Colin Bell was Consulting Services Director and, following a management buy out, an owner of business growth and software business Winning Moves Ltd. Since the MBO in 2009 Colin was instrumental in achieving high growth and the expansion of the business in the UK and Internationally this included the development and delivery of programmes such as Growth Accelerator and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP’s Great200Leaders. In 2013 Winning Moves was sold to the West Midlands Manufacturing Consortium (WMMC) who deliver the Manufacturing Advisory Service in the North East, North West and West Midlands. Colin spent two years as part the WMMC senior management team before moving to the North East LEP.
Colin said, ‘’I’ve worked with LEP’s and Growth Hubs up and down the country and the North East stood out as a place where the team was prepared to be bold and innovative in their approach to Business Support, that’s what attracted me and I look forward to working with the team to build on such principles in developing a world class business support and finance ecosystem within the North East’’.
A key area of work within the Business Support theme is the North East Growth Hub (link). During November, we invited all those that had registered interest to create an account on the Growth Hub. As a result, active users have increased from 95 to 181. This is a crucial period: now we have a controlled and friendly group testing the platform, we will see how all of the assumptions and anticipated behaviours of the design and build team actually translate to real-world usage. Over the coming weeks our priority is to analyse data and feedback from Users and Group Facilitators to ensure the user experience the Growth Hub platform offers is second to none. By doing this we can identify and rectify any major or minor functionality or user experience issues in advance of the launch campaign scheduled for early in the New Year, for which planning is well under way.