Making Connections

The Worcestershire LEP is launching a new series of Videos and Podcasts with members of the business community.

This new content is being updated weekly with new episodes covering important business topics, advice and guidance as well as updates on the latest projects taking place around the county. The interactive new content will also allow members of the business community to suggest their own subject ideas and even appear in future episodes.

Podcasts will be available through Soundcloud and Spotify, search for “Worcestershire LEP”. Videos will be promoted through the Worcestershire LEP YouTube channel.

We encourage those who watch and listen to the episodes to share their thoughts across social media with the WLEP. The team will be on hand to answer any questions you have.

If you have any questions or would like to request a topic to be discussed, email the team on 


Episode 1 - Coronavirus HR Guidance

This first episode discusses the HR guidance for businesses on how to manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in their day-to-day operations. Special guest for this episode is Claire Hill from local HR company Hill HR.

Listen to the podcast


Watch the video


Episode 2 - Insurance Support for Flooding and Coronavirus

Episode 2 looks at the Insurance support for businesses who have been impacted by the recent flooding and COVID-19 pandemic. Special guest for this episode is Duncan Sutcliffe from Worcestershire Insurance firm, Sutcliffe Insurance.

Listen to the podcast


Episode 3 - BetaDen, Worcestershire's Technology Accelerator

Episode 3 brings listeners a unique behind the scenes chat with Linda Smith, CEO of BetaDen. BetaDen is the county’s primary technology accelerator, helping businesses to take their new innovative tech ideas to market.

Linda talks about the development of BetaDen, their growing tech community in Worcestershire and how you can get involved.

Listen to the podcast


Episode 4 - Coronavirus Business Support Advice

Episode 4 is a must listen for businesses, Gary is joined by WLEP Director of Operations, Luke Willetts and the pair discuss the UK Government Coronavirus Business Support Package.

Learn more about the packages available to businesses and how you can access this support for your business.

Listen to the podcast 


Episode 5 - Coronavirus HR Update

Episode 5 provides listeners with an update on the impact of the Coronavirus for businesses across the country with WLEP Board member and ACAS Board member Sue Jordan. Together they discuss the changes organisations are making and Sue mentions her top tips for businesses during this challenging time.

Listen to the podcast 

Episode 6 - Business Leadership

Episode 6 features 2 guests as Gary is joined by Louise Hewett, Managing Director of Hewett Recruitment and Tom Hadley, Director at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation.

Together they discuss the impact the recent coronavirus pandemic has had on businesses and how leadership during these times is so important. Louise and Tom also share their advice on how SMEs can make sure they are operating efficiently during these tough times.

Listen to the Podcast 

Episode 7 - Financial Advice

Episode 7 delves into more detail around the Coronavirus financial support packages announced by Government, and what businesses can and should do to ensure they can access these new funds.

Special guest for this episode is Chris Walklett, Tax Partner at Bishop Fleming Chartered Accountants.

Listen to the Podcast 

Episode 8 - One Worcestershire

Episode 8 talks about the One Worcestershire brand, their achievements to date and the future campaign plans to promote the county regionally, nationally and internationally.

Special guest for this episode is Richard Soper, Chair of One Worcestershire

Listen to the Podcast 


Episode 9 - Commercial Property

Episode 9 of the Making Connections series features Worcestershire LEP board member and GJS Dillon Director, John Dillon. Gary and John discuss the Coronavirus impact on the commercial property market and John provides listeners with his advice and guidance on what they can during this time to keep their property costs low.

Listen to the podcast

Episode 10 - New Careers and Jobs services

Episode 10 takes a look at 2 new services which have been launched by the Worcestershire LEP and partners to support varying groups of people across Worcestershire and how you can get involved in either programme.

Careers Worcestershire is a new free helpline aimed at helping those aged 16 – 24 in the county who have left school and need guidance on their next steps. Worcestershire Jobs Match has been developed to support businesses who are making redundancies by matching them with other companies who are experiencing increases in demand.

The Careers Worcestershire helpline and Worcestershire Jobs Match service can be accessed by visiting the website links below.

Listen to the podcast 


Episode 11 - Cyber Security

For episode 11, Gary is joined by Chief Strategy Officier for Titania, Nicola Whiting. Nicola shares her advice and guidance on how organisations can keep their data and information secure whilst working remotely.

Link from Nicola on how to secure Zoom and Microsoft Teams –…g-these-10-things/

Listen to the podcast 


Episode 12 - Coronavirus Recovery

Part of the web series with Harrison Clark Rickerbys

This episode features special guest Robert Capper, partner at the Harrison Clark Rickerbys. Robert and Gary have an in-depth discussion about the Coronavirus impact on the Worcestershire economy and business community. They also speculate on what the recovery process looks like for organisations in the county.

Listen to the Podcast 

Episode 13 - Manufacturing Panel on Coronavirus recovery

Episode 13 features a selection of guests from businesses across the county. Gary is joined by representatives from Bepco, Morgan Advanced Materials, Neoperl and Hewett Recruitment.

Together they have an open discussion around the impact of the lockdown and how they are now adapting to get staff back working. The group also share their top tips to help other local organisations and go into detail about what practices worked best for them.

Listen to the podcast 

Shortened highlights

Full Length Episode

Episode 14 - Special Episode with MP Robin Walker

Episode 14 of the Making Connections podcast is a special edition featuring guest speaker MP Robin Walker. Robin joins Gary to answer some questions submitted by the business and local community around COVID-19 and the recovery process.

Watch the Video

Listen to the Podcast

Episode 15 - Live Business Q&A Panel

As part of the Making Connections series, The Worcestershire LEP spoke with a business panel around the recent special episode with MP Robin Walker, highlighting what this means for local organisations. Chief Executive Gary Woodman was joined by, Ben Mannion from Hewett Recruitment, Louise Fisher from Morgan Advanced Materials, Sally Morris from mfg Solicitors and Phoebe Dawson from the Worcestershire LEP.

Watch the video

Episode 16 - Mental Health in the workplace

Episode 16 of the Making Connections series takes a look into Mental Health and the impact that Coronavirus and the UK lockdown has had on individuals. Gary is joined by Laura from Mental Health UK and Mark Smith, Relationship Director at Lloyds bank.

As part of the episode Mark was able to share his personal experiences and talks about the work he did raising over £25,000 pounds for Mental Health UK in 2019.

Listen to the podcast 

Episode 17 - Worcestershire Group Training Association

Episode 17 of the Making Connections Podcast has a focus around apprenticeships and training needs as Gary speaks with Nigel Morgan, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Group Training Association.

Together they highlight how WGTA have adapted to the changing training landscape for their apprentices, and what does the future work/training split for apprentices look like.

Listen to the podcast

Episode 18 - Return to Business Leadership

Episode 18 of the Making Connections series sees Gary joined by Louise Hewett as they return to Business leadership and its importance during the current UK economic situation.

Gary and Louise are also joined by special guests Tom Hadley of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and Dave Morris from Leadership specialists Zentano.

Listen to the podcast

Episode 19 - Summer Economic Update

Episode 19 of the Making Connections podcast comes off the back of the Government’s Summer Economic Update. Gary is joined by WLEP board member and Bishop Fleming Tax Partner, Chris Walklett.

The pair summaraise the headlines from the announcement and review what this means for organisations in the county and the West Midlands.

Listen to the podcast 

Episode 20 - Redundancy Impact and Advice

Episode 20 of the series focuses on the impact of redundancy within the county in light of COVID-19.

Gary spoke with Laura Hewett from Hewett Recruitment and Sally Morris from MFG Solicitors on claimant day to highlight what these figures identify and get their top tips for both employers and individuals looking for work.

Listen to the podcast

Episode 21 - Getting Building Fund

Episode 21 of the Making Connections series is off the back of the announcement on Tuesday 4 August that £12M of funding from Central Government was confirmed for a series of economic recovery projects in Worcestershire.

Gary is joined by Luke Willetts, WLEP Director of Operations to discuss the projects being funded in Worcestershire, what the benefits are and when all these projects will be delivered.

Listen to the podcast

Episode 22 - Bank of England

Episode 22 of the WLEP’s Making Connections series sees Gary joined by Graeme Chaplin, Bank Of England agent for the West Midlands. Graeme talks about the impact COVID-19 has had on the banks and what future forecasts look like.

For more information, visit the Bank of England website –

Listen to the podcast

Worcestershire LEP

Episode 23 - Coming Soon