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, Innovation and Skills .

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.


We may collect and process the following data about you:

  • Information you give us. You may give us information about you by filling in forms on our site (“our site”) or by corresponding with us by phone, e-mail or otherwise. This includes information you provide when you register to use our site, subscribe to receive our newsletters, participate in online polls or similar activities, communicate directly with us via e-mail or feedback forms and when you report a problem with our site. The information you give us may include personally identifiable information, such as your name, address, e-mail address and phone number.
  • Information we collect about you. With regard to each of your visits to our site we may automatically collect the following information:
    • technical information, including the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet, your login information, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform;
    • information about your visit, including the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from our site (including date and time); products you viewed or searched for; page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the page.


Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our site.

A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer if you agree.  Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer’s hard drive.

Below is a table showing what cookies we collect and why

Cookie Name Purpose More Information
Google Analytics * _utma _utmb _utmc _utmz These cookies are to gather information on how visitors use our website. With this information we create reports to help us improve our site. These cookies collect anonymous information including the number of visitors to the site, what pages they visited and when. View Googles Privacy Notice
Website TestCookie We use this cookie to test your browser to ensure you can log in to our site. This cookie is a session cookie and is removed when you leave the site.
Website PHPSESSID This cookie is used to store the session ID of the user and is required to determine if a user is logged in to the website. This cookie is a session cookie and is removed when you leave the site.
Maps This cookie is used so we can display Google Maps to you. This is a 3rd party cookie.
Electrinic Forms Firmstep2session This cookie is a unique identifier. It is used to ensure that you and only you are shown information relevant to you. It contains no personally identifiable information, but is temporarily linked to your user account if you log in to view or change an online form. This cookie is a session cookie and is removed when you leave the site. View Googles Privacy Notice
Electrinic Forms Firmstep2session This cookie is used to direct your request to the appropriate server. No personal information is stored. This cookie is a session cookie and is removed when you leave the site. View Googles Privacy Notice Google Analytics This cookie is used to gather usage data of the HMRC Tax Widget Custom session cookie This cookie is used in order to remember the buttons you have selected on the HMRC Tax Widget in order to deliver the appropriate subsequent information


You can opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics, this will apply across all websites and not just our site. For more information please visit

YouTube Videos

We embed videos from our SouthendBC YouTube channel using YouTube’s privacy-enhanced mode. This mode may set cookies on your computer once you click on the YouTube video player, but YouTube will not store personally-identifiable cookie information for playbacks of embedded videos using the privacy-enhanced mode. To find out more please visit YouTube’s embedding videos information page.

By using our site, you agree that we can store and access the above cookies on your computer or device. You block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies.  However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our site.

Uses made of the information

We use information held about you in the following ways:

  • Information you give to us. We will use this information:
    • 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, Innovation and Skills (BIS);
    • to enable the South East Local Enterprise Partnership to report key metrics back to BIS 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.
  • Information we collect about you. We will use this information:
    • to administer our site and for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes;
    • to improve our site to ensure that content is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer;
    • to report aggregate information;
    • to allow you to participate in interactive features of our service, when you choose to do so;
    • as part of our efforts to keep our site safe and secure;
    • to measure or understand the effectiveness of advertising we serve to you and others, and to deliver relevant advertising to you.

Disclosure of your information

We may share your personal information with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, any relevant local authorities and other selected third party delivery partners.

We may disclose your personal information to third parties if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, or in order to enforce or apply our terms, or for our research purposes.

Where we store your personal data

The data that we collect from you will not be transferred to, or stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”) and will be stored on the secure servers of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.

Your rights

You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data for marketing purposes. We will usually inform you (before collecting your data) if we intend to use your data for such purposes or if we intend to disclose your information to any third party for such purposes. You can exercise your right to prevent such processing by checking certain boxes on the forms we use to collect your data.  You can also exercise the right at any time by contacting us at

Our site may, from time to time, contain links to and from the websites of our partner networks, advertisers and affiliates.  If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies.  Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.

Access to information

The Act gives you the right to access information held about you. Your right of access can be exercised in accordance with the Act. Any access request may be subject to a fee of £10 to meet our costs in providing you with details of the information we hold about you.

Changes to our privacy policy

Any changes we may make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail. Please check back frequently to see any updates or changes to our privacy policy.


Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy policy are welcomed and should be addressed to