Gloucestershire’s Peer Networks programme extended by BEIS to include three new cohorts

Promotional Business Feature: Peer Networks, GFirst LEP and The Growth Hub Gloucestershire
Peer networks Nov Picture2

Gloucestershire’s successful Peer Networks programme has been extended by BEIS, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, to include three new cohorts. Over 100 local leaders have taken part in Peer Networks since the programme first began.

Sarah Danson, Director of Strategic Growth at GFirst LEP said: “We are delighted to be expanding Gloucestershire’s Peer Network programme to include three new cohorts. This extension opens up more fantastic opportunities for the county’s business leaders to take advantage of a transformative, fully funded programme. We have already witnessed the growth and development of many leaders and their businesses and now we’re looking for more individuals to join. The expansion is credit to the success and hard work of the team and facilitators behind the programme.”

There are places remaining for:

  • Health & Social Care
  • Tourism and Visitor Economy
  • Cyber

The final three cohorts for 2021 are:

  • Female Leadership
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional Services

David Chapman, Peer Networks Facilitator and Managing Partner at Scott Hillam Associates explains how Peer Networks can support business owners, senior management and decision makers: As a leader you have so many balls to juggle and sometimes it’s like juggling in the dark. It’s often a lonely place to be and easy to lose track. The Peer Networks programme gives business leaders and senior managers valuable time working with others facing similar challenges, all with a common interest in helping each other to help themselves. The programme is structured around the principles of Action Learning and combined with individual coaching so that participants benefit from both business and personal development. This is not a talking shop. It is strongly action oriented with participants taught the importance of defining problems through advanced listening and questioning skills.”

Online open event – Wednesday 3rd November, 2.30pm

To find out more about Peer Networks, join GFirst LEP together with Swindon and Wilshire LEP and West of England LEP at their online open event on Wednesday 3rd November 2021, 2:30pm.

Open to SMEs across Bath, North and East Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire, this online event will explain more about the format of the Peer Networks programme and provide an opportunity to build connections with virtual networking across the region.

Event format:

  • Panel discussion – Join our team of experts from Swindon and Wilshire LEP, West of England LEP and GFirst LEP to understand why Peer Networks been such a popular, valuable programme for leaders – and why you need to be part of it.
  • Local Peer Network Group Q&A – This is your chance to learn more from your local Peer Networks programme. Find out what cohorts are available to join and meet the team who will be running the programme.
  • Networking  – This Peer Networks event will bring together growing SMEs from across the region. The final part of the event will be dedicated for optional networking to build connections and meet new business leaders to help you on your mission. Stick around at the end to get connected.

Book your place here:

Limited to 11 leaders per cohort, leaders interested in joining the programme should contact:

To find out more about Peer Networks in Gloucestershire simply visit  

Follow us on Twitter: @PeerNetworkGlos

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Peer Networks is being delivered by The Growth Hub and GFirst LEP. The Growth Hub is a 37-strong national government-supported business growth programme designed to deliver help and guidance to local businesses. Gloucestershire’s Growth Hub is a network of centres, currently open in Gloucester, Cirencester, Tewkesbury, and Stroud. Cheltenham is open as an online-only service, and the Forest of Dean centre will open soon. Businesses can also use Growth Hub access points in every Gloucestershire County Council Library. GFirst LEP is the Local Enterprise Partnership for Gloucestershire, set up in 2011 by central government to drive economic growth in the region.
More about Peer Networks…
Introducing Peer Networks. A unique, free support programme exclusively for SME business leaders. By creating sector and challenge specific cohorts of leaders, in facilitated sessions, you’ll get a new perspective on your business and work towards meeting your goals – by harnessing the power of your peers.
This is not a one size fits all programme with a set curriculum of training. What you learn and take away from Peer Networks will be completely bespoke to you as a leader and to your business.
Every business leader in the cohort will have dedicated time to share their challenges to the group, gain expertise, and obtain strategic input for the future of your business. It’s the non-executive sounding board you’ve always wanted.
“One of the most helpful exercises I have been through as a business leader.” – Nick Eden, CloudTamers
The programme is fully-funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and includes 1:1 mentoring from specialist advisors. Peer Networks is designed for business leaders who want to grow and develop their established organisation for future success and meet the following criteria:
  • Operated for at least a year
  • At least 5 employees
  • A turnover of at least £100,000
  • An aspiration to improve