Meet our Business Growth Managers

Our team of local Growth Managers are based across Leeds City Region and are ready to provide you with one-to-one tailored advice to identify your business needs and ensure you can access the right support.

Our Growth Manager understands our business, how we work and what we do, and signposts us to get the correct help.

Ian Drinkwater Managing Director of Applelec Sign Components in Bradford

Bradford & Craven


John SharpJohn Sharp

John has over 30 years’ experience in the private sector and international trade, including 20 years supporting businesses across a variety of sectors in addition to running his own business. He has worked with numerous companies, developing strategies, business plans and realistic action plans based on hard and soft market intelligence, and provided training on sales/marketing, business planning and international trade.

John loves seeing companies that he has worked with do well. He has experience working with companies in low carbon, renewable energy technologies, laboratory, healthcare, HVAC, chemicals and pest control. He has also worked in numerous geographical markets including the Middle East, Europe, Far East, Africa, North and South America.

Email: John.Sharp@bradford.gov.uk  Mobile: 07971097413

Mark DelvesMark Delves

Mark has over 35 years of experience in client management, providing support and advice to businesses, including his current role as LEP SME Business Growth Manager for Bradford and Craven Districts. Previous experience includes working as a High Growth Business Advisor and Key Account Inward Investment Manager for Bradford Council and 19 years in Business Account Manager roles for Lloyds Banking Group. Mark is an experienced sales and marketing professional with expertise in project management, marketing, business finance and business planning/strategy.

Email: Mark.Delves@bradford.gov.uk

Nicola WhatmuffNicola Whatmuff

Nicola assists SME's in Bradford and Craven with business support, growth and grant access. This follows a decade of experience helping SME's in Leeds as part of the Combined Authority, with a focus on sustainable travel.

Email: Nicola.Whatmuff@bradford.gov.uk  Mobile: 07971 014649 

Phil BatesPhil Bates

Phil has worked for the LEP, in partnership with Bradford Council for four years and has 18 years' experience working as a Business Manager at a major high street bank.

He supports businesses by helping them navigate the complex world of business support and has built long-lasting relationships with businesses, helping them deal with challenges and achieve their goals.

Email: Philip.Bates@bradford.gov.uk  Mobile: 07966 558 425

 

 


Calderdale


John CrowtherJon CrowtherJon Crowther

Jon has over 15 years of business support experience working for Calderdale Council and more recently, the LEP. He is passionate about Calderdale and has good knowledge of the local business community through his links with Business for Calderdale, Calderdale & Kirklees Manufacturing Alliance and the local business networks. Jon is also knowledgeable about the local commercial property market and works with many local landlords and commercial agents, and is happy to help when looking for premises.

Email: Jon.Crowther@calderdale.gov.uk  Mobile: 07702 925497

Paul CollinsPaul Collins

Paul has over a decade of experience working in Business Support and Economic Development. He has an in-depth knowledge of the regional economy and uses his experience and knowledge to assist businesses with their growth plans and potential.

Paul has developed and project managed a range of business support and economic development initiatives which contribute to the growth of the local and regional economy. Working in partnership with the private sector and regional authorises to strengthen the local economy. Having worked in regeneration for a majority of his professional working life, he is passionate about helping places and economies grow, creating better and sustainable futures.

Email: Paul.Collins@calderdale.gov.uk  Mobile: 07849304815

 

 


Harrogate


Alistair Forbes

Alistair Forbes

For the last five years, Alistair has been helping hundreds of businesses in Harrogate district to access funding, grants and support towards growth plans. With a background in sales and business development, Alistair can quickly understand the challenges and opportunities facing any type of business, and find solutions to help make the growth journey easier.

Email: Alistair.Forbes@harrogate.gov.uk  Mobile: 07525 987933

Beeta OlahBeata Olah

Beata joined the team in 2019 as Growth Manager for Harrogate District, helping local SMEs access business support jointly with Harrogate Borough Council’s Economy and Transport team. With experience running her own business and working in both public and private sectors at organisations such as Deloitte, Leeds Beckett University, the Institute of Directors and Leeds City Council, Bea has an in-depth understanding of the challenges SMEs are facing. 

As Chair for Young Directors Yorkshire, North East and North West at the Institute of Directors, Bea supported inspiring directors to become the next generation of leaders who thrive for excellence. 

Email: Beata.Olah@harrogate.gov.uk  Mobile: 07525 988242


Kirklees


Rachael ThurlbeckRachel Thurlbeck

Rachael has many years of experience delivering business support across the region. With a background in sales and marketing and also running her own tendering and procurement business assisting businesses to access public and private sector contracts. Rachael specialises in marketing, sales, tendering and procurement and business development.

Email: BusinessSupport@the-lep.com

Gill WatsonGill Watson

Gill has worked in business and finance for her whole 40-year career. Starting with Kirklees Councils central Finance Service, she attained her AAT qualification after completing her Business Studies degree, and her career progressed through various finance-related roles within the local authority. She eventually merged her finance, business and property management experience as a Business Centre Manager where she worked closely with her commercial business tenants for 15 years. The balance finally moved away from finance and became business-focused when Gill became an SME Growth Manager 5 years ago, helping to support Kirklees businesses to achieve their growth plans.

Email: BusinessSupport@the-lep.com


Leeds​


DavidDavid Baggaley

David manages the Leeds Growth Manager team and has over 20 years’ experience in economic development. He has a strong network within the business support and business intermediary community and has a good understanding of commercial property. David works across several economic development programmes and chairs the Ad:Venture grants panel. He is also a member of the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance steering group. Before joining the Business Support Service, he worked in business support and inward investment marketing.

Email: BusinessSupport@the-lep.com

Haroon QammarHaroon Qammar

Haroon has over 15 years’ experience helping high growth companies to realise their potential, assist with growth plans, and secure funds for growth. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience with many issues businesses face such and strategic planning, marketing, HR, quality management, operations management, financial forecasting, and sources of finance.


He is keen to transfer his knowledge and networks to help small businesses grow. Having spent the last 15 years supporting small business and also having set up his own successful business, he is well-placed to provide valuable support and guidance.

Email: Haroon.Qammar@leeds.gov.uk  Phone: 0113 3781 870

 

Martin KennedyMartin Kennedy

Martin is an ex engineering Apprentice and with a career mainly based in Manufacturing but has also worked in Local Government and Colleges. Working at senior management level in training and production management, Martin has a passion to engage with, and develop businesses to assist them to grow to their potential. He's always friendly and helpful in his support and assistance when working with businesses in the Leeds City Region.

Email: Martin.Kennedy@leeds.gov.uk Telephone: 0113 378 377

Parminder SinghParminder Singh

Parminder has over 25 years’ experience working with businesses of all sizes, helping them to grow. He has experience of running his business ventures including; setting up a training provider. He also has a strong knowledge of government grants and accessing funding for employers and has managed a £4.5 million European Social Fund (ESF) for workforce development. His expertise is in skills, start-up, apprenticeships and funding.

Email: Parminder.Singh@leeds.gov.uk  Mobile: 07595 211259 


Selby


Heidi GreenHeidi Green

Heidi is the Growth Manager for Selby District with excellent all-round experience covering start-up advice, recruitment, contracts, market research, marketing and sales. Keen to ensure that businesses get the right support at the right time.

Email: HGreen@selby.gov.uk


Wakefield


Jenny HillJenny Hill

Jenny has been working as a Growth Manager since 2019 and covers the Wakefield district with her colleague Peter MacKenzie Shaw. She has over 20 years’ experience in Account Management and prides herself on the long term relationships she builds with her clients. She supports SMEs in the business-to-business sector to help them achieve their growth ambitions through funding, grants and management support.

Email: JennyHill@wakefield.gov.uk  Mobile: 07919 298980

Peter Mackenzie-ShawPeter Mackenzie-Shaw

Peter is the 12-hour support Business Growth Manager covering the Wakefield area. Along with Jenny, he supports predominantly business-to-business, small to medium-sized Enterprises (SME’s) to grow and reach potential through developing their business model and their business offer whilst ensuring they can access the right support at the right time.

Email: PMShaw@wakefield.gov.uk  Mobile: 07825 832672


York


Louise SawLouise Saw

Louise is a highly-skilled, organised and proactive manager, with over 15 years' project, partnership management and employer engagement experience, and has a passion for continuous improvement.

She has worked with a variety of businesses in her economic development role and committed to helping businesses in the City of York to maximise their potential and access connections and resources available to them to grow. Louise has specialist knowledge and expertise in skills and CPD, education; FE & HE, innovation; working with the Knowledge Transfer Network and Innovate UK and also the Construction and Agri-Tech sectors.

Email: Louise.Saw@makeityork.com  Mobile: 07716 639595