• 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
  • Mark Roderick - Allcap Ltd
  • Andrew Robinson - Arc Energy
  • Stephen Tulip - EEF
  • Andrew Blackwell - Esterline
  • Victoria Hayward - Esterline
  • David Nairn - Fluid Transfer International Ltd
  • Peter Ronan - Fluid Transfer International Ltd
  • Rob Loveday - GE Aviation
  • Julian Grail - Grail Engineering
  • John Pattinson - Mecwash Systems Ltd
  • Chris Pocket - Renishaw
  • Tom Stewart - Spirax Sarco
  • Helen Harrison - Star Hydraulics Ltd
  • Alun James - SWMAS
  • Kathrin Beckerleg - TBS Engineering
  • Chris Gibbs - The Growth Hub
  • Phillip Johnston - Trackwise Designs Ltd
  • Anne Johnstrup - Truturn Precision Engineering
  • Jackie Reece - Ultra Electronics
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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

  • To bring together expertise within the rural sector.
  • Collaborate with local authorities and stakeholders to advise on rural issues withn the county.
  • 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.
  • To enable business groups to share ideas, and to widen the reach of all represented efforts, utilising the Growth Hub and other available business support networks across the county.
  • Understand our rural sector.
MembersMembers
  • Chair: Professor Jo Price – Royal Agricultural University
  • GFirst LEP Lead: Karen Campbell
  • Board Member Representative: Mike Warner – Warners Motor Group
  • Chris Lyons – Business West
  • Graham Clark – County Land and Business Association
  • John Mortimer – Country Land & Business Association
  • Nick Waloff - Cotswold Taste
  • Jeremy Davies – Campden BRI
  • Bob Watters – Forest of Dean Local Action Group
  • Jill Matthew – Gloucestershire County Council
  • Claire Edwards – Gloucestershire County Council
  • Elin Tattersall – Gloucestershire Rural Community Council
  • Roger Mortlock – Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
  • Gill Reindl – Hartpury College
  • Russell Marchant – Hartpury College
  • Simon King – Hartpury College
  • Charles Mann – National Farmers Union
  • Graham Nichols – National Farmers Union
  • John Biddulph – NFU/CLA
  • Will Frazer – NFU
  • Simon Weaver – Turnstone Farming Co Ltd
  • Janet Dwyer – University of Gloucestershire (CCRI)
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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.

 

 

 

MembersMembers
  • GFirst LEP Lead: Elizabeth Weaver
  • Chair: Chris Mears – Santander
  • Board Member Representative: Adam Starkey – Green Gourmet Ltd
  • Emma Fells – Barclays
  • Sarah Bell Hartley - Barclays
  • Angie Preece - BCRS
  • Gareth Jones - Clydesdale Bank
  • Jonathan Powell - Clydesdale Bank
  • Martyn Mangan - Elkro Ltd
  • Sue McIntosh-Gibbs - Folk2Folk
  • Di Pitts – Handelsbanken
  • Phil Mitchell – Harbour Key Ltd
  • Simon Sheldon – Harper Sheldon
  • Mark Wilton – HSBC
  • Andrew Kirk - Lloyds Bank Plc
  • Andy Kime - The Growth Hub
  • Chris Gibbs - The Growth Hub
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Business Membership Group

AIMS

Provide a forum to enable one representative from each of the Counties Business Membership Groups, other than Professional Bodies, to engage directly with the representatives from the Board of GFirst LEP. The primary purpose of the group is to provide a conduit between the LEP Board and members of their membership groups on mutual needs and solutions that enhance economic growth. The Chair of the BMG will be an LEP Board member and also fulfill the role as SME Champion for GFirst LEP

OBJECTIVES

 

  • Drive sustainable economic growth to create more jobs and business opportunities for the county as articulated in the GFirst Strategic Economic Plan [ SEP ]
  • Represent the LEP for their group and work with the LEP to identify key priority areas and deliver high quality solutions to address these needs
  • Increase the numbers of businesses engaged with the LEP sector groups and extend their reach to the wider business community. 
  • Increase the profile of the business groups and quantify their contribution to the LEP and economic growth of the county. 
  • Ensure that the Membership Groups they represent are fully informed of LEP projects and activities.
  • Promote the Growth Hub offer to the BMG and seek feedback to monitor its effectiveness

 

 

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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: Matthew Clayton - Willans LLP
  • Board Member Representative - Currently vacant
  • GFirst LEP Lead: Elizabeth Weaver
  • Clive Lewis – Achieving the Difference LLP
  • Paul Owen – Angus Day LLP
  • Jeremy Harrison – Barbican HR
  • Fiona Spencer – Fiona Spencer Ltd
  • Vikki Walters – Gloucestershire County Council
  • Bryan Stiles – Ex-HSBC
  • Paul Mourton – Lodders Solicitors LLP
  • Luan Wise – Luan Wise Marketing
  • Vanessa Coates – Prosser-Knowles
  • 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 – Limbrick Studio Ltd
  • GFirst LEP Lead: Elizabeth Weaver
  • Board Member Representative: Mike Warner – Warners Motor Group
  • Adrian Rowley - Alder King
  • Simon Carey – Barnwood Construction
  • Steve MacPherson – Bloor Homes
  • Scott Winnard – Bruton Knowles
  • Jeremy Williamson – Cheltenham Borough Council
  • Chris Haslam - Consultant
  • Robert Duncan – Duncan Property Developments
  • Michael Carter – EG Carter
  • Mark Ryan – Gloucestershire Airport
  • Angela Presdee - Gloucestershire County Council
  • Claire Edwards - Gloucestershire County Council
  • Ben Ramsay - Kier Group
  • Andrew Billings – Newland Homes
  • Nick Upton – Nicholas J Upton and Partners
  • Mike Court – Quattro Design Architects
  • Paul Fong – Ridge and Partners LLP
  • Simon Tothill – Robert Hitchins
  • Robert Weaver - Tewkesbury Borough Council
  • Garry King – Two Rivers Housing
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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 2021.

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 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.

 

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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
  • Louise Bardgett – Create Gloucestershire
  • Pippa Jones – Create Gloucestershire
  • Hollie Smith-Charles – Gloucester Culture Trust
  • Jane Jenkins – Gloucestershire College
  • Julie Finch – The Cheltenham Trust
  • Anne Dawson – University of Gloucestershire
  • Bill Burford – University of 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 the efficiency of energy use by businesses.

OBJECTIVES

  • Provide representation of energy sector businesses in Gloucestershire.
  • Support the LEP in ensuring that the Gloucestershire Renewable Energy, Engineering and Nuclear Skills (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 low carbon economy.
MembersMembers
  • Chairs: Andy Slaney – SGS College
  • GFirst LEP Lead: Elizabeth Weaver
  • Board Member Representative: Rob Loveday - GE Aviation
  • Lucy Howard-Hudgell - BEIS
  • Sorcha Anderson - Carbon Focus
  • Simon Pickering - Ecotricity
  • Peter Wiggins – Gloucestershire County Council
  • Richard Hellen – Hermes Energy Services
  • Gordon Allison - KIWA Ltd
  • Matt McKerrow – McKerrow Engineering
  • David Evans – Schneider Electric
  • Rob Hargraves - Severn Wye
  • Mandy Robertson - SGS College
  • Jeremy Miller – Spirax Sarco
  • John Henry Looney - Sustainable Direction
  • Kris Atkins – Sustainable Direction
  • Chris Short - UoG
  • Michael Checkley - UoG
  • Neil James - WPD
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Retail 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.
 

 

MembersMembers
  • Chair: Nigel Jobson
  • GFirst LEP Lead: Karen Campbell
  • Board Member Representative: Diane Savory – GFirst LEP
  • Dorian Wragg – Bruton Knowles
  • Kevan Blackadder – Cheltenham Business Partnership
  • Yesim Nicholson - Cirencester Growth Hub
  • Jason Robinson – Eastgate Shopping Centre
  • Bruce Gregory - EdgeDesign Workshop Ltd
  • Paula Massey – Forest of Dean District Council
  • Adam Wassell – Gloucester City Council
  • Jo O’Connell – Gloucestershire College
  • Jason Smith - Marketing Gloucester
  • Polly Barnfield – Maybe*
  • Dionne Moore - Merrywalks Shopping Centre
  • Sophie Barton - SOHO Coffee Company
  • Katie Power – Tewkesbury Borough Council
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Visitor Economy and Tourism

Members

AIMS

To ensure Gloucestershire is a vibrant year-round destination for visitors of all ages both global and domestic, offering a variety of activities and experiences, so that tourism makes a significant contribution to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the Gloucestershire economy.

OBJECTIVES

  • Identify the key strategic stakeholders operating in this sector and seek their representation in this Business Group.
  • Undertake or commission a Needs Analysis of the skills requirements of the businesses operating in this sector by the end of June 2019. Work with schools, Further Education and Higher Education providers as appropriate to ensure that their offer meets these business needs.
  • Create an agreed shared Destination Management Plan [DMP] for the county using the Visit England principles for developing DMPs. This will set the strategic direction for 5 years. The agreed plan to be finalised by the end of 2019.
  • Prioritise the actions within the DMP in an annual rolling programme and identify the stakeholders responsible for their delivery.
  • Identify and coordinate appropriate funding opportunities as they arise and facilitate bids as appropriate.
  • Create a simple communications and marketing plan to keep all stakeholders informed about current actions of the group
MembersMembers
  • Dev Chakraborty GFirst LEP Chair
  • Elizabeth Weaver GFirst LEP Lead
  • Claire Thayers AGBG / Folk2Folk
  • Martin Lane AONB / Folk2Folk
  • Sally Graff Cotswolds Tourism
  • Chris Jackson Cotswolds Tourism
  • Mike Warner GFirst LEP Board Member
  • Kelly Ballard Marketing Cheltenham
  • Jason Smith Marketing Gloucester
  • Gordon Craig Stroud District Council
  • Andy Sanders Tewkesbury Borough Council
  • Dr Alan Marvell University of Gloucestershire
  • Maureen McAllister Wye Valley & Forest of Dean Tourism

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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