New additions to our Growth Hub team


We’re delighted to reveal a number of new additions to our Growth Hub Gateway team!

Nicola, Joe and Rachel will work alongside our Business Support Advisors to help businesses to overcome barriers and identify other support schemes or funding opportunities available to help the companies achieve their full growth potential.

On a day-to-day basis, they will handle calls and respond to email enquiries from businesses looking for support and will make referrals on to the advisors in each local authority area.  They will also manage the business directory and events calendar covering business-related events taking place in the area.

In addition to the Gateway Officers, three management roles have recently been filled that further support this region’s SMEs in specific areas. We are happy to welcome on board Muz Mumtaz, Bev Foster and Andrew Armstrong.

You can read more about the new Growth Hub team members here:

Muz Mumtaz

Role: Assistant Director – Development and Business Support


Muz has previously spent over 20 years working across government and industry, operating several highly successful regional economic programmes.  Digital really is his passion and Muz will focus on encouraging the adoption of digital technologies, enhanced digital connectivity and increased investment in digital skills for entrepreneurs and managers. He is looking forward to supporting local SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) to thrive and achieve their full potential by helping them invest in leadership and management development, the skills of their workforce and innovation through the adoption of digital technology.

Bev Foster

Role: Development Manager – Development Hub

Bev will be responsible for managing the core business support functions of the Growth Hub. With more than 20 years’ experience in developing and managing a number of complex programmes, Bev has a wealth of skills and business support to draw upon.  For seven years she ran her own consultancy business working with a number of stakeholders including universities, colleges and the private sector. Her most recent role was with the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership leading the DIT Northern Powerhouse funded KAM programme but she is now looking forward to making a significant impact on South Yorkshire SMEs.

Andrew Armstrong

Role: Development Manager – Special Projects

Andrew is an experienced project management professional and has worked in a variety of manufacturing roles, recently delivering high end solid round tool solutions to market for Sandvik Coromant, to early R&D civil nuclear projects at the Nuclear AMRC. He has worked on a number of military aerospace programmes, including the on-base maintenance and management of the now retired Tornado fleet, as well as several roles supporting the early phases up to full production of the Joint Strike Fighter F-35 Lightning programme. In his role as Development Manager, he will head up the Made Smarter programme, ensuring Yorkshire and Humber manufacturers can reap all the benefits of this innovative programme.

Rachel Hughes

Role: Gateway Officer

Rachel’s background is in supporting businesses looking to develop their skills for business growth. She has a range of experience working in office administration and communications in local government, higher education and private sector organisations, as well as customer service experience. Rachel worked at South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority for four years before joining our Growth Hub team and is excited to be part of a new team that will help to support businesses during these challenging times.

Joseph Bereford

Role: Gateway Officer

Originally from Doncaster, Joe has a passion for enabling businesses across South Yorkshire to meet their potential. For the past 10 years he has provided Business Support in local government to enable businesses to reach their full potential. This has included being heavily involved in the delivery of capital projects and facilitating an ambitious rural rollout of superfast broadband.  He has also been involved with creating short and long term solutions to combat local skills shortages, as well as managing grant-based programmes for connectivity, innovation, upskilling and digital adoption. Joe is really excited to enable our South Yorkshire business community to grow, and achieve the dreams that led them into business to begin with.

Nicola Bladen

Role: Gateway Officer

Nicola is from Barnsley and has a wealth of knowledge about all things South Yorkshire, from business contacts to transport routes and where to go for a day or night out. Most recently Nicola has worked at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive heading up their business engagement team, helping businesses across South Yorkshire with all their public transport and active travel needs.  This role entailed liaising and visiting businesses, schools, colleges and universities across the region, as well as representing SYPTE at events. In her new role, Nicola is looking forward to working with and finding out about all the businesses and their ideas, whilst getting to know contacts better and being clear on all business support offers across South Yorkshire.


South Yorkshire’s Growth Hub acts as a ‘gateway’ so that businesses can access support when it is needed the most and within the shortest timeframe. The Growth Hub’s team of advisors offer guidance in the fields of business development and industry support, including innovation, growth, logistics, trade and exporting and accessing finance or training.

Any business that is looking to re-establish or recover after making significant losses due to the lockdown or is facing challenges that put its long-term future in question, should speak to the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority’s Growth Hub team today.

Our website has a wealth of information on the programmes and services available at your fingertips. You can also see how we have supported other businesses on our case studies page, and if you cant find what you are looking for then the gateway team are on hand…



Call: 0330 00 00 39