Forest Economic Partnership (FEP) builds momentum for a thriving economy The South West

“The Forest Economic Partnership has now been going for nine months, and has produced a set of excellent plans that bode well for the economic growth of the area.

I am impressed that there is now a driving leadership for the FEP - with plans to match - in the person of Andrew Callard who is a good marketing man.

Glos College Speakers: Speakers from 5 November Stakeholder meeting showcasing the new Gloucestershire College Cinderford Campus (From left to right) Ian Mean – Business West, Andrew Maliphant – The Community Works, Wendy Jackson - Regeneration Manager FoDDC, Andrew Callard – FEP Chair/Aimed Business, Cllr. Roger James – Deputy Leader of the FoDDC, Cllr. Tim Gwilliam – Leader of the FoDDC

As 2018 closes the Forest Economic Partnership (FEP) is gearing up for an action driven 2019 and is encouraging all local businesses, SME’s and entrepreneurs to sign up and have their voices heard. Launched in January 2018 with a handful of Stakeholders, FEP now has over 150 members representing more than 100 organisations and businesses. In its inaugural year FEP has secured significant commitment from its business members, including 4 business volunteers who fulfil the roles of FEP Chair and Sub-Group Leads.

FEP was formed to give the Forest of Dean a voice in the Glos2050 big conversation and to deliver a thriving and sustainable economy. This aim is already coming to fruition by bringing the right people together at the right time to communicate the message that ‘The Forest of Dean is well and truly open for business.’

The four SME led sub-groups in relation to Digital Connectivity, Education & Skills, Bridges & Borders and Transport & Infrastructure have been meeting monthly to identify key issues and objectives for the District and are now forming clear and action oriented plans for 2019.

Andrew Callard, FEP Chair, shared these plans with the attendees of the 5 November Stakeholder meeting at the new Gloucestershire College Campus, leaving members with the clear message that exciting times are ahead for the District in 2019 and beyond.

The Forest of Dean needs to do more about celebrating success stories, a message reinforced at the meeting by Ian Mean, Business West Director and Small Business Champion for GFirst LEP:

Those plans to develop growth seem realistic. And I would go as far as to say that I have never seen a better set of plans to deliver such realistic economic growth for a rural community.

But if the Forest is to make real progress, they must get better at shouting about their successes. ”

FEP has a voice that is rapidly growing in stature and recognition. Having already contributed to a number of key consultations, including Glos2050, Cross-Rail Franchise, Dene Magna Sixth Form, House of Lords Select Committee Rural Economy and Forest Community Hospital, they have now been invited to consult on the Forest of Dean Local Plan 2041.

This is a huge milestone for FEP, for the first time giving Forest businesses the opportunity to influence Council plans and play a part in shaping the District.

The FEP vision that “in 2050 the Forest of Dean is an attractive, vibrant and dynamic destination to live, work and do business” is absolutely on track.

Glenhawk expands into South West with appointment of Steve Smith as Business Development Manager

Glenhawk, the recently launched specialist property lender, announces that it is further expanding its business into

the UK regions with the appointment of Steve Smith as Business Development Manager for the South West, effective immediately. The appointment follows Glenhawk’s recent £75 million funding line to support growth and the successful launch of its no legal or survey fee incentive.

Steve will be responsible for building Glenhawk’s loan book exposure in


the South West of England, one of the UK’s strongest performing UK property regions for both residential and commercial investment and development. He will manage the business’ current South West portfolio while expanding and strengthening Glenhawk’s broker relationships across the region.

Steve joins Glenhawk with over ten years’ experience as a business development manager specialising in the South West of England and South Wales. He was previously a Relationship Manager at Shawbrook Bank.

Guy Harrington, CEO of Glenhawk, commented: “Steve is one of the best

performing business development managers in his sector. With his experience and unique understanding of the broker market combined with his regional expertise, he will be a huge asset to Glenhawk’s expanding operations.”

Harry Hill, Non-Executive Director and Rightmove founder, added:

“Glenhawk’s expansion in the South West demonstrates the business’ tremendous growth within its first year of operating. Combined with securing its recent funding line, the company is now well positioned to expand its reach and capitalise on the continued strong performance of the South’s housing market.”


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