ERDF

Meet the Team

The management team

Richard Jeffery

Director of the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub

Richard leads the development of the Business Growth Hub and is also responsible for implementing  growth programmes including Growth start-up, Growth Mentoring and Digital Growth.

 

Richard has previously worked at various senior levels in the private and public sectors, designing and implementing an extensive range of business support services for regional, national and international organisations. He also worked as a management consultant developing and delivering commercial services to private sector growth clients ranging from North West based SMEs to global manufacturing corporations.

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Chris Greenhalgh

Head of Innovation Growth Programme Development

Joining the Manchester Growth Company in 2011 as the Business Growth Hub Manager, Chris was instrumental in developing the Hub’s growth services, from initial design through to the current level of activity.

 

Following the significant expansion of the Hub over the last two years, Chris’s current role gives him  responsibility for the  development of future Hub programmes, Innovation services and partner development. He also supports the contract management of the Hub’s ERDF and RGF funded growth programme.

 

Chris previously worked at various senior levels in the private and public sectors, designing and implementing business innovation services and finance products at a local, regional and European level.

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Janine Smith

Growth Services Manager

Janine is an experienced operational and development director specialising in managing multi million pound successful contracts and programmes both in the public and private sectors in the business support, workforce development and education sectors. Janine started her career in sales and marketing for a national property development company before moving into teaching where she taught Business and Management Studies. 12 years ago Janine entered the world of business support where she was initially a workforce development adviser before moving into management roles with Business Link and then becoming a director of a Lancashire based enterprise agency.  

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Philip Hargreaves

Access to Finance Manager

Philip has worked in commercial and corporate banking for the past 35 years. He is now responsible for the Hub’s Access to Finance Team, together with the North West Business Angels and the Grants Advisory Service. Working closely with partners in the business and professional communities, Philip and his team are passionate about supporting local SMEs who are looking to grow. “Fundraising in the current marketplace is often complex, requiring time and specialist understanding of all the available options. Putting the right finance in place, at the right time, can mean the difference between success and failure.”

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Samantha Nicholson

Manufacturing and Low Carbon Manager

Sam specialises in turning low carbon policy into successful business support programmes, helping thousands of companies convert environmental risks into competitive advantages and seize the opportunities presented by the transition to a low carbon economy. Before joining the Business Growth Hub, Sam spent 11 years working at ENWORKS. She played a key role in building the service into an internationally recognised example of best practice in environmental business support. Sam has an MSc in Environmental Resources and a BA in Architecture, and is also an Associate Member of IEMA. 

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Peter Gaunt

Relationship Manager

Peter joined the Hub in 2016 to lead the development of the Business Growth Hub's long-term strategic collaborative relationships with key stakeholders, Greater Manchester's ten Local Authorities, business partners, national programmes and sponsors.

Peter has over 30 years' experience in SMEs and multi-national corporates, including over 25 years of senior management experience up to director level. He has worked for many years on SME business support programmes as both coach and programme manager, and 18 years in business development and relationship management.

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Ian MacArthur

Head of Sectors Programme

Ian heads up the Sectors Programme which is a targeted service delivering sector development and specialist support to SMEs and their supply chains in the digital and creative, life sciences, advanced materials and manufacturing, and low carbon environmental goods/services sectors. Ian joined the Business Growth Hub from a Business Improvement Consultant role and he has previously worked at various senior levels within public and third sector organisations, leading national and regional policy and delivery across the environmental, health and regeneration sectors. From 2003 to 2010 he was the Northwest Regional Director for the Groundwork Federation. In the 1990s he spent four years working for the World Health Organisation operating extensively across Eastern Europe and Central Asia on capacity building and structural reform.

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Katie Peate

Digital, Creative and Tech Growth Manager

Katie manages the Hub’s offer to the DC&T sectors along with the Digital Growth programme, as well as overseeing the Hub’s own Digital Transformation Project.

Katie spent four years at a Manchester digital consultancy, working her way up to director level and handling accounts for the Arts Council England, Big Lottery Fund and the University of Manchester. As part of this role, she was seconded to Singapore to launch a key enterprise project and manage a staff training programme.  

In 2014, she was placed third on The Drum’s list of the top women in digital under 30, while also picking up an international Stevie Award for Women in Business.

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The teams - Please select a team

  • Growth Start-up
  • Growth Service
  • Digital Growth
  • Green Growth
  • Access to Finance
  • Growth Mentoring
  • Textiles Growth
  • Innovation Growth

Jo Walker

Growth Start-Up & Enquiry Team Manager

Jo has spent several years as a business advisor in different geographical areas working with all types of business and start ups.  She has had two businesses and knows the challenges that go along with starting-up and growing.  Working mainly with start up businesses has given her the chance to build up an in depth knowledge and portfolio of contacts with specialism’s who can be called upon when needed. Her current role involves helping pre-start businesses look at their growth potential and implementing methods to make sure that this happens.

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Andrew Nickeas

Growth Start-Up Advisor

Andrew has worked within Manchester Solutions for 12 years and has been involved in business start-up for the majority of this. He’s worked on STEP, a scheme which offered placements to second year undergraduates in work and project opportunities within the summer recess with companies within the Greater Manchester area. Andrew became Business Start-Up Manager responsible for a team of ten advisors and the overall control of the Start-up project. His experience within this field continued when he moved into a role as the New East Manchester Regeneration Advisor working with start-up businesses, to promote enterprise. 

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Lisa Blunsdon

Senior Growth Services Coordinator

Lisa has several years of experience in the Business Support sector.

Lisa spent 10 years working within the business support team for Bolton Council, where she gained important experience of working with clients, helping employer’s access support and assisting with recruitment and training needs. She also gained knowledge and experience in supporting European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) projects, including data compliance and compiling output and financial information for project claims. In her current role she uses her extensive knowledge and experience to guide and mentor co-ordinators across the Business Growth Hub to ensure excellent delivery of the business support services.

 

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Phil Starr

Growth Start-up Advisor

Phil’s career started in medical and scientific sales and marketing with several multinational pharmaceutical companies dealing in Primary, secondary and social care sectors before he moved into the Financial Services Sector. Phil established his own business that provided mortgage advice and insurance in the residential and commercial sectors as well as debt management and other financial services.

With the changes in the market in 2009, Phil entered the Social Finance/Not for profit sector, where he opened and managed three offices across the Merseyside/North Wales area. He also managed the pilot of the first New Enterprise Allowance Scheme by the DWP, prior to its nationwide role out, developing the policies for the loan underwriting.  Phil also brings experience in partnership working with Local Authorities, Housing Associations, National Government Departments, criminal justice, social and third sector organisations to his role as Start up Adviser at the Growth Hub.

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Frank Kinrade

Enquiry Team Leader

Frank has over fifteen years experience in working with SME, Corporate and Public Sector companies selling a range of specialist products and services to clients across all industry sectors.  For the past six years, he has worked for the Manchester Growth Company supporting and advising companies on growth, recruitment and training, and he has helped clients to access funded services across the region.  Taking a consultative approach Frank works to understand individuals’ business needs and through collaborative working, develops a good understanding of what services are available across the region to best match their needs.   His current role involves managing the enquiry team and supporting new and established businesses with accessing finance, mentoring and a wealth of other services available via the Business Growth Hub.

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Simon Dickinson

Business Enquiry Advisor

Simon has several years’ experience in business information and research roles, having worked for Chambers of Commerce and Business Links in Bradford, York and Manchester. Most recently, he worked as a project manager for a local market research agency and for the charity Keep Britain Tidy, where he studied for the Advanced Certificate in Social and Market Research. As a business enquiry advisor, Simon’s varied experience helps him to diagnose client needs, providing and matching them to the appropriate source of support.

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Mike Newton

Business Enquiry Advisor

Mike joined the Growth Hub Enquiry team after spending the previous two years as part of Hub’s Mentoring Team. Prior to this he worked as a case owner in customer relations for the North West’s electricity distributor. He has a genuine passion for helping people and strives to provide the best service he can. Mike has had a great deal of experience making sure compliance is met with governing bodies, having previously worked under OFGEM and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) projects. He also has extensive experience dealing with businesses from SME’s to large corporations having spent a number of years working for the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce as an account manager.

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Hilary Centeleghe

Senior Growth Manager

Hilary started her career in manufacturing and IT sectors, working in various roles within IT, and sales and marketing. After completing a business degree she focused her attention on business support and has worked as a Business Advisor for over 20 years in sectors including manufacturing, finance and professional, biomed and service. She’s worked with SMEs and Start-Ups and has a particular specialism in marketing. She has also been involved in many business support projects including innovation/product design, equestrianism, world class manufacturing and design/marketing. She now manages the Growth Team at the Business Growth Hub.

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Bob Dackiw

Business Growth Advisor

Bob has a proven track record of helping both new start and growing businesses, as well as turning round failing organisations. He’s also developed two of his own companies and is familiar with the challenges of running a business. He has senior management experience working with blue chip companies, where he has developed strong influencing skills. Bob can confidently interact with people at all levels, from boardrooms to the shop floors.

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Yousef Taktak

Business Growth Advisor

Yousef has experience in healthcare, life sciences, medical and bio-technologies, as well as industrial chemistry and polymers. He built up his own development companies to a market capitalisation of £8 million within two years before selling them. He also has general management experience at senior level in commercial organisations, the National Health Service and education. He ran his own management and scientific advisory business for several years, supporting the management teams of both start-up and growth enterprises. He focuses on strategic business development, product/technology development, business/resource planning, sales and marketing, budget control and financing.

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Jonathan Crabtree

Business Growth Advisor - Bolton

Jonathan has 13 years’ experience in the business support and not-for-profit sector. His current role involves providing support to SMEs across Bolton, helping to identify opportunities and remove barriers to growth. Typical areas of support include business planning, finance, sales and marketing, operations and staffing. In his previous role, Jonathan worked as a Business Services Manager for the regeneration charity Groundwork. This involved managing the delivery of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programmes, commercial contracts and training programmes. Jonathan has specific knowledge of Environment, Health and safety (EHS) compliance, management systems and accreditations, account management and business development. 

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Michael Hadfield

Business Growth Advisor

Mick has 15 years’ blue chip experience working within retail at a senior level, including roles such as stock control, logistics, planning, merchandising and developing new store. He has also worked in the brewing and food manufacturing sectors with a unique ‘farm to fork’ perspective. He has worked with businesses at all levels of production and sale from growing to cooking. Past experience also includes working for the IKEA group and account managing for Europe’s largest extruded pet food manufacturer.

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Isabelle Farquhar

Business Growth Advisor

With a background in export, sales, and marketing, Isabelle worked on the Continent for a number of years before coming to the UK to lead export departments for a number of firms, setting up and managing sales teams, agents and distributors all over the world. Her passion for business development and customer service led to a change in career, and since 2003, as a qualified business advisor, coach and mentor, Isabelle has been providing professional support services to businesses ranging from Start-ups to SMEs, including Social Enterprises and Charities. In 2009 she set up her own company, providing consultancy services on business development, training and funding for growth.  

 

“ I am what you call a Business Generalist:  I am a keen learner and constantly looking to improve my knowledge of business systems, tools and practices.  I have a broad range of skills and experience across a range of business sectors, this enables me to adapt quickly to the demands and circumstances faced by modern businesses, to identify problems and find solutions”. I enjoy spending time getting to know companies and helping them design their roadmap to growth.” 

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Tracy Eyres

Business Growth Advisor - Bury

Tracy has spent over 20 years working in business support for Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, working mainly in the manufacturing and engineering sectors. She gained experience of project managing the funding streams, available through European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programmes. She moved into general business advice, focusing on supply chain issues within the construction industry. She now works with businesses in Bury, helping them to grow and contribute to a stronger local economy. She has a degree in Business Studies and has passed level 3 SFEDI qualifications, covering business support. 

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Anthony Boe

Business Growth Advisor

Anthony has over 25 years’ professional experience built within a number of blue chip and public organisations, which include, telecoms, banking and training organisations.  He has extensive experience of project and programme management, quality management, process improvement and innovation development. He has worked as a volunteer director in the performing arts sector and built his business advisory skills working for Business Link and Pera Training.  In addition to having an MBA, Anthony is SFEDI accredited, qualified in Lean Six Sigma, is a Prince2 practitioner and has a diploma in Action Coaching.

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Sarah Ludford

Business Growth Advisor

Sarah gained much of her business experience working for a series of blue chip companies in FMCG, construction and leisure before building up her own business, which she guided through a period of growth before selling after seven years.

Sarah has a wide commercial background, with a first class Business Degree, including a specialisation in marketing. Her core skills are centered around system design, transaction and financial management, marketing planning and cross-sector trading. She also has specialisms in procurement and project management, as well strategic planning and conversion to operational planning, and KPI design and creation.

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Richard Perkins

Business Growth Advisor - Rochdale

Richard has over 13 years’ experience in banking with both NatWest and RBS, the last nine as a senior manager in commercial banking. Richard has worked with a variety of businesses across many sectors, and right through the growth curve from start-up to disposal. 

His key areas of experience include business planning, finance, management assessment, operations and negotiations. He is also extremely customer-focused and experienced at interacting with people at all levels of business, from boardrooms and trustees, to single operators. With an excellent book of contacts, Richard is a great believer in making the introductions that can bring businesses together for mutual success. He is formally accredited under the Business & Commercial Accreditation for Chartered Bankers.

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Darren Flannery

Business Growth Advisor

Darren has wide-ranging business experience, having spent 16 successful years working in the business engagement teams at three North West local authorities. This included managing the Large Firms Unit at Manchester Solutions, where he worked with various top 100 Greater Manchester companies at Director-level.  

With key strengths in business development and client relationships, Darren has also worked with both business start- ups and high growth companies, as well as gaining experience on large inward investment projects.

Over past few years his focus has been on growth companies in the Financial & Professional and Manufacturing sectors.  He has an MMP Diploma in Economic Development through the CILM.

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Tony Ward

Business Growth Advisor

Tony has a wealth of experience gained within a range of industry sectors including manufacturing, professional and business services, banking, healthcare and travel. His roles and responsibilities have included sales, marketing, product development, account management and business support.

Most recently he has engaged with businesses in the North West through the MAS and Growth Accelerator support initiatives, helping develop their strategies, business plans and people in order to ensure sustainable and profitable growth. Tony is well connected to the wider business community and is knowledgeable about the range of business support sources available for his clients.

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Justine Booth

Business Growth Co-ordinator

Justine has worked for the Business Growth Hub for several years in a variety of roles including administration, co-ordination and information advice and guidance. This experience and knowledge has provided Justine with the ability to help support the delivery of projects including European Social Funding (ESF), Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). She has also worked on projects designed to promote local labour into construction, working alongside major contractors and companies to support in the tendering process for regeneration and development projects within Greater Manchester.

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Lauren Roberts

Growth Services Project Manager & Coordinator Team Leader

Lauren is experienced working in the public sector as a policy project coordinator and currently works as the Project Manager and coordinator team leader for Growth Services. Lauren assists with the day-to-day running of the project, including coordination with our external delivery partner, Manchester Metropolitan University. Lauren also manages the coordinators that support all our core services. Previously, a project coordinator with the police, Lauren worked with other police organisations and external parties to ensure criminal policy and procedure was successfully implemented. She also has extensive knowledge of project management, data compliance, and running events. 

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Katie Peate

Digital, Creative and Tech Growth Manager

Katie manages the Hub’s offer to the DC&T sectors along with the Digital Growth programme, as well as overseeing the Hub’s own Digital Transformation Project.

Katie spent four years at a Manchester digital consultancy, working her way up to director level and handling accounts for the Arts Council England, Big Lottery Fund and the University of Manchester. As part of this role, she was seconded to Singapore to launch a key enterprise project and manage a staff training programme.  

In 2014, she was placed third on The Drum’s list of the top women in digital under 30, while also picking up an international Stevie Award for Women in Business.

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Sallyann Betts

Digital Growth Manager

Sallyann heads up the Digital Growth team who help ambitious established businesses across Greater Manchester identify and implement digital strategies and technologies to achieve their growth targets. She has a wealth of business growth and marketing experience including over 15 years running her own consultancy business working with a range of businesses from local SME’s to global marketing groups providing essential strategic guidance and support with operational delivery. Sallyann is a specialist in multi-channel customer engagement strategies having run campaigns for blue chip clients including Kellogg’s, ASDA, Diageo and Britvic and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Member of the Institute of Marketing with post graduate qualifications from both organisations covering both traditional, direct and digital marketing.

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Rob Sethna

DCT Growth Team Leader

With over 25 years’ creative experience working in agencies, consultancies and general management, Rob is an expert in through-the-line digital marketing communications and operational management. He specialises in digital branding and overall digital strategy, and has owned and run a variety of businesses. Rob pays meticulous attention to detail and is dedicated to using the latest digital technologies to help create great new business ideas.

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Judith Ross

Digital Growth Advisor

Judith is a highly experienced digital professional with a passion for client service, new technology and all things digital, from installations and apps to websites and social media. Judith uses her experience of working with a variety of businesses including high street banks, major supermarket chains and a range of SMEs to help integrate digital technology into her clients’ internal systems and marketing mix.

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Chris Murphy

Digital Growth Advisor

With several years’ experience managing National Digital, Chris now uses his experience of working with private and public sector organisations to help businesses utilise digital technology to grow. He is always on the lookout for emerging technologies that can help Greater Manchester businesses to grow and transform Manchester into one of the world’s top 20 digital cities by 2020.

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Doug Tracey

Digital Growth Advisor

With a background involving various IT sales roles, including Datacentre and "Cloud" hosting, combined with a multimedia degree, Doug has a wide experience of various forms of digital technology.

With an interest in new and innovative technologies, and an entrepreneurial eye, Doug believes that the real benefits of digital technology to businesses are often hidden behind too much jargon. His role includes demystifying all kinds of digital technology, demonstrating the tools available to businesses and ensuring they are getting the most from their current and future suppliers.

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Sarah Novotny

Digital Growth Advisor

Sarah is a specialist in the digital, creative and technology sector with years of experience in digital growth consultancy. She has created and delivered ROI driven online communication strategies for some of the biggest UK brands including BT, Parcelforce and The Post Office. She is passionate about her work with SME’s having set-up and led successful teams throughout Europe, the US and the Middle East before starting at the Business Growth Hub as Digital, Creative and Technology Sector Advisor.

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Rahim Lakha

Digital Growth Advisor

Rahim has worked in numerous tech capacities as a developer, project manager and business development manager. He now helps Hub clients to grow their businesses using the latest digital technologies, and has a particular passion for cloud computing and cyber security.  

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Laura Moran

Digital Growth Co-ordinator

A proficient team co-ordinator, with experience of working for national and international organisations, Laura brings a wealth of business expertise to the team. Her key roles are supporting the field-based digital advisors, and supporting the Digital Growth Manager in delivery of the Digital Growth Service. Previous roles have seen her co-ordinate large field based teams, organise business events throughout the UK and Ireland, and set up complex administration systems.

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Rana Kadiri

Digital Growth Events Co-ordinator

With a wealth of experience in a range of business sectors, local government and third sector organisations, Rana brings with her extensive experience in project and event management. Rana has organised and managed a wide variety of events from fundraising dinners, roundtables, and business and community workshops to more bespoke events such as conferences and seminars. Her key strengths are people management and identifying potential solutions to challenges. She has a keen interest in Social Enterprise and especially in projects that provide innovative solutions to social issues. In her current role, she manages the range of digital events in the Digital Innovation team and enjoys aiding clients to build their digital skills and confidence.

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Richard Ousey

Green Growth Manager

Richard has worked in the environmental sector for over five years and has helped numerous public and private sector clients to plan and implement renewable energy schemes and cost effective energy saving measures.  These projects have spanned micro-generation, district heating, and Green Deal/ECO programmes. 

Before joining the Hub, Richard played a key role in the successful delivery of the GROW:Offshore Wind programme, a large RGF programme aimed at kick-starting the SME supply chain in England.  Richard is a qualified accountant (ACA) and has over four years’ audit experience with KPMG, covering a diverse range of SMEs and larger businesses.  

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Kevin Lambert

Resource Efficiency Lead

Kevin has over 20 years’ experience working with businesses, helping to reduce operating costs and mitigate business risks associated with climate change. He has worked with a wide range of companies from SMEs to international conglomerates, as well as in the public sector with local authorities and both health and higher education organisations. His work involves engaging staff and identifying cost-effective investment opportunities that can bring significant financial and environmental savings. He has also delivered resource efficiency and low carbon management programmes at a regional, national and international level and holds an Honours degree in Energy Technology Management.  

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Paul Cooper

Capital Projects Specialist

Paul has more than 35 years’ experience in the energy sector, covering technical, marketing, business development and senior management roles both in the UK and overseas. Paul brings his specialist knowledge of energy utilities, energy management projects and low carbon technologies to his role as team leader. He manages the team’s delivery of resource efficiency and low carbon sector support services to businesses. Paul has a BA (Hons) in Applied Physics, is a Chartered Engineer and member of the Energy Institute.

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Claire Scott

Environmental Business Advisor

Claire has worked in environmental business advice for 15 years, supporting countless businesses through local, regional and national funded programmes and commercial consultancy work. Claire provides resource efficiency and environmental risk support to businesses, specialising in waste minimisation, packaging, energy and water efficiency and their associated business risks. Claire has a BA (Hons) in Environmental Science, is a member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and an Associate Member of IEMA. She is also a Chartered Environmentalist and an IEMA Registered Environmental Auditor.

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Alasdair Dalzel-Job

Environmental Business Advisor

Alasdair has been providing environmental advice, guidance and regulatory support to businesses for over 12 years, having previously worked for the Environment Agency and various national funded support programmes. Alasdair provides resource efficiency and environmental risk support to businesses, specialising in energy efficiency and energy technologies, waste minimisation and training, as well as water efficiency and environmental risk. Alasdair has an MSc in Clean Technology, is a member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, an Associate Member of IEMA and an IEMA Associate Environmental Auditor.

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Laura Bramley

Environmental Business Advisor

Laura has been working in the environmental sector for the last 14 years to help improve business performance and embed resource efficiency into working processes. Her work has helped hundreds of businesses reduce costs and environmental risk, providing consultancy support, environmental advice, data analysis and environmental reviews to both public and private sector organisations. She specialises in energy efficiency, waste management, carbon reporting, and low carbon initiatives, is a Corporate Member of the Charted Institution of Wastes Management and holds a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science.

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Amy House

Low Carbon Sector Development Lead

Amy has worked in the low carbon and environmental goods and services (LCEGS) sector for nine years, working as both a business adviser and a commercial manager in the recycling and waste industry. Bringing her extensive network of contacts and broad sector knowledge to the team, Amy specialises in helping companies in the LCEGS sector to identify new sales opportunities, raise their company profile and expand their network of contacts. Amy holds an MSc in Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction.

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Vicky Wilding

Low Carbon Sector Advisor

Vicky has over seven years' experience working in the low carbon and environmental goods and service (LCEGS) sector, both commercially and as a business support advisor assisting in the development and growth of companies in the sector. Vicky has a sound understanding of the LCEGS sector and its capabilities and specialises in supporting companies in the sector to identify new opportunities and raise their profile in Greater Manchester. Vicky holds a Master's degree in Landscape Planning and Management.

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Tom Bardwell

Low Carbon Sector Advisor

After working in project management for four years, Tom joined the Green Growth service’s low carbon sector team in 2014. While training up to become a specialist low carbon sector advisor, Tom leads the management and development of the online Low Carbon Network service, manages data on Greater Manchester’s low carbon companies and helps to coordinate and review the support offered by the low carbon sector programme. He holds an MSc in Environmental Technology.

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Daniel O'Connell

Low Carbon Sector Advisor

Dan has ten years' experience working in the low carbon and environmental goods and services sector, specialising in energy performance in buildings and renewable energy technologies. Working as a senior consultant, Dan has advised a wide range of companies on energy performance compliance and how to increase sales leads and benefit from new marketing opportunities. Dan holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Environmental Science.

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Rebecca Chedd

Green Growth Technical Support Officer

Rebecca joined the Green Growth team in 2015 to contribute to the ongoing success of its award-winning resource efficiency and low carbon sector support.   Since graduating in 2012, Rebecca has gained in-depth experience working in domestic energy efficiency projects. Her role now includes the monitoring and development of key project resources for reporting and performance management. Rebecca holds a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Energy and the Environment.

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Helen Seagrave

Low Carbon Market Development Advisor

Helen has over 12 years’ experience working with low carbon and environmental sector businesses, having worked as a business advisor, a manager of low carbon sector policy and programmes and with a number of the Northwest’s leading low carbon and energy businesses. Bringing her extensive knowledge of the sector’s supply chains to the team, Helen will work with sector advisors to provide market intelligence to Greater Manchester’s LCEGS companies. Helen is a Chartered Environmentalist and a full member of IEMA, with an MSc in Environmental Protection and a degree in Environmental Biology.  

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Laurence Adams

Environmental and Low Carbon Intelligence Officer

Laurence project manages the Hub’s range of online environmental and low carbon business services. This includes writing the content for the Hub’s fortnightly Green Intelligence newsletter and managing the online Low Carbon Network and Green Growth Pledge services. He is also responsible for coordinating the marketing and online presence of the Hub’s environmental and low carbon activity. Laurence has a Masters Degree in Environmental Governance and an Honours Degree in English Language.

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Caroline Dolan

Green Growth Technical Support Officer

Caroline joined the Green Growth team in 2016. She has several years of experience in the sector, working on environmental management systems as well as tendering and commercial bids. Her role includes the monitoring and development of key project resources for reporting and performance management, she will also assist the Green Growth team with the award-winning low carbon sector and environmental business support provided to Greater Manchester SMEs. Caroline holds a BSc in Geography and an MSc in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development.

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Philip Hargreaves

Head of Access to Finance

Philip has worked in commercial and corporate banking for the past 35 years. He is now responsible for the Hub’s Access to Finance Team, together with the North West Business Angels and the Grants Advisory Service. Working closely with partners in the business and professional communities, Philip and his team are passionate about supporting local SMEs who are looking to grow.

“Fundraising in the current marketplace is often complex, requiring time and specialist understanding of all the available options. Putting the right finance in place, at the right time, can mean the difference between success and failure.”

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Ian Dixon

Access to Finance Team Leader

Ian is responsible for the management and development of the Hub’s team of A2F specialists. He is a chartered accountant with extensive corporate funding experience and knowledge, developed predominantly within the SME market. Former commercial roles have included financial director, process improvement director and business development director, and he has acquired an in depth knowledge of various forms of finance, including all types of debt and equity, and the processes involved in raising funds.

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Jonathan Nelson

Access to Finance Specialist

Jonathan’s expertise and experience stems from over 25 years working in finance and commercial banking, with the last five years spent running his own business. He is responsible for working with SMEs in Lancashire, providing quality, in-depth financial diagnosis, information and coaching to help them prepare for, raise and source the finance they need to grow.

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Maria Ramsdale

Access to Finance Specialist

An experienced finance professional, Maria has worked with a wide range of SMEs across many sectors over the last 22 years. She is responsible for the delivery of the Lancashire A2F Investment Readiness Workshop programme. Over the last three years she has engaged with over 350 businesses, helping over half to raise finance, access funding and grow their businesses.

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Geoff Clowes

Access to Finance Specialist

Geoff is an A.C.I.B. & IFS Diploma in Credit qualified commercial lender, with over 34 years’ experience working for a leading high street bank. This included 20 years as a senior branch manager and six years spent within specialised relationship management, assisting clients with lending and providing logistical solutions to help their businesses grow. 

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Alan Bambroffe

Access to Finance Specialist

Alan has spent over 40 years working within the banking and asset finance environment, identifying tailored solutions for a range of customers, assisting their growth aspirations and increasing employment opportunities.

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John Moore

Access to Finance Specialist

A qualified financial and business advisor, John has over 30 years’ experience helping businesses raise finance for growth, as well as providing guidance and help across a range of business disciplines. 

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Columb O’Shea

Access to Finance Specialist

Columb is a former business relationship bank manager with over 25 years’ experience supporting SMEs in Greater Manchester. He has strong financial skills and experience of assessing strengths and weaknesses in trading performance and capital foundation, as well as a detailed knowledge of the lending criteria used by many institutions. He also has wider business experience in marketing and human resources.

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Prakash Patel

Access to Finance Specialist

A finance and funding expert with a background in commercial banking, Prakash’s key skills and experience include; building complete funding packages, development and assessment of business plans, analysis of financial information, preparation and analysis of financial forecasts and negotiation meetings with funding organisations.

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Stephen Wall

Access to Finance Specialist

Stephen is a commercial and corporate banking specialist who spent 36 years with a high street bank, where he covered all levels of business, including personal and corporate disciplines, and working with businesses with turnovers of up to £50 million. Steve has also worked as a senior internal auditor and currently manages the North West Business Angels service.

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Mark Renshaw

Access to Finance Specialist

Mark has over 30 years’ experience in the financial sector working for a leading high street bank. He can draw on experiences gained from a long career serving the financial needs of commercial enterprises, both in relationship and head office lending roles. 

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Sarah Brennan

Access to Finance Specialist

After spending 25 years in the banking industry, Sarah has spent the last seven years using her extensive experience and knowledge in sourcing funding solutions to assist businesses that have identified a need to raise finance. Successful projects have involved many different types of finance including traditional debt, public sector loans, peer to peer lending and equity/Business Angel funding.

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Gill Nolan

Mentoring Manager

Gill has a 32 year career in the banking industry. She has developed a keen interest in lending and sales, particularly in the corporate arena. She has also spent some time working with Business Link, delivering business support and advice to the finance and professional sectors, while also managing her own business as the owner of two sub post offices.

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Andy Hall

Mentoring Development Executive

Andy has over 15 years’ experience of mentoring and coaching individuals and teams, having worked with major employers such as RBS, Direct Line, Swinton Insurance, and over 200 SMEs around Greater Manchester. He has also run his own franchise business and has been involved in sales since starting his career. Fascinated by the psychology of decision makers, his inspirations are business leaders, entrepreneurs and sales legends, for example, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, marketing gurus Seth Godin and Gary Veynerchuk. He’s particularly motivated by helping people with serious business aspirations to grow and develop.

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Nicola Warwick

Mentoring Advisor

With a background in internet and eCommerce projects, Nicola brings 20 years’ consulting experience with high street names and SMEs helping them to develop their online strategy. Passionate about helping small businesses to stand out and be seen online, Nicola provided a range of online services through her own business. An advocate of unconventional and creative approaches to digital strategy, Nicola especially enjoys working with companies and individuals who want to do things differently. As a mentor for the Business Growth Hub, Nicola has experienced first hand the difference that mentoring can make to enable businesses to grow, and the benefits that the relationship brings to both the mentee and the mentor.

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Alain Dilworth

Textiles Programme Manager

Alain spent nearly 30 years in operational roles within the private sector, working for large and small businesses covering oil exploration, defence engineering, packaging, home improvement and textiles, as well as starting up and running his own manufacturing business.

Alain entered the public sector in 2010 running the Business Link NW project. Specialising in project management, Alain is a qualified PRINCE2 and Agile practitioner and is currently focussing on delivering the £45 million Textile Growth Programme.

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Joan Baron

Project Monitor

Joan has 15 years’ experience managing the finances of large European-funded projects across Greater Manchester, for both the public and private sectors. She now uses this knowledge, as well as her experience of running her own business, to support textile companies throughout the Northwest.

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Claire Langman

Project Monitor

Claire’s key focus is delivering the Textiles Growth Programme, helping to create jobs and leverage private sector investment for over 100 companies in the UK Textiles sector.

Before joining the Hub, she worked for Welfare to Work, helping the long term unemployed find sustainable jobs. Claire also has a degree in Games Development, and enjoys using her IT skills wherever she can.

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Paul Gauden

Project Monitor

Paul joined the Manchester Growth Company in May 1999 as a careers and training advisor and since then has worked in various roles within the organisation, during which time he has achieved a number of role related vocational qualifications.

 

Paul gained important experience undertaking various roles within the Business Start-up section, including contracts manager. He also worked as project manager within Start-ups, and managed the North West Apprenticeship Company (the group’s own apprenticeship training agency). He has considerable experience working on ERDF projects too, and is now using his experience and sector knowledge to support the region’s textile sector.

 

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John McSweeny

Textiles Advisor

John has over 30 years’ experience working in the textile industry, 15 of which he spent  running his own successful manufacturing business. John entered public sector business support in 2006 as an innovation adviser.

Specialising in concept to commercialisation, John draws on a wealth of experience -  and his wider networks - to support businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals with their innovative ideas and new product/service development, as well as generally helping them to improve the overall performance of their business.

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Andy Wood

Textiles Advisor

Andy has an MBA in strategic management and operations, and over 40 years’ experience in the textile industry, including running and advising organisations in the UK, South Africa and the USA.

He now uses his technical knowledge and business experience to support the UK textile industry and relishes working with companies involved in the discovery and development of new, innovative technologies that are at the forefront of the global textile industry.

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Chris Greenhalgh

Head of Innovation Programme Development

Joining the Manchester Growth Company in 2011 as the Business Growth Hub Manager, Chris was instrumental in developing the Hub’s growth services, from initial design through to the current level of activity.

 

Following the significant expansion of the Hub over the last two years, Chris’s current role gives him  responsibility for the  development of future Hub programmes, Innovation services and partner development. He also supports the contract management of the Hub’s ERDF and RGF funded growth programme.

 

Chris previously worked at various senior levels in the private and public sectors, designing and implementing business innovation services and finance products at a local, regional and European level.

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Kim Delaney

Innovation Growth Co-ordinator

With experience working alongside high growth technology companies across Greater Manchester as part of the digital team, Kim has a strong focus of customer service and client satisfaction. Kim is passionate and enthusiastic when it comes to helping companies to grow through innovative ideas and new working methods. Working to support both clients and the internal innovation team, Kim is meticulous, flexible and has a keen eye for detail.

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Yvonne Grady

Innovation Team Leader

Yvonne is an established business and innovation manager with over 25 years’ experience in the manufacturing, engineering, business and professional service sectors.  She has worked on numerous high growth innovative projects, helping to take hundreds of new products and services from concept through to commercialisation.

As well as working with businesses such as Unilever, Jaguar Land Rover and the Pera Group, Yvonne has also worked with SMEs at board level, helping to opportunities for innovation improvements that can add value to the bottom line. 

During her career, Yvonne has developed extensive project and programme management experience in both the public and private sectors, including working with Lancaster University’s  Management School Innovation Growth Programme.

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Sonia Neto

Innovation Advisor

Sonia has four years’ experience as a strategist and business developer for several London consultancies. She is now supporting Greater Manchester businesses in New Product Development (NPD), service and business design. Prior to this she spent ten years heading the design team at the ceramics manufacturer Faria & Bento in her native Portugal. She developed and managed products sold all over the world for brands such as Nigella Lawson, Orla Kiely and Wedgwood. Sonia has both a BA degree in Industrial Design from IADE (Portugal) and a MA degree in Innovation Management from the University of the Arts, London.

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Paul Halliday

Innovation Advisor

Paul has extensive experience of working with SMEs, and helping to drive profitable growth by  using proven innovation tools and techniques.  He has worked with owner managers and senior management teams across a wide range of sectors including advanced engineering, manufacturing and professional services.

Paul also has wide general management experience and  has had day-to-day responsibility for sales, new product development, operations and administration, experience which enables him to rapidly gain an understanding of the issues impacting on growth potential and quickly identify tangible, realistic and innovative solutions to drive business forward.

He has an MBA from Manchester Business School, an Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering and post graduate qualifications in Finance and Accounting.

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Andy Baker

Innovation Advisor - Health and Life Sciences

Andy has over 20 years of experience in the private sector commercialising and delivering complex business and innovative solutions for over 100 global clients.  During this time he has recruited, retained and developed numerous high performing teams to achieve strategic business objectives.  He also has a wealth of experience in consulting to develop strategic business plans and raise finance for new product development. He’s most recently worked on innovation projects including marketing solutions, Internet of Things, cloud, hosting and software for wellness, health, and life science sector companies. 

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Susan Warburton

Business Development Manger, University of Bolton

Susan has over 25 years business development experience, working in senior business support positions at the Business Growth Service and organisations such as Magma Digital. In these roles, Susan was responsible for delivering bespoke, innovative solutions to help Greater Manchester businesses grow and has a proven record of improving the profitability of the companies she works with. Susan takes pride in delivering a first class, customer focused, quality service to her clients and is a qualified growth coach, mentor and trainer with experience in company mergers, acquisitions and raising finance.

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Dharma Nurse

Business Development Manager, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dharma has considerable experience working with different engineering and manufacturing sectors and supply chains. She has recently worked on the Greater Manchester manufacturing strategy and action plan, and was the North West Business Development Manager of the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) and Business Growth Service. With a strong background in skills, Dharma helped to set up and run a Sector Skills Council for manufacturing and has worked with a host of companies to deliver key Lean Manufacturing projects. She also managed the piloting of the Food Manufacturing Excellence qualification, focussing on process innovation within the food and drink industry.

Dharma organised collaboration with the National Graphene Institute, Business Growth Hub and Business Growth Service to host a series of commercialisation workshops during Graphene Week 2015 and she has since hosted collaborations with Innovate UK and The Knowledge Transfer Network on this topic at Venturefest.  

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Rick Watson

Business Development Manager, University of Manchester

Rick has over 19 years post-doctoral experience in developing and supporting knowledge transfer both from a university and commercial perspective.  He has practical experience of leadership, sales and marketing, business development, quality management and new product & service innovations in academia, spinout companies and SMEs.

Prior to his joining the Hub, Rick worked for eight years in management consulting as a senior innovation consultant, running his own business for 6 years. He also worked for six years in technology / knowledge transfer whilst employed by the University of Salford. Before his tenure at Salford, Rick spent 6 years in Biotech in a variety of roles, including quality management and business development many of which included working closely with University, Research Institute, and NHS based organisations.

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Stephen Ellison

Business Development Manager, University of Salford

Stephen has significant experience of sales and marketing where the primary objective has invariably been to liaise with the client to identify and fine-tune the priority need before providing a targeted solution. Much of Stephens experience has been focused on business development roles in the banking, telecoms and media sectors, he has also forged successful relationships with those responsible for sourcing major public procurement contracts, particularly in the health and education sectors.  Stephen has the ability to collaborate with staff at all levels within any given organisation, whether it be public sector or private sector.

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Susan Ingham

Innovation Advisor

Susan has been working with and advising SMEs for over 25 years across many sectors.  As a business owner and entrepreneur, she has first-hand experience of the kinds of challenges that growing businesses face as well as the understanding and practical know-how to address them.  Her wide management experience means that she is also able to support business owners to identify opportunities to drive growth.

Susan has a long and successful track record in innovation.  She conceived and launched Europe’s first equestrian Internet TV channel and community network.  She developed some of the first content marketing strategies for brands and organisations across sectors, particularly in the professional services, health and creative and digital sectors. Susan has an MBA, Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

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