, has chaired the Three Counties Agricultural Society Board for the last 10 years, as well as being Chair of the RHS Malvern Spring Show.

  • Rob Loveday

    Rob Loveday

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    Rob from GE Aviation is responsible for ensuring that we work together with our national and local communities to drive growth and economic benefit into our businesses and the UK economy.  The benefits are tremendous, like shared investment in new technologies and skills training secured in Gloucestershire under the Government’s Aerospace Growth Partnership initiative. Now in his new role on the board of GFirst LEP, and the Board of the West of England Aerospace Forum, Rob can do even more in sharing his experience and knowledge with the local Aerospace and general business communities.

  • David Owen

    David Owen - Chief Executive

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    David is Chief Executive of GFirst LEP, one of the most successful Local Enterprise Partnerships in the UK. He is also currently a non-executive director of the equity fund South West Investment Group and training and business development company Gloucestershire Enterprise Ltd.
    David is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the International Economic Development Council. He is also a previous President of the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce and former Chairman of the South West UK Business Advisory Group.


    David is Chief Executive of GFirst LEP, one of the most successful Local Enterprise Partnerships in the UK. He is also currently a non-executive director of the Responsible Finance Provider South West Investment Group (SWIG), and training and business development company Gloucestershire Enterprise Ltd.

    David is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the International Economic Development Council. He is also a previous President of the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce and former Chairman of the South West UK Business Advisory Group.

    David has a BA Hons in Business Studies and a MA in Leading Change.

    Follow David on Twitter @CEOGFirst.