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June 2015

June Skills Newsletter is here.  You can also sign up for future editions.

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership is a strong and dynamic partnership between the private sector, local authorities, universities and further education across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset, and Torbay with the purpose of leading and influence economic growth, job creation and prosperity across the Heart of the South West.

About the Newsletter
Produced monthly, this newsletter aims to keep people informed of current news and activity.

Chris Garcia, Chief Executive


Following our success in securing the largest allocation of funding in England in the last round of the Growth Deal - £65.2m – we’re keenly awaiting news of what investment opportunities the new government will be making available to assist us in realising the potential of the HotSW economic area. So we are ramping up our preparatory activity to make the case to government, with several meetings planned over the summer with our new and returning MPs.

It’s not about just asking for straight forward investment, it’s about us showing government, who are key stakeholders in UK plc, that we have a robust and deliverable plan that supports their aims for an improved economy and more high-value jobs.

Partnership ideas are at the heart of our plans for growth. So we will be relying on you – our partners across the breadth of organisations in the public and private sector – to keep us in the loop on your projects and policy asks to help us create the right conditions for transformational growth.

We’ll be increasing our dialogue with you all in the coming weeks and there will be more information in the July newsletter and through social media and the LEP’s website.  
A tender for Hinkley related supply chain support is due out again soon, so we’ll keep you updated on that through the web on the usual procurement processes.

The tender for the Interim Growth Hub has now closed, so we’re looking forward to processing the next phase of this interim service prior to the longer term tender in time for next year.

At the time of publication we’ve just advertised for two new non-executive board members to help us drive forward the increasing portfolio of activity we have on stream for generating growth. We look forward to meeting and working with these new members very soon.

We’ve got a quick round up of the May Board and the activity having taken place at the recent Leadership Groups: People, Place and Business; which are the building blocks of the Strategic Economic Plan. We’ll follow up with short pieces from these groups in future newsletters so that you can be more informed about the day-to-day activities of HotSW LEP.

May Board

The Board were updated that now that the new government has been formed, the LEP is stepping up its activity to secure the necessary support for projects in the HotSW area that directly align with the government’s aims to increase the productivity of UK plc. This is the time to deliver transformational growth and it’s the task of the LEP, with our key partners, to ensure the HotSW voice is heard.

Management team and leadership groups were asked to define their achievements to the strategy by showing outputs against the Strategic Priorities in a Nutshell, which is the summary of the aims of the Heart of the South West Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) and can be viewed here. This will help to illustrate the success of the achievements and give confidence to partners that HotSW LEP is on track for delivery.

The Board welcomed the paper tabled by the CBI in its asks to government, which aligns to much of the SEP in its aims to create the right conditions to enable growth.

At the time of the meeting there were two vacancies for non-executive board members, and applications are currently being assessed. Vaughan Lindsey, who has left the Board to take up a position in London, was thanked for his contribution to HotSW LEP since its inception.

Hinkley update


The South West Nuclear Cluster meeting on 17 June brought together partners from across the south west to plan how the area can capitalise on its nuclear assets to create a legacy of economic benefits after Hinkley Point C is built.

The group is looking at how it can bring skills and industry together to create careers in the nuclear industry for young people, address skills gaps, secure inward investment opportunities and build the capabilities of existing businesses.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills outlined the government’s stance on nuclear energy; in that it’s in line with decarbonising policy, there is a need to grow capacity, and that the UK has areas of global advantage in decommissioning and waste.

Findings of the group included: Research & Development is key; there is much potential for significant international impact; a business led and focussed cluster model is needed and administrative boundaries need to be avoided.

The LEP’s role is to maximise project opportunities and assets and to identify potential market failure so that local initiatives and public investment can be supported.

European Structural Investment (ESI) Fund update


The first ESI Funds calls for outline applications have now closed. Outline applications received will now be technically assessed by Managing Authorities, with the HotSW ESI Funds Sub-Committee providing input and advice on local strategic fit. Successful bidders at this stage will then be invited to develop full applications for submission in September.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is leading on the production of a Local ESI Funds Implementation Plan, which is due to be considered by the HotSW ESI Funds Committee at its next meeting on 8 July. The Implementation Plan will outline expected ESI funding opportunities in the HotSW area for the period from July 2015 to end of June 2016. The LEP is actively liaising with Managing Authorities and Committee representatives to influence this work in line with its Strategic Economic Plan.

Further ESI Funds calls for expressions of interest are expected to be launched in the coming months and we will provide further information as this becomes available.

People Group News

The LEP People Group, which focusses on the employment, skills and social inclusion elements of the HotSW Strategic Economic Plan, has produced a Strategic Plan for Construction Labour and Skills to build a strong and responsive sector in the HotSW area.

A recent study identified over 1100 projects and £7.599m spend in the pipeline up to 2019. Whilst this is encouraging for the optimism of investment in the area, our partners both locally and nationally need to ensure there are enough skilled workers to carry out these projects.
So HotSW LEP is working with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and other stakeholders on an action plan that will not only ensure a healthy skills market for the industry, but will go towards the LEP aim of connecting people, places and business to make a difference to people’s lives by providing places to live and viable careers.

The action plan will look at the needs of construction employers and the workforce locally and in line the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, the CITB’s National Strategic Plan and the Government’s infrastructure procurement policy on skills development. This will help us and other partners secure available funding to maximise productivity and create rewarding careers across all areas of construction and the built environment.

Business Group News


The HotSW Business Leadership Group provides the strategic lead in the delivery of all business elements of the Heart of South West’s Strategic Economic Plan, including creating a business support system through the Growth Hub and stimulating enterprise and growth through export, innovation and inward investment

The main points covered at the meeting of 20 May were: Discussing the process of how to get new projects into a pipeline of feasible activity that could be put forward for national and European funding. HotSW LEP is keen to ensure that all partners have equal opportunity to submit projects for external funding that are in line with the Strategic Economic Plan and generate economic growth. Guidance in line with the Assurance Framework which aims for transparency and thorough communication is to be promoted on the website after 8 July.

The Interim Growth Hub procurement tender was open until Wednesday 17 June and submissions are now being assessed.
A presentation by Tim Milson from Better Business For All outlined the key principles of BBFA, a government initiative to encourage growth by reducing the barriers of regulation. More information on Better Business For All is available here.

HotSW Inward investment Manager gave an update on Inward Investment activity over the last quarter, more on this in the article below announcing the companies investing in the area through the Investor Growth Fund and the Soft Landings Programme.
HotSW LEP Partnership Manager announced the date for the LEP’s first AGM and Business Conference, and invitation event, which is to take place at Exeter Golf and Country Club on 21 September.

Place Group News


The Place leadership Group leads on physical regeneration, i.e. creating the infrastructure that enables the economy to be successful. The group advises the LEP Board and management team about infrastructure, place-shaping and strategic planning issues relating to the growth agenda and sets up task and finish groups for specific projects such as housing and environmental resilience.
Key points from the May meeting include: Kevin Bishop of Dartmoor National Park and Nigel Stone of Exmoor National Park presented a prospectus from the national parks. They highlighted the importance of internationally recognised brands in decisions to relocate to the Heart of the South West and the benefits of a quality environment to the population’s health and wellbeing. A Prosperity through Partnership theme outlines the business profile of these two areas being focused on tourism, recreation and farming; with the farming workforce becoming increasingly entrepreneurial. They noted that these areas are particularly affected by flooding and resilience issues.
The Housing Task and Finish group is preparing a discussion paper to enable the Board to determine its asks to the Homes and Communities Agency and a Spatial Framework Project Plan is being prepared to inform the next steps in the Strategic Economic Plan, with Green Infrastructure highlighted as a natural capital.
There is a joint meeting in July with Business leadership group, focusing on cross-cutting initiatives such as climate change & the Unlocking Growth fund.

Investment Success in the Heart of the South West

Over 85 high value jobs and £3million investment will be generated over the next 3-years across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay thanks to the Invest in the Heart of the South West Inward Investment service.

Funded by the Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal, the service has created tailored packages for companies considering relocation.

Successful grant recipients include TePe, a Swedish company that designs and manufactures oral hygiene products; US-based BB Photonics, which has landed in Torbay, investing over £1million, further strengthening the network of hi-tech photonics and electronics companies; Imaginative Cuisine is moving its manufacturing operation to Somerset and investing over £200,000; US-based Assure Controls is setting up marine technology and training projects in Torbay; Somerset’s Wiseman Energy Ltd is importing innovative wind turbine designs from the US; Prodek has relocated to introduce pioneering construction, roofing and specialist hydrophobic coatings products, investing over £80,000 in Devon; South African signage and display holder company Barkermad has opened a branch in Exeter; and MSubs, a US-owned marine industries specialist in autonomous systems, is now operating in Plymouth.

The Invest in the Heart of the South West Inward Investment service was established in July 2014. supported by the Regional Growth Fund Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal and the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership. The service works with public and private sector partners to attract companies and stimulate growth in the area. UKTI’s Inward Investment team plays a vital role in the Heart of the South West Inward Investment partnership’s success.

For more information on investment opportunities visit the Invest in the South West website.
The full press release is available here.


Start up Britain - Plymouth 20 July

The StartUp Britain Bus Tour is all about connecting start-up entrepreneurs, mentors and business experts to unleash entrepreneurship across Britain.

Visiting 25 locations over summer to encourage more than 15,000 people across the UK to start and grow a business, StartUp Britain is coming to Plymouth on 20 July.

The start-up Britain bus will be parked in the Piazza between 10am and 4pm giving those who drop in the opportunity to:
  • Meet business advisers and entrepreneurs
  • Get expert business advice from StartUp Britain sponsors
  • Sign up for StartUp events
  • Receive goodie bags, including useful information from the day
  • Apply for a Start-Up Loan and learn about funding for small businesses.
StartUp Britain sponsors will be joining the bus and readily available to share their advice on access to finance, accounting solutions and tips on how to get started.
For more information about StartUp Britain Bus Tour in Plymouth Contact StartUp Britain.
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