Meet the Team

James Ford
Business Engagement and Growth Hub Manager

James was appointed to the role of Business Engagement and Growth Hub Manager at the Solent LEP in April 2018. Before joining the LEP James was Business development Manager at Southampton Football Club and was responsible for sourcing and activating new partnerships with both small and large employers. James’s Previous roles included Project Manager & Mobilisation Manager and Head of Apprenticeships and Employability, whereby James was responsible for the implementation of new contracts, Business engagement and operational delivery across numerous regions throughout England.
Prior to this James was a professional football player with AFC Bournemouth and Personal trainer, having set up and created his own business.

Jayne Sime
Solent LEP Growth Hub Adviser

Jayne joined the Solent LEP in 2018 after 3 years working with the Solent Growth Hub to assist SME’s in the region to access funding and support.  Previously, Jayne has held business development roles within both the publishing and recruitment industries.

Jayne holds a degree in English Literature and Philosophy from the University of Hertfordshire, and has gained valuable experience creating and running her own business.

Sophie Taylor
Solent LEP Growth Hub Adviser

Sophie joined the Solent LEP in 2018 to continue working with the Solent LEP Growth Hub for the last 3 years as a business support navigator assisting businesses in the region with their growth plans.

Sophie started her career at the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce where she completed her Level 2 & 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration.

Throughout Sophie’s career to date she has gained a diverse insight into business support, administration and marketing and is passionate about helping to drive the local economy forward through supporting local business growth.

Sophie was recognised in The Evening News Apprentice of the Year awards in 2014 for her commitment and academic achievements.

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