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Hertfordshire Growth Board sponsor first ever business diversification category at Inspiring Herts Awards 2024

Volunteers help to deliver £4m of social impact on Tarmac’s sites across Herts

Hertfordshire Growth Board: Celebrating forests as catalysts for biodiversity, wellbeing and travel

The Hertfordshire Growth Board joins the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and local business in celebration of innovation and resilience in business with the Inspiring Herts Awards, which took place last night (27 June).

This year, the spotlight shines on the new Excellence in Business Diversification category, proudly sponsored by the Hertfordshire Growth Board. Among the esteemed nominees are GeoSmartPro, L D Collins, One YMCA, and Tier 2 Consulting—each a testament to the transformative power of adversity and innovation.

Winner’s spotlight

GeoSmartPro is a Hertfordshire-based start-up, innovating and developing multi-award-winning smart home appliances for better comfort and convenience that fit into our daily lifestyle. It has grown as a company and made a surplus of £10,000 in 2023/24, with two award-winning products.  It had a single product and recognising the need to remain competitive and viable as a year-round business, it has developed new products which aren’t seasonal, expanding internal opportunity for staff, and bringing new products to market which can benefit consumers. Doing so has enabled the business to grow and look at expanding into wider markets.

The event was attended by Hertfordshire County Council representatives Scott Crudgington, Interim Chief Executive and Julie Greaves, Head of Sustainability, as well as Hertfordshire Growth Board Director, Forogh Rahmani.

Forogh Rahmani, Director of the Hertfordshire Growth Board, said: “The Inspiring Herts Awards are a testament to the determined spirit of our business community. The Hertfordshire Growth Board is proud to sponsor the brand-new Excellence in Business Diversification category, these companies have not only transformed their markets but have also shown that through innovation and adaptability, any challenge can be turned into a triumph. They are the problem solvers of today, shaping a brighter tomorrow for Hertfordshire. Well done to all four organisations on their shortlisting but huge congratulations to GeoSmartPro on its win at last night’s award”

As we applaud these businesses, we recognise that their stories are far more than narratives of success, they are blueprints for a future where diversity in business is not just encouraged but celebrated. The Inspiring Herts Awards is a ceremony that champions the resilience and creativity that thrive within the heart of Hertfordshire’s business landscape.

Learn more about the awards at:

Inspiring Herts Awards 2024 — Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce (

Hertfordshire’s communities have benefitted from £4m of social impact generated by Tarmac sites across the county according to a new report from Tarmac, the sustainable building materials and construction solutions business.

As a member of the Hertfordshire Infrastructure Development Board (HIDB), Tarmac’s report, titled ‘Creating social impact in Hertfordshire’ shines a light on the positive impact the business has created for people, planet and place across Hertfordshire in 2023 and provides a framework for how Tarmac will continue to operate responsibly in the future. This included a focus on how the business is restoring former industrial sites into vibrant green spaces, like Panshanger Park and Waterford Heath, where it is enhancing biodiversity and ensuring natural spaces are accessible for the community.

With 2024 marking the 10th anniversary of the opening of Panshanger Park to the public, an estimated 5,165 hours were donated by volunteers last year alone, an army of supporters who maintain the landscape in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council and Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (HMWT).

In honour of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 17,341 trees and shrubs were also planted at the park to create the new Queen’s Wood. The planting of the woodland would not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of volunteers, including local schools, residents, businesses and community groups.

Further findings from the report finds Tarmac’s wider operations across Hertfordshire have:

  • Generated £1.16m social impact through giving local communities access to green space within 500m of their home.
  • Provided eight local apprenticeships and employed 39 people.
  • Contributed £40,200 social impact through mental and physical wellbeing support for local employees.

The social impact report follows Tarmac signing the Hertfordshire Growth Board’s Development Quality Charter, pledging commitments to master planning and community engagement; incorporating social impact and environmental management systems into business models; and adhering to sustainability standards which exceed the minimum requirements set out in building regulations.

Forogh Rahmani, Director of the Hertfordshire Growth Board (HGB) said: “We welcome Tarmac’s great social impact at its Hertfordshire sites, and this demonstrates the important benefits of our Hertfordshire Infrastructure Development Board and Development Quality Charter. The HGB welcomes many more businesses signing up to the Charter and to support our ambitions for good growth and a sustainable county where all can thrive and succeed.”

Colin Haigh, Director of Growth and Place at Hertfordshire County Council said: “Signing the Charter ensures well-designed places to live, work, and visit for residents, businesses and communities, setting a quality and sustainability benchmark for new developments across the county. Councils and developers, like Tarmac, recognise that by signing the Charter they can reference it and use the Charter Mark in their corporate promotional material.”

Hertfordshire Infrastructure Development Board (HIDB)
Development Quality Charter
‘Creating Social Impact in Hertfordshire’

As the world marks the International Day of Forests on March 21, Hertfordshire stands proud as a testament to the integral relationship between nature and mental wellbeing. The county’s lush green spaces, from ancient woodlands to sprawling parks, not only harbour rich biodiversity but also serve as sanctuaries for mental wellness and advocates for active travel.

Hertfordshire’s forests, such as the Ashridge Estate, Heartwood Forest, and Cassiobury Park, are invaluable reservoirs of biodiversity. Hertfordshire’s diverse landscape boasts a myriad of green spaces, ranging from expansive woodlands to urban parks, each playing a vital role in supporting biodiversity. These green corridors serve as habitats for a rich tapestry of flora and fauna, preserving the county’s natural heritage and enhancing its ecological resilience. Through strategic planning and sustainable development, the Hertfordshire Growth Board is committed to safeguarding these green assets, ensuring their continued protection and enhancement for future generations to enjoy.

In addition to their ecological significance, Hertfordshire’s green spaces offer huge benefits for good mental health and wellbeing, providing residents with opportunities for relaxation, recreation, and rejuvenation amidst nature’s tranquillity. Research has shown that spending as little as 20 minutes a day in green environments can alleviate stress, improve mood, and enhance overall mental health. As a Growth Board mission – Healthy and Safe Places for All – the Hertfordshire Growth Board understands the importance of incorporating green infrastructure into urban planning initiatives, creating vibrant and inclusive spaces that promote wellbeing and quality of life for all.

Furthermore, Hertfordshire’s green spaces serve as catalysts for active travel, encouraging residents and visitors to embrace sustainable modes of transportation while enjoying the county’s natural beauty. From scenic walking and cycling routes to green corridors connecting urban centres, these initiatives promote physical activity, reduce carbon emissions, and enhance the overall health and vitality of our communities. By investing in active travel infrastructure and promoting environmentally conscious transportation options, the Hertfordshire Growth Board aims to create a more sustainable and resilient transportation network that meets the needs of both current and future generations.



Forogh Rahmani, Director of the Hertfordshire Growth Board, said: “As we mark the International Day of Forests, we celebrate Hertfordshire’s green spaces as invaluable assets that contribute to the health, prosperity, and wellbeing of our residents and communities. Through collaborative efforts and forward-thinking initiatives, we are committed to preserving and enhancing these green corridors, ensuring that Hertfordshire remains a vibrant and sustainable place to live, work, and thrive.”



To read more about Hertfordshire Growth Board’s Vision and Missions.
Vision and Missions

For enquiries contact Luke Fisher, Senior Campaigns Officer.