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May 2015

May 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.

May Newsletter

Chris Garcia, Chief Executive

Following the general election the HotSW LEP is geared up for our engagement with the new and returning MPs to ensure the new government and our contacts in Whitehall are aware of the unprecedented opportunities for growth in our area.

In this regard we were encouraged by the Chancellor’s visit to Appledore last week where he pledged commitment to ensuring that the South West is not to be overlooked given its potential for growth.

We’ve been working with our partners to develop enhanced communications tools to help us make our case for transformational growth. A short prospectus is available here and is the first in a new portfolio of materials that we are producing (with a new logo!) to promote the Heart of the South West as a business location and its services and initiatives.

In this newsletter I highlight that the LEP CIC Board has decided to recruit two additional private sector (non-executive) Directors, given the recent retirement of one of the private sector board members and the increased levels of activity of the LEP. We’ll be advertising these vacancies shortly.

This month we’ve also commenced the re-commissioning of the Growth Hub - an open tender is currently out - to put in place an interim service in advance of the Hub being completely redeveloped for next year as part of an EU-wide procurement. We’ve got a full update about the Growth Hub below.

Also, I want to take this opportunity to remind partners and businesses throughout the Heart of the South West of the commercial opportunities presented by the Hinkley Supply Chain – it’s not just for adjacent businesses near to the Somerset site – companies from all over the South West of England and Wales can register on the supply chain portal.

Lastly, just a quick reminder about the European Structural Investment Fund national programme which has a number of calls open for our area. The Heart of the South West LEP’s role has been now confirmed as advisory to the England ESIF programmes run by the relevant government departments (we use our ESIF Strategy – copy on our website - as our template for this advice).  Additionally ‘Technical Assistance funding’ through DCLG should shortly be coming on stream to help you be aware of and win contracts through future ESIF calls.


Growth Hub

The Growth Hub Interim Service (GHI) is out for open tender to provide independent diagnosis and brokerage to existing business support services while providing a seamless, smooth transition from the existing City Deal Growth Hub to a new full service starting in early 2016.

The GHI, anticipated to start in July, will be a first-stop-shop which will engage with business via various platforms. It will support and link in with existing local and na-tional initiatives without duplicating their offer.  The Growth Hub will be the HotSW LEP’s main mechanism of engaging with businesses across the area.More detail on these two phases of the Growth Hub can be found here where there is also a link to the open tender. The deadline for submissions is 8 June.

Those looking for support and advice from the current Growth Hub can call 0800 073 2020 or click here for more information.

HotSW LEP Non-Executive Directors required

HotSW LEP is advertising for two new non-executive directors (NEDs) of our Board. Candidates must have a strong business background at a senior level; and possess the necessary level of experience and understanding of our Strategic Economic Plan agendas to be confident of making an immediate and positive contribution to the Board. Ideally one of the candidates appointed will be in a bigger business; the other in an SME or social enterprise.

The NEDs will be required to attend Board meetings once every two months and pe-riodic meetings or events related to their areas of expertise to support LEP activity. The roles are un-remunerated.

To request a full briefing pack, please call Aaron Beider at REED on 0117 906 0009. The closing date for all applications is Friday 19 June 2015.


For the latest information about the ‘national’ European Structural Investment Funds visit our website at

Hinkley Supply Chain: Opportunities for all HotSW businesses

Companies throughout the Heart of the South West, (plus those in Cornwall, up to South Wales, Gloucester, Wiltshire, Bristol and Dorset) are eligible to register on the Hinkley Supply Chain Portal and take advantage of the many opportunities available through the development of what will be the largest engineering project in Europe.

HotSW LEP recognises the massive economic opportunities that will be offered by the new nuclear build at Hinkley Point, and we want to make sure that businesses in our area are fully aware of the commercial opportunities that will be presented once work starts.

Following a series of supplier forums, there are now over 1800 businesses registered on the Hinkley Supply Chain Portal. These range from window cleaners, caterers, and taxi firms to specialist environmental and professional service teams and the larger specialist steel fabrication, civil engineering and construction companies. If you are a company not yet registered go to the Hinkley Supply Chain Portal.

Competition open for £3m funding for Technology Inspired Innovation

Innovate UK is to invest up to £3 million in feasibility studies to stimulate innovation across four technology areas: Advanced Materials; Electronics, Sensors & Photonics; Biosciences; Information and communication technology.
The aim of this competition is to ensure that small and micro businesses in the UK are well positioned to respond to market opportunities across a range of technologies and economic sectors.
For queries about this competition, please contact

How is the South West Economy fairing?

The field work period for this quarter’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) is now open for responses, and Plymouth & Devon Chamber of Commerce needs your help to truly understand how the South West economy is fairing.
Complete the Quarterly Economic Survey online here.


New grants awarded to expanding businesses across Devon and Somerset

North Devon+ has announced the first seven businesses to receive awards totalling almost £430,000 under its Unlocking Business Investment programme:
  • Alderman Tooling Ltd (Plymouth),
  • Blugem Communications Ltd (Barnstaple),
  • EPS Services & Tooling Ltd (Wiveliscombe),
  • The Eurotech Group plc (Exmouth),
  • Jasun Envirocare plc (Bridgwater),
  • Moo Free Ltd (Holsworthy) and
  • SWM & Waste Recycling Ltd (South Molton).

The £5million scheme, open to businesses across the HotSW area, provides grants of between £25,000 and £499,000 to businesses with firm plans for expansion. The grants can be used to fund capital projects such as purchasing plant machinery and extending existing premises and must be match funded against private and commercial sources.

North Devon+ was awarded the fund in September last year - they developed the Unlocking Business Investment programme in partnership with Plymouth University’s GAIN Team, North Devon Council and Torridge District Councils.

Supported by the Heart of the West Local Enterprise Partnership and funded through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, the scheme is designed to animate private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable jobs.

The Unlocking Business Investment programme is open to businesses now. Please contact - for more information.

HotSW LEP - Working in Partnership

We are keen to keep you better informed about your LEP and you will see some improvements to how we do this over the coming months, including holding our first Business Conference and AGM in September; producing key communications materials and updates to our websites.  If you would like to find out more about your LEP please contact Heidi Hallam, Partnerships Manager at


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