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The Growth Hub was established by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership to play a major role in the drive for strong, sustainable business growth across the LEP area.

It acts as the focal point for businesses that wish to grow by referring them to co-ordinated and cohesive growth programmes, business networks, growth groups and links to specialist information, advice and services.

If your business would benefit from a helping hand to get onto a growth programme or apply for a business grant (subject to eligibility criteria / availability) then a qualified Growth Hub Business Advisor can help.

If you would like a free of charge appointment with a qualified Growth Hub Business Advisor to discuss what options are available to support the growth of your business, please contact the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Business Helpline on 0300 111 8002.

Our Team

Matthew Hustwit

With over twenty years in the Corporate Banking sector, I’m well placed to advise on all aspects of finance including grants, debt, equity funding, crowd funding and other available sources. Following a long-term career in banking, I’ve successfully managed an £8m grant fund for SME’s in Staffordshire. This has helped businesses to invest in capital equipment and led to the creation and safeguarding of over 1,000 jobs throughout the County.

I’m now the Growth Hub Funding Advisor and I’m replicating this success once again. I advise many businesses on available grants and funding, through my vast knowledge, connections and experience. If you are looking to grow your business and are not sure who to turn to for advice and funding support, then I’m on hand to help.

Vicky Frost

I’m a Growth Hub Advisor who meets with companies to complete a diagnostic and refer them to relevant support partners who can help them. I also co-ordinate the growth hub advisor knowledge sessions and 1-2-1 business support clinics that are held around the county.

I have 7 years’ experience working in the International Trade Team doing export documentation and have a vast knowledge of country requirements for export documentation.

Kelly Thelwell

I have 15 years’ experience in the business support arena. Following my apprenticeship at the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, I supported Finest and Futurefinest professional services networks. I then took on the role as Staffordshire Chambers Events Coordinator, before becoming a Growth Hub Business Advisor.

I am a Staffordshire University graduate and SFEDI accredited. I enjoy problem solving and my main passion is to help businesses to grow and develop. I am a people person who is very keen to promote Staffordshire as a great place to do business.

Fiona Miller

I’ve worked in the field of marketing for over 14 years and it is a huge passion. My experience is a real fusion, which includes working for the media, a stint in private sector and running my own business. I’ve worked across a multitude of industries, including manufacturing, education, local government, property, leisure, finance, political and legal. This variety really helps me to get under the skin of any business and provide well rounded advice. My marketing expertise covers many touch points, both on and offline, including social media, paid search, web builds, email campaigns, blogs, events, print advertising, outdoor media, collateral and direct mail.

As a specialist in strategy, I can help you work towards matching your marketing plan to your business goals. Marketing advice through the Growth Hub is a really great way to refine your ideas and set you on the right track for success!

Jacqui Burdekin

I’ve spent 17 years in the automotive industry, advising a major manufacturer dealer network, on how to run their dealerships profitably, whilst delivering an exceptional customer experience. The last 6 years were spent as the General Manager (one of only 3 in the country!) of two Volkswagen dealerships in Wigan and Southport. It is there that I finely-tuned my leadership, people management and customer experience management skills. My key passion is in driving customer satisfaction and process improvements to deliver exceptional experiences which lead to higher retention and more profitable business.

I feel I can continue to learn from the incredible businesses I meet, as well as bring value to their business by drawing on my own experiences. Helping business to identify opportunity for growth through the Growth Hub process is a great way of using my skills and I look forward to working alongside the wealth of talent this region has to offer.

Pam Wallis

As an ILM accredited qualified business advisor, covering the whole of the south Staffordshire region, I bring a vast amount of experience and knowledge to this role by running two successful businesses.

Through a business analysis, I can identify and empathise what the business needs are and what support they need to support their growth.

I also manage and attend growth hub events across southern Staffordshire and deliver growth hub clinics and 1-1 business support meetings, or will meet with a business at their premises to carry out a business assessment / diagnostic.

Maxine Darrock

My primarily role is managing the organisation of the Growth Hub Workshops and Events in the South Staffordshire area covering Burton & District, Chase & District, Lichfield and Tamworth and surrounding areas.

In addition to this, as a business advisor for the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub and having extensive knowledge with many years of experience including export and documentation, I support and help businesses to connect with local companies, increase their profile through networking events and help to grow their business.

Declan Riddell

Working as one of the Growth Hub Advisers in Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire, I meet with businesses to identify any areas which may be in need of advice, information or support. Using the Growth Hub diagnostic tool, I aim to signpost businesses to available help across the area and this could include business planning, marketing planning, training opportunities, growing overseas business or searching for available funding at any given moment.

Nicola Kent

I manage the Business & Enterprise Support team at Staffordshire County Council. As part of my duties I provide operational managerial support to the Stoke- on-Trent & Staffordshire Growth Hub and ensure that the responsibilities of the accountable body are fulfilled. It is my job to make sure that the Growth Hub works efficiently and effectively and contributes towards improving the economy of Staffordshire by providing support to businesses of all sizes and sectors.

Rebecca Wilson

Working behind the scenes, my role consists of managing budgets and contracts for the Growth Hub, to ensure we deliver our aims alongside adhering to compliance.

I work closely with the advisors to agree events, marketing and publicity of the Growth Hub. I’m also responsible for collating, analysing and reporting data gained from supporting businesses, as required by our funding authorities.

Joseph Gill

I’m the HR Advisor for the Growth Hub, assisting eligible companies by assessing what processes and information businesses need to provide to their staff and the wider community as a whole.

I have several years’ experience working within HR teams, with specific reference to SME’s and the challenges that they face. I’ve also recently completed an MSc Human Resource Management and Development at Salford University, obtaining CIPD Associate status at Level 7.

Prior to this, I spent 6 years working and training staff in several operations departments for a high-growth business based in Stoke-on-Trent.

Chris Plant

With over fifteen years working in the business support arena, I’m well-placed to advise on all aspects of business support including grants, mentoring, skills, marketing and business development.

Following on from a career in the public sector then moving in to the private sector with the Chamber, I’ve successfully managed a number of funded and non-funded business support contracts across Staffordshire, which have helped well over 1,000 businesses to date. The support has also led to the successful creation and safeguarding of thousands of jobs throughout the County.

I’m now the Growth Hub Manager, responsible for managing the team of advisors and delivering business growth and stability through the Growth Hub.

Rebecca Parker

I’m an accredited, qualified Business Advisor for the Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Growth Hub and I also manage the Business Support Helpline for the County that is accessible to all Staffordshire SME’s seeking advice and support. The Business Helpline acts as the focal point for businesses that wish to start or grow, where I provide information to the co-ordinated and cohesive growth programme information, access to business networks, growth groups and links to specialist information, grant and business funding advice and services.

I can advise on eligibility for ERDF funding for businesses trading within the LEP area. With extensive knowledge and strong stakeholder relationships County-wide, I’m keen to promote the drive for strong, sustainable business growth across Staffordshire with my strong interpersonal expertise and proficiency in business support & development, evident in my successful career history in both public and private sector roles ranging from my time in the West Mercia Constabulary, policing, to a successful career as the UK Business manager for the Chartered Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, to name a few.

I’m largely involved in the running of business support workshops, seminars and events along with offering businesses the flexible option to meet for a confidential 1-2-1 Business diagnostic across Stafford Borough, through to North Staffordshire.

Michael Cubbon

As a former Business Studies Student and Student Governor at Stafford College, I now work as a Growth Hub Administrator providing support to Growth Hub Business advisors and ensure that our Growth Hub Events are the best they can be.