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March 2015



March 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.

www.heartofswlep.co.uk
 
February 2015



March 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.

www.heartofswlep.co.uk
 

Introduction - HotSW LEP Chief Executive, Chris Garcia


Welcome to our March newsletter, where you’ll find out about the latest developments in the HotSW LEP.

As we approach the election we’ll continue reporting on “business as usual” and about progress on current activities, as part of our commitment to keep partners informed.

This past month has seen a lot of activity on the calls for proposals front, with the ESIF programme finally being announced plus calls arising from the Growth Deal in respect of training related to Hinkley C and from DEFRA on the Rural Development Programme.

Other exciting news was the designation of South Yard as an Enterprise Zone & in the last week the signing of the transfer of land for South Yard from the MoD to Plymouth City Council to open up this valuable deep water site for development. We have had a number of ministers and senior civil servants visiting the site in the last month and all have been very impressed with the potential. We are in a good position to put forward strong business cases for further attention and investment from Whitehall post-election.

I was at the LEP Annual Conference last Thursday, where Lord Heseltine said that LEPs are a great success and had come a long way but still had a lot more to do to make their collective voice heard and mobilise the “missing army” of the business community. Here in HotSW we work quite closely with business and many of the business representation groups are on our Leadership groups - but there is always more we can do to engage, so please continue to get in touch and share your needs and expertise.

I was also last week at the opening of the new Enterprise Centre at Highbridge, which is the latest delivery of new employment space supported through the LEP’s Rural Growth network programme.

In this newsletter we’ve also got the latest news about the new national nuclear college to be based in our area, and some welcome news that First Great Western is planning further investment as part of their new franchise that will benefit our connectivity and increase productivity for the HotSW area. Another step in the right direction of creating improved conditions for growth.

European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) Update from HotSW LEP

On 23 March a number of funding calls were published by the Department of Communities & Local Government, marking the opening of the programme in the Heart of the South West.

Applicants are being invited to apply for funding to invest in projects that will help support innovation and boost business growth. This funding is part of the first round of European development funding calls nationally worth more than £2.6billion over six years.

The main priorities in the Heart of the South West for this round of the programme are research and innovation; supporting and promoting small to medium sized enterprises; low carbon and information and communications technology

The full press release is on the HotSW LEP website here.

And regular updates on the Heart of the South West Structural Investment Fund can be found here and the funding calls can be found here.

Major progress for development of Plymouth Marine Industries Campus

The transformation of ex- MoD land at South Yard in Plymouth into a Marine Industries Production Campus is making significant progress this year, firstly with the award of Growth Deal funding in January, and now with the designation of the site as an Enterprise Zone and last week’s signing of the transfer of land from the MoD to Plymouth City Council.

The development of South Yard is expected to create 1,100 jobs as the site becomes a dynamic new centre of marine industry.
With the advent of EZ status, it will offer new competitive packages to business wishing to relocate and invest, facilitating HotSW LEP ability to reinvest and aid the timescale for completion to be significantly reduced.

As the heart of the Marine Industries Production Campus (MIPC), South Yard will boast a unique combination of deep water docks, laboratories, workshops and design space. The site will create 25,000m2 of flexible employment space with deep water testing facilities suitable for the marine and advanced manufacturing sectors.

MIPC will link with other marine sites including Falmouth, Appledore and Hayle, bringing opportunities for collaboration.

The scheme is part of the wider City Deal programme, which is expected to attract more than 9,000 jobs and £290 million investment.

More about the progress of South Yard and the City Deal is available on the City Deal website:
www.plymouth.gov.uk/citydeal
 

Hinkley C Training Activity - Call for Expression of Interest

HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership, as part of its recent Government funded Growth Deal is running a Skills Capital Programme. One element of this is a £6.5m capital grant funding package to support the operational delivery of the Hinkley Point Training Agency (HPTA) and related activity, including the new National Nuclear College South West Hub.

This funding is to support training where gaps exist. We have launched a call for Expressions of Interest from training providers (both private and public) and colleges to help us deliver this activity. Delivery must take place within the HotSW area and the minimum match funding requirement is 50%. The deadline for the return of Expressions of Interest is 1 May 2015, apply
 here.

 

First Great Western Fleet Upgrade

First Great Western has announced proposals to deliver the largest train fleet upgrade in a generation on the Great Western network as part of its plans for the new franchise that starts in September, and will run until at least April 2019.

Hot SW LEP welcomes these proposals, which would further our aim to improve connectivity by bringing together a range of benefits for customers and communities including: more direct trains into Devon and Cornwall, reducing journey times by 14 minutes; new or updated trains; free wi-fi; £50 million investment with partners to improve stations; improved retail and ticketing systems; £2.2 million Customer and Communities Improvement Fund to target improvements around areas of real social need, and additional funding for Community Rail Partnerships on local branch lines.
First Great Western will also develop a community work placement scheme, and work with The Prince’s Trust to develop a ‘Get into Railways’ mentoring programme.
First Great Western’s interactive website shows an overview of improvements at:
www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/greaterwest

Highbridge Enterprise Centre Opens for Business

 

A £1.16million flagship enterprise centre on the outskirts of Highbridge officially opened on Wednesday 25 March.

Highbridge Enterprise Centre champions high growth enterprises and drives business investment. It was partly funded by the LEP’s Rural Growth Fund, built in partnership with Somerset County Council and is to be managed by South West Business Centres.

The centre offers office space an industrial units 1.5 miles south of Junction 22 on the M5, giving easy access to Bristol in 41 miles, Taunton in 21 miles and Exeter in 56 miles.

Countryside Productivity 

Farmers, woodland owners and forestry contractors in the Heart of the South West, along with the rest of the UK, can apply for grants under the Countryside Productivity Scheme from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) an the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The funding is for improvements in animal productivity, health and welfare; arable and horticultural productivity, forestry and resource management. More information about the type of equipment and services the funding can provide and details of how to apply is available
here.

New National College for Nuclear
 

A new National College for Nuclear (NCfN) has been announced which will train future workers and develop world class skills in the UK’s thriving nuclear industry.
The college, a partnership between government and nuclear employers, led by EDF Energy and Sellafield Ltd, will be based at two hubs: in Somerset and West Cumbria, close to major sites of nuclear investment. Bridgwater College and University of Bristol are working with the South West hub in Somerset.
The hubs will provide a reactor simulator and virtual reality engineering learning facilities, offering high-tech specialist training to meet the skills needs of nuclear industry employers across the UK.
The NCfN will work with local schools, colleges and universities setting rigorous training standards and providing inspiration to local young people to take up careers in nuclear.
The 9 initial Degree Apprenticeships announced this year (2015) are in chartered surveying, electronic systems engineering, aerospace engineering, aerospace software development, defence systems engineering, laboratory science, nuclear, power engineering and public relations.
Apprentices will split their time between normal university studies while earning a wage.
Funding will come from the £80 million committed by government towards the 7 new National Colleges for industry, and be matched by cash and in-kind investment from employers.
With major investment underway in new and existing nuclear power stations, the sector forecasts that its demand for skilled staff at all levels will increase by 40% from 70,000 to 98,000 workers.

 

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