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Richard Jeffery

GC Group Associate

Richard leads GC’s Business Support services with extensive experience as a fee-earning consultant and developing organisations from the ground up.

Richard has a deep understanding of national government business and innovation policy and the development of models for business support having established the country’s first Growth Hub and he continues to be a thought-leader in business support design within the UK.

Rupert Greenhalgh

Rupert Greenhalgh


Rupert has over twenty years’ experience in economic development, including the development of large programmes of strategic research, strategy and policy formulation, and public policy. He has extensive applied and academic expertise in the fields of business support, innovation, and enterprise development.

Amy House

Amy is a chartered environmentalist with two decades experience working with the businesses at the heart of the net zero transition. She has an MSc in Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and has developed a deep understanding of the technologies and drivers that are shaping the business and skills agenda.

Amy has a unique understanding of the supply chain and advocates for the sector with buyers, local decision makers and national policy makers. Amy and her team have established Green Economy to improve the competitiveness of the supply chain, to overcome the market failures that prevent uptake of low carbon technology and to promote the businesses playing a key role in delivering the UK’s net zero ambition

Kevin Lambert

Kevin has over 25 years’ experience in the energy and carbon management arena supporting national and international government agencies and private businesses. His track record is built around successful client engagement, focused on delivering quantified benefits that minimise operational risks, increase profits and identify market opportunities.  Kevin currently manages the Growth Hub's Carbon Reduction Programme which provides business support and advice to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Greater Manchester. Kevin helps businesses to identify, quantify and invest in projects that deliver significant financial benefits and carbon savings.

Andrew Toolan

Andrew has worked in economic development for 11 years spanning internationalisation, inward investment and place-making, start-ups, business support, sector, ecosystem, and partnership development. Andrew is working with the team responsible for expanding the groups national offer, with a particular focus on consultancy projects.  Andrew has worked across a range of sectors including Financial & Professional Services; Creative, Digital & Tech, Life Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing and Low Carbon. He has a strong track record of international business experience in North America, Europe, and Asia, developing senior relationships across the private and public sector.

Simon Hooton

Simon heads up GC’s Consulting offer. He draws on expertise from across the Growth Company that has been developed over 20 years of delivering services for people and businesses. Simon works with the team at Ekosgen which operates alongside the GC in-house team and a growing networks of associates to offer a rounded service for clients. Simon draws on a long and successful career in economic development consulting and has subject matter insights stretching across the business, people and places themes at the heart of successful growth.

Justin Bentham

Justin has almost 20 years’ experience in local economic development and provides strategic insight on people, business and place. Justin started his career in Tameside Council’s Economic Development Unit and worked as Head of Strategy for New Economy helping to translate the Manchester Independent Economic Review into the first Greater Manchester Strategy. Until recently Justin worked for Salford City Council for over 10 years, leading on place based economic thinking, analysis and strategy, particularly focussed on Salford’s strategic growth areas including MediaCityUK and Salford Quays. Justin is an academic by training, holding a PhD in Political Economy from the University of Sheffield and has lectured, published in academic journals and is currently a Visting Industry Fellow at the University of Salford. Over his career Justin has managed and delivered multiple pieces of economic consultancy and his expertise spans across economic development. He has a current interest in enterprise and innovation, industrial strategy and inclusive economy.

Ben Odams

Ben works as a Strategic Lead covering skills and employment. Ben has extensive experience around public policy strategy focused on skills, labour markets and employment. With a career spanning local government and further education, Ben has advised senior leaders on a variety of public policy developments helping to navigate shifting political and policy developments and providing effective foresight into an array of policy issues from skills reforms to devolution, social care & health to climate change strategy. 

Rebecca Drakeford

Rebecca has extensive experience in economic development gained from working across multiple delivery agencies and the GMCA, giving her a deep understanding of both local and national government and business support ecosystems.  Rebecca’s specialism lies in the internationalisation of cities, including trade investment where she has experience leading the refresh of Greater Manchester’s International Strategy and formulating trade and investment plans.

Lydia Holbrooke

Lydia is is a proven Project Manager with a background in project management, project coordination, executive support, client management, sales, and customer service, having worked at The Growth Company for the past 5 years. Lydia is responsible for managing internal and external consultancy projects for GC Business, as well as developing bid responses and managing operations.