The Innovation team

West Yorkshire is a hotbed of innovation. With a vision to become a place that is globally recognised for developing an open, inclusive, thriving ecosystem, where SMEs, budding entrepreneurs and individuals are inspired to innovate.

We met with some of the Innovation team who talked to us about their roles and why they enjoy working within the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.


The innovation team have recently secured £6m of new funds to support the delivery of our ‘innovation framework’ in the region over the coming years. 

Meet Asiyah, Programme Support Officer within the Innovation Team


We asked Asiyah about her role within the Innovation team and why she chose to work for Combined Authority, as well as how Asiyah has found the role so far and what she has learned. Here is what Asiyah told us:

"I came to work for the Combined Authority after the role was recommended to me through a colleague. I also knew somebody here who only had praise for the Combined Authority in terms of team work, friendliness, helpfulness and flexibility, which I have now seen first-hand since being here.

I came from a business support background so the Innovation team was an opportunity to expand on my experience and knowledge.

My job involves providing operational and administrative support and also supporting businesses who are looking for innovation grant support.

Time has flown and I enjoy my work and working in my team who are very supportive. Anything can come up at anytime so it keeps you on your toes.

I am learning about grant funding and how this can support businesses in innovation. I have also learnt there is no harm or fear in speaking up and asking for help and reflecting on how things are done and why. I am looking forward to the launch of our new support service and the expansion of our team."


The day to day work on innovation support is really interesting but it's the people that make it a great place to be.

Louise Allen Programme Development Lead

Meet Sian, Service Manager for Innovation

We asked Sian about her role within the Innovation team and why she chose to work for Combined Authority, as well as how Sian has found the role so far and what she has learned. Here is what Sian told us:

"I came across the Combined Authority when looking into a career change after 15 years working in the youth sector. I was seeking a new challenge that would allow me to apply my skills and creativity in a different context and felt being part of the Innovation team provided the perfect opportunity for this. The innovation projects at the Combined Authority really excited me and the added perks of the MCard (providing free travel across West Yorkshire on bus and rail all year round) and flexible working made the opportunity even more appealing. 

My role is to project manage and ensure the smooth delivery of various elements of the innovation business support service to support businesses across our region to achieve growth through innovation.

My experience over the last 4 months at the Combined Authority has been great. The environment is incredibly supportive and inclusive, which has made me feel welcomed and valued. The Combined Authority place a strong focus on professional development which aligns perfectly with my career goals. 

I learn something new most days and enjoy how open everyone is to questions. Learning about the innovation ecosystem within West Yorkshire and the innovation projects that are taking place is very exciting. 

I'm looking forward to seeing what innovation projects the businesses of West Yorkshire undertake next and the environmental and societal benefits that are achieved as a result." 

I was looking for a job that made a difference and an employer that respected the importance of work/life balance. The Combined Authority fitted the bill perfectly.

Louise Bermingham Senior Service Manager for Innovation

Meet Louise Allen, Mitchell McCombe & Louise Bermingham





We asked Louise B (Senior Service Manager for Innovation) {centre}, Mitchell (Head of Innovation Policy) {right} and Louise A (Programme Development Lead) {left} about their roles.

Here is what they told us:

Why did you choose to work for the Combined Authority?

Louise A:

"A couple of former colleagues came to work here and told me about what a good place it is to work. I started looking for roles at the Combined Authority and found one that sounded perfect - that was three years ago and I'm still enjoying what I do. I've always had jobs where what I do makes a positive difference to people, and working at the Combined Authority is no different - what we do makes a real impact to the people and businesses in the region."

What does your role entail?


"I am responsible for developing our region's innovation policy, meaning that I help shape our priorities to enable more of our people and businesses across West Yorkshire to innovate - whether creating or improving products, services or technologies. There is a real task ahead to showcase innovation as a sport for all and that anyone can be an innovator - and we're looking at new ways to stimulate an interest in innovation across the region."

Why should applicants join the Innovation team?

Louise B:

"As a whole, our directorate are really respectful of colleagues and value each other’s opinion. You can contribute to a wide range of projects and be able to make a difference. The best bit about the innovation team is that you get to work with and learn about some amazing businesses and their ideas. Some of the things I’ve seen have literally blown me away and to know you’ve had a hand in their success, regardless of how small, is really rewarding."

Why is innovation important to you?

Louise B:

"A chap I used to work with had a brilliant way of looking at this – and it’s a view I’ve stolen. (Thanks Robin). Innovation is making money out of new ideas. Without ideas, our region can’t generate more money. Without money, our region can’t develop, prosper and compete to be the best it can be. I’m not Yorkshire born but have spent most of my working life here and definitely consider myself an honorary Yorkshire bod. I’m proud of where I choose to live my life and want to help it be even more amazing. and supporting good innovative ideas are a way to help achieve that!"

Working at the Combined Authority offers you the opportunity to affect real change in the communities you serve.

Mitchell McCombe Head of Innovation Policy

Meet Kelly, Service Manager within the Business Sustainability Team


Hear from Kelly, Service Manager (Business Sustainability) at the Combined Authority.

Kelly talks to us about her role and how much she enjoys being part of a friendly team. She also tells us that the employee benefits we offer at the Combined Authority, such as the MCard (providing free travel across West Yorkshire on bus and rail all year round) and flexible working, really suit her work-life balance. 

More stories from staff at WYCA

Read more employee testimonials from some of our colleagues in other teams across the Combined Authority and find out more about working life by visiting the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Vercida platform and the Life at WYCA page.