Privacy Policy

BEST Growth Hub Website Privacy Policy

BEST Growth Hub (“We”) is a business support service operating in the Essex, Southend and Thurrock areas.  We are funded by by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

We are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.

This policy (together with our terms of use and any other documents referred to on it) sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us.  Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it. By visiting you are accepting and consenting to the practices described in this policy.

Our data protection officer and nominated representative for the purpose of the Act is Debbie Skinner.

Your privacy and how we use your information

BEST Growth Hub is committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services. As part of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, we are the data controller, this means we control how your personal information is processed and for what purposes.

The Privacy Notice below explains how we use information about you and how we protect your privacy.

We have a Data Protection Officer who makes sure we respect your rights and follow the law. If you have any concerns or questions about how we look after your personal information, please contact the Data Protection Officer at or by calling 01702 215000 and asking to speak to the Data Protection Officer.

What is personal information?

Personal information can be any information which relates to a living individual who can be identified from it. This can include information that when put together with other information can then identify a person.

The information we collect about you may include:

  • contact name and address details including post code and local authority located in (both individuals and businesses), position within the business
  • contact details including phone numbers and email addresses (both individuals and businesses)
  • business name, business registration date, legal status and ownership details
  • description of the business, maturity of the business, sector and SIC code
  • website address
  • reason for contacting the Growth Hub, how you heard about the Growth Hub / source of referral
  • companies house number, VAT registration number, HMRC unique taxpayer reference (UTR), HMRC employers PAYE reference number
  • evidence of eligibility as an SME to receive support, including current and projected turnover and number of employees
  • State Aid provided received during the last 3 (three) fiscal years
  • data to demonstrate Gross Value Added (i.e. annual sales, net profitability, depreciation costs, employment costs, tangible fixed assets and the number of employees) in the most recent, completed fiscal year and forecast for the current financial year

Why do we need your personal information?

We may need to use some information about you to:

  • effectively deliver the BEST Growth Hub service of business support to you
  • manage those services we provide to you;
  • check the quality of services; and
  • to help with research and planning of new services.

How the law allows us to use your personal information

There are a number of legal reasons why we need to collect and use your personal information.

Generally we collect and use personal information where:

  • you have entered into a contract with us via the provision of business support
  • BEST Growth Hub’s partners are providing you with business support services
  • it is necessary for archiving, research, or statistical purposes

If we have asked for consent to use your personal information, you have the right to withdraw it at any time. If you want to remove your consent, please contact with your contact details and which service you would like to be removed from so we can deal with your request.

How much information are we collecting about you?

We will only collect and use personal information that we require in order to provide business support services.

We only collect information about you that we need in order for you to get the best service from us. We respect your privacy and will keep what we collect to a minimum.

When visiting our websites, you may also be providing us with certain information through our use of website ‘cookies’. You can find out more about this HERE.

We don’t sell your personal information to anyone else.

Who might we share your information with?

We appreciate you have provided your information to us and may not want us to share it with others. However sometimes it is necessary for us to do so.

The BEST Growth Hub service is a fully funded service and therefore, it is necessary that we share the details you provide to us with our funders; the Department for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) for research and evaluation purposes. This is a condition of using the fully funded service. The use of this information may include matching to other data sources to understand more about organisations like yours and general patterns and trends, although the business’s data will not be published or referred to in a way which identifies any individual or business.

We may also share the details you provide us with our delivery partners and your local authority economic development team, where you have requested us to do so.

This information may be used in the following ways:

  • to facilitate the delivery and management of business support services to small to medium sized enterprises (SME) in the Essex, Southend and Thurrock area provided by South East Local Enterprise Partnership under the auspices of the BEST Growth Hub, supported by its third party delivery partners (including relevant local authorities);
  • to enable selected delivery partners to contact SMEs who have received business support services from BEST Growth Hub. Any such contact with an SME by a delivery partner shall be solely for the purpose of:
    • profiling business support activity in the relevant local authority area;
    • contacting the SME to arrange face-to-face meetings;
    • responding to a specific request made by an SME.
  • to report effectively on the performance of the BEST Growth Hub to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
  • to enable the South East Local Enterprise Partnership to report key metrics back to BEIS in relation to evaluating customer satisfaction of the scheme;
  • to enable the selected delivery partners to undertake statistical analysis and/or compile reports of the business support services provided by the BEST Growth Hub and its other delivery partners;
  • to allow BEST Growth Hub to track the progress of specific SMEs who have received business support services;
  • to provide evidence that State Aid provided to the SMEs through the BEST Growth Hub is in accordance with European Community regulation 1998/2006;
  • to respond to specific queries submitted via email or feedback forms;
  • to compile reports about businesses in the Essex, Southend and Thurrock areas with the help of selected third party delivery partners (including relevant local authorities). The intention of these reports is to better understand demand for and target business support resources;
  • to improve the content of our site, customise our site to your preferences and ensure that content from our site is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer;
  • for the purpose of consultation, statistical analysis, profiling and administration of the BEST Growth Hub project;
  • for our marketing and research purposes.

We are careful to minimise such sharing; whenever we share your information we do everything we can to make sure it is protected.

Is any of our information about you incorrect?

You can ask to change information you think is inaccurate, you should let us know if you disagree with something we have on record about you.

We may not always be able to change or remove that information but we’ll correct factual inaccuracies and may include your comments in the record to show that you disagree with it.

Please let us know if your mobile phone, email address or other contact information changes so that we can keep this information up to date.

Please email if you would like to update any of your information.

How long do we keep your personal information?

There’s often a legal reason for keeping your personal information for a set period of time, we are required by our funders, BEIS, to retain your data for 6 years after support has been received.

Keeping your information secure

We make every effort to keep your information safe:

  • We take appropriate care to secure the information we hold about you
  • We have robust technical security such as passwords and information encryption
  • We have policies and procedures to make sure your information is only available to our employees who need to see it to do their job, and we train these employees appropriately.
  • We establish robust procedures and contracts to extend these protections to any other person or organisation we may need to give your information to.

Transfer of information abroad

The majority of the personal information we store is held on systems in the UK. But there are some occasions where your information may leave the UK either in order to get to another organisation or if it is stored in a system outside of the EU.

We will have additional protections on your information if it leaves the UK ranging from secure ways of transferring information to ensuring we have a robust contract in place with that third party.

We will take all practical steps to make sure your personal information is not sent to a country that is not seen as ‘safe’ either by the UK or EU Governments.

Telling you about events and services

We may offer you opportunities to hear about events and services provided by the BEST Growth Hub and our partners. When we do we will ask for your consent to do so and offer you a clear opportunity to opt out at any time.

Who can you contact about data protection and your rights?

In the Council you can email the Data Protection officer at

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues or to lodge a complaint about how we have handled your information you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at:

You can visit or email

Alternatively you can write or telephone:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.

The full Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Privacy Notice can be viewed at