Make It York appoints new Business Growth Manager to support SMEs in York

A new SME Business Growth Manager has this week been appointed by Make It York to join the company’s business support and development team. This appointment is part of Make It York’s commitment to ensuring that local companies are able to take advantage of business growth, funding and development opportunities. 

Brian Littlejohn, York’s new Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Business Growth Manager will deliver business support programmes available through Make It York, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) and partners. This post is funded by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and York City Council. 

During his professional career, Brian Littlejohn has undertaken diverse commercial and operational roles with Marks & Spencer and HSBC, working with many local organisations. Brian has joined Make It York business team to offer his coaching, management and leadership skills to help businesses realise their business strategies, understand the opportunities, challenges and barriers they face, develop deliverable growth plans and advise on available skills training, funding and networking opportunities. Brian will work with Make It York’s fellow Business Growth Manager Louise Saw to support SMEs in York, helping them to access the support needed to unlock their growth.  

Brian Littlejohn, SME Business Growth Manager at Make It York, said: 

“I am looking forward to beginning my work at Make It York and supporting all the amazing York SME businesses on their path to continuous growth. I have worked in York for many years, fostering good relationships with key partners and organisations in the city, and have an in-depth knowledge of York’s diverse business community. I hope that my knowledge and expertise will help businesses find new opportunities to develop, innovate and grow.” 

Sean Bullick, Managing Director of Make It York, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Brian to our team at Make It York. We believe he will be a great addition to our business team of professional and passionate people supporting new and existing indigenous business in York as well as attracting new business to the city. Brian’s focus on identifying, building relationships and supporting York’s growth-focused businesses will help the city’s economic expansion and growth in priority sectors. We are looking forward to working with Brian and continuing our work with national, city region and local business support organisations like the LEP.” 

Make It York provides expert business advice, support and guidance – whether a business is starting up, ready to grow or looking to relocate to York. The company’s business support team helps organisations connect with ideas and support, funding and training, other businesses and opportunities for growth. The Connect over Coffee networking group, led by Louise Saw, Business Growth Manager at Make It York, is one of the examples of proactive approach the team utilises to connect business owners.  

During this hugely challenging period it is more important than ever for businesses to have quick and easy access to the right support. Through understanding various organisations’ business needs and signposting to available funding opportunities, Make It York have helped Olivia Brabbs Photographywho weren’t eligible for any formal government support schemes, to secure a Business Recovery Grant as well as Micro Grant from City of York Council. Through Make It York’s work on offering regular catch-ups and helping organisations to make business connections, LEaF Translations have received advice on skills training and employed an intern through the University of York’s Internship Programme.  

Find out more about Make It York’s work to support businesses here:  

More business case studies can also be found here:  


For further information please contact:  

Ana Ignatova. Communications Executive 

Amy Goodman, Consumer Communications Manager 

Notes to editors: 

About Make It York  

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our four corporate strategic priorities. These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Inward Investment and network building 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership 

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership works with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to help businesses in our region grow and become more productive. 

The Combined Authority works in partnership with local councils and businesses to ensure that everyone in our region benefits from a strong, successful economy and a modern, accessible transport network. By championing the region’s interests nationally and internationally, we secure the investment to deliver better transport and housing, help businesses to grow and create jobs.  

We want our region to be recognised globally as a strong, successful economy where everyone can build great businesses, careers and lives. For more information visit  

European Structural and Investment Funds 

The project is receiving funding from the England European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) are the Managing Authorities for European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund funding through the Growth Programme, funds established by the European Union to help local areas stimulate their economic development. By investing in projects, the funds will help to support innovation, businesses, skills and employment to improve local growth and create jobs. For more information visit  

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