Praise for Peer Networks Programme

February 4, 2022

Two businesses have heaped praise on a business support network designed to help leaders learn from each other. 

Beth Heath, director of fun at Shropshire Festivals, and James Lloyd, who runs two businesses in Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire, are taking part in the Peer Networks Programme, which brings together leaders from a range of businesses to share their experiences and learn from each other. 

The programme – which is fully funded by the Government and supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and Marches Growth Hub – helps the companies involved share knowledge, benefit from expert one-to-one advice and take advantage of new opportunities as the economy bounces back from the impact of the pandemic. 

It is one of a huge range of programmes available through the Marches Growth Hub to support businesses across the region and help them meet their ambitions to develop and grow. 

James, who runs home care agency Total Living Care and website chat service Chat4Business, said he was hugely impressed with the programme after the first four of its ten sessions. 

“I heard about the scheme through the Marches Growth Hub and am delighted to be taking part. I have learned something from every session I have been part of so far and hopefully have given something back as well. 

“In the latest session we were discussing the recruitment crisis – something which is particularly hitting our social care business – and trying to find solutions. As a result of our conversations I am looking at the possibility of looking overseas for care staff. 

“Taking the time out from the day-to-day business has proved to be really important too. It has been really useful to hear from other people who are having similar experiences and share the knowledge that is around the table.” 

Beth, whose Shropshire Festivals company is responsible for some of the county’s best-loved events, including Shrewsbury Food Festival and Oktoberfest, said the fully-funded programme had been an inspiration. 

“The sessions have given me three hours a week in which I can step back from the business and think about it in a deeper, more strategic way, as well as the chance to share my experiences with others and tap in to a rich knowledge base. 

“I’ve been able to pass on some of the lessons I have learnt running festivals over the years and have found it a really brilliant way for business owners to come together and learn from each other. 

“I cannot wait for the one-to-one sessions with our business expert which will be the icing on the cake of a really worthwhile experience.” 

Executive coach Leon Mundey, of Neale Lewis Associates, which is delivering the programme across the Marches, said he was delighted with the success of the programme to date. 

“Our three cohorts are already up and running and the feedback from all of those taking part has been excellent. It is a pleasure to see the exchange of ideas and information among the various business leaders. 

“Although the cohorts have not reached even the halfway stage yet, we can already see the value that they are gaining from the sessions and the benefits these are bringing to their businesses.” 

As well as the  group sessions businesses will also receive two separate one-to-one sessions with an expert adviser. 

Places are still available on the final cohort. To join the programme contact Leon at 

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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