As individuals and businesses adapt to new ways of working, by holding virtual business group meetings, our members have shared their experiences and strategies for a new future; from business diversification, flexible working, accessing Growth Hub support, through to re-writing business plans for a prudent future.
As businesses move into the recovery and regrowth phase of the pandemic, GFirst LEP’s Business Groups have been, and continue to be, a key contributor in the development and implementation of the Gloucestershire Economic Recovery Plan. Their valuable contributions have enabled us to create a business-rich plan which reflects the county’s character, business needs and economic priorities.
Sector feedback also informs national-level working groups such as the High Streets Task Force: supporting communities to transform the high streets.
If you are not part of our business groups, and you would like to feedback on how COVID-19 coronavirus has impacted on your business, and your plans for recovery, please drop an email to our Business Group Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the business groups at GFirst LEP, click on the sectors listed below, or click on the business group updates at the bottom of the page for a more detailed monthly overview of the discussions.
Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing
Identify and address skills shortages within the sector, engaging with academia to address these gaps and incorporate the manufacturing initiatives into the STEM learning environment. To ensure the right talents and capabilities are developed and retained within the county, avoiding skills seepage.To assist in the development and implementation of the county’s Local Industrial Strategy.
Agri Food and Rural
Work with partners to develop a food strategy for the county: using food as the vehicle for driving positive social, economic and environmental change.Supporting sustainable rural businesses with their growth potential; identifying areas of opportunity and support from associated organisations.To assist in the development and implementation of the county’s Local Industrial Strategy Agri-tech strand.
Banking and Finance
Work with the full spectrum of banks and financial organisations within the county to offer holistic support and advice to businesses. Offering financial guidance to Growth Hub clients through ‘clinics’ offering impartial financial advice and signposting.To assist in the development and implementation of the county’s Local Industrial Strategy. Work closely with GFirst LEP Investment panel to offer investment recommendations to the Board.
Business Membership Group
This group provides a platform for representatives from the county’s business membership groups to engage with each other and Board representatives. This group provides a conduit between the LEP Board and membership groups to identify mutual needs and solutions to enhance economic growth. The Business Membership group is chaired by Ian Mean, a LEP Board member and our SME Champion.
Business and Professional Services
As a collective representation of the professional services in the county, to act collaboratively to review and feedback on GFirst LEP pipeline project proposals for consideration of future funding opportunities.
Construction and Infrastructure
To offer support in identifying and facilitating the planning of employment land within the county particularly along the M5 ‘growth zone’. To work collaboratively to support infrastructure developments surrounding planned growth areas, taking into consideration any environmental and social impact.
To support the key Government objective of making the UK one of the most secure places in the world to do business.To develop the county, in particular Cheltenham as the ‘cyber cradle’ for innovative Cyber-tech start-ups and to offer the opportunity for the growth and development within the county, capitalising on the world-class Cyber-tech institutions based here. The Cyber Tech group is chaired by David Woodfine, who is the co-founder of Cyber Security Associates Limited.
Ensure the application of Gloucestershire’s Sustainable Energy Strategy into new projects. To work collaboratively to strive for the ambition for Gloucestershire to become carbon neutral by 2050.To encourage the adoption of measures to improve the efficiency of energy usage by businesses.
Retail and the High Street
To have a joined-up approach to the current retail offering within the county. To identify current challenges facing high street businesses and work together to encourage diversification and support.
Visitor Economy and Tourism
To ensure that Gloucestershire is a vibrant, year-round destination for tourists of all ages and from all locations. To ensure a joined-up thinking approach to every area of the county, to share best practice to generate a holistic approach to building the visitor economy. To work with tourism bodies to ensure opportunities for showcasing what Gloucestershire has to offer, is promoted effectively both at home and abroad.
Business Group Update October 2020
View the outcomes from our business group meetings in October 2020
Business Group Update September 2020
View the outcomes from our Business Group meetings in September 2020.
Business Group Update August 2020
View the outcomes from our Business Group meetings in August 2020.
Business Group Update July 2020
View the outcomes from our Business Group meetings in July 2020
Business Group Update June 2020
View the outcomes from our Business Group meetings in June 2020.
Business Group Update May 2020
View the outcomes from our Business Group meetings in May 2020.
Business Group Update April 2020
View the outcomes from our Business Group meetings in April 2020.
Business Group Update February 2020
View the outcomes from our Business Group meetings in February 2020.
Business Group Update January 2020
View the outcomes from our Business Group meetings in January 2020.
Access to Finance Guide
SWIG Grants and Funds
Find out more about funds available through the South West Investment Group
23 November 2020
Covid-19 – New business grant scheme for current lockdown now available
You will be aware that the government has announced further measures to help businesses through the latest lockdown. This includes extensions to the Job Retention Scheme and support for the self-employed.
17 November 2020
Jobs, skills and business support for Gloucestershire NEW PORTAL goes live!
A brand new Skills Portal, making it easier for those looking for a new job, to learn new skills or set up their own business has been launched today.
19 October 2020
Our Path to Recovery - a short film
Our path to recovery, please visit https://www.gfirstlep.com/news/recovery/ to find out how we're helping Gloucestershire recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
9 October 2020
Time for a tea break...
March feels like a very long time ago when a full lockdown began.
1 October 2020
Peer Networks is a peer-to-peer networking programme for SMEs that is delivered locally by the Growth Hub network across Gloucestershire.
25 September 2020
Chancellor outlines Winter Economy Plan
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has today announced a package of measures that will continue to protect jobs and help businesses through the uncertain months ahead as we continue to tackle the spread of the virus.
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If you’d like to help us in strengthening the economy of Gloucestershire, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.