Meet our Growth Managers

Our team of local Growth Managers are based across Leeds City Region and are ready to provide you with one-to-one tailored advice to identify your business needs and ensure you can access the right support.

Our Growth Manager understands our business, how we work and what we do, and signposts us to get the correct help.

Ian Drinkwater Managing Director of Applelec Sign Components in Bradford


Mark DelvesMark Delves

Mark has over 35 years of experience in client management, providing support and advice to businesses, including his current role as Growth Manager for the Bradford district.

Previous experience includes working as a High Growth Business Advisor and Key Account Inward Investment Manager for Bradford Council and 19 years in Business Account Manager roles for Lloyds Banking Group. Mark is an experienced sales and marketing professional with expertise in project management, marketing, business finance and business planning/strategy.

Nicola WhatmuffNicola Whatmuff

Nicola assists SMEs in Bradford with business support, growth and grant access. This follows a decade of experience helping SME's in Leeds as part of the Combined Authority, with a focus on sustainable travel.

Phil BatesPhil Bates

Phil has worked as a Growth Manager, in partnership with Bradford Council for four years and has 18 years' experience working as a Business Manager at a major high street bank.

He supports businesses by helping them navigate the complex world of business support and has built long-lasting relationships with businesses, helping them deal with challenges and achieve their goals.




John CrowtherJon CrowtherJon Crowther

Jon has over 15 years of business support experience working for Calderdale Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. He is passionate about Calderdale and has good knowledge of the local business community through his links with Business for Calderdale, Calderdale & Kirklees Manufacturing Alliance and the local business networks. Jon is also knowledgeable about the local commercial property market and works with many local landlords and commercial agents, and is happy to help when looking for premises.


Rachael ThurlbeckRachel Thurlbeck

Rachael has many years of experience delivering business support across the region. With a background in sales and marketing and also running her own tendering and procurement business assisting businesses to access public and private sector contracts. Rachael specialises in marketing, sales, tendering and procurement and business development.

Gill WatsonGill Watson

Gill has worked in business and finance for her whole 40-year career. Starting with Kirklees Councils central Finance Service, she attained her AAT qualification after completing her Business Studies degree, and her career progressed through various finance-related roles within the local authority. She eventually merged her finance, business and property management experience as a Business Centre Manager where she worked closely with her commercial business tenants for 15 years. The balance finally moved away from finance and became business-focused when Gill became an SME Growth Manager 5 years ago, helping to support Kirklees businesses to achieve their growth plans.


DavidDavid Baggaley

David manages the Leeds Growth Manager team and has over 20 years’ experience in economic development. He has a strong network within the business support and business intermediary community and has a good understanding of commercial property. David works across several economic development programmes and chairs the Ad:Venture grants panel. He is also a member of the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance steering group. Before joining the Business Support Service, he worked in business support and inward investment marketing.

Haroon Qammar

Haroon has over 15 years’ experience helping high growth companies to realise their potential, assist with growth plans, and secure funds for growth. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience with many issues businesses face such and strategic planning, marketing, HR, quality management, operations management, financial forecasting, and sources of finance.

He is keen to transfer his knowledge and networks to help small businesses grow. Having spent the last 15 years supporting small business and also having set up his own successful business, he is well-placed to provide valuable support and guidance.

Parminder SinghParminder Singh

Parminder has over 25 years’ experience working with businesses of all sizes, helping them to grow. He has experience of running his business ventures including; setting up a training provider. He also has a strong knowledge of government grants and accessing funding for employers and has managed a £4.5 million European Social Fund (ESF) for workforce development. His expertise is in skills, start-up, apprenticeships and funding.

Bipin Mistry

Bipin has over 20 years of global programme and project management experience, in delivering successful outcomes on various transformation programmes across several industries. He is now working as a Growth Manager supporting SMEs in Leeds. Bipin prides himself in building trusting relationships with key stakeholders to identify challenges and opportunities and facilitate solutions to achieve their growth plans.


Mindir Paul

Mindir has 29 years of experience working with businesses in the Wakefield District as a Business Advisor for Wakefield Council and knows the Wakefield business landscape well. He has worked on many external-funded programmes which have supported local businesses of different sizes and across a range of sectors and is the Lead Advisor for the Wakefield Manufacturing Form. Mindir works closely with Wakefield Councils Economic Growth Team and business support partners to ensure that Wakefield SMEs get the relevant advise and support to realise their growth potential and ambitions.