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January 2015

Please note our new telephone number: 01935 385977
January Skills Newsletter is available here. 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.

Introduction - Heart of the South West LEP Chief Executive, Chris Garcia

Welcome to our first newsletter in 2015. Here is a quick overview of some of our plans for this year.
2014 was a year of achievement when we presented our Strategic Economic Plan as the backbone for all our activity to achieve transformational growth and secure funding.
We were successful in attracting £170m from UK and European government, releasing an equivalent amount in match-funding from local government and business, which is testament to the credibility of our SEP and the partnership that you have helped to create.
2015 is a year of delivery when we will see much if this work starting on site and beginning to reap economic benefits for the local community.
Over the themes of People, Place and Business, we are adding to the initial phase of creating the right conditions for growth by investment in infrastructure, to the next phase: maximising productivity and employment opportunities.
Our projects cover skills development, supply chain and export as well as support for new employment sites and new housing. By 2030 these catalysts are expected to have generated growth in excess of the UK average and 163,000 new jobs as the area capitalises on its distinctive assets in a global market.
Some of the projects starting on site this year are: Taunton Railway Station enhancements; improving mobile hotspots with pervasive 4G infrastructure; flood prevention through the widening of the river Sowy near Bath and dredging of the Somerset levels; improving skills with new facilities at Bridgwater College, Somerset College and Plymouth College STEM centre; Hinkley Point Training Academy – to enable local people to take up employment opportunities generated by the new nuclear power station construction; and construction is underway on new employment and innovation sites in Plymouth and Exeter, and is due to start at Whiterock in Torbay in 2015.
Also this spring the Growth Hub is due to re-tender, to enhance consistent and quality driven business support across the area.
We are starting to see results of the work that has been taking place over the last three years. We are moving firmly towards delivery and making investments happen by getting the money into the hands of local business and getting the projects on site.
2015 is an ambitious year and we still have much to do. Our success is reliant on our continued work with you, our partners, in attracting new funding and creating new schemes. We look forward to working with you to prepare a robust pipeline of new projects so that we can be ready to apply when new opportunities become available.
Chris Garcia, Heart of the South West LEP Chief Executive


Growth Deal update

On 3 December the Chancellor confirmed in his Autumn Statement that a further £1bn of Local Growth Funding would be made available for LEPs, to invest in projects to support economic growth between 2016 and 2021.This announcement follows the award of funding to LEPs made in October as a result of the first round of Growth Deal1.
Over the past 2 months, HotSW LEP has been in dialogue with the Department of Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) to share and explain the project pipeline to support the case to the Treasury for this additional funding. Awards are expected to be announced at the end of this month and the HotSW LEP will keep partners updated.
It’s important that the partners continue to present a united message to Government and Europe that, given the right conditions with a catalyst of investment in connectivity and skills, the Heart of the South West is on track to become a major contributor to UK plc.


Plymouth and SW Peninsula City Deal Round news round up

The £5.8m Peninsula City Deal Growth Hub covers the Heart of the South West LEP and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP areas.  Set up in April 2014 to alert businesses to the wide array of support available to them, the Growth Hub has reached over 15,600 companies from a total business population of 85,000. Over 1600 employers have used the service to access bespoke support.
As a direct result of the Growth Hub’s work, over 900 jobs will be created by March 2016
Businesses looking for support and advice can call 0800 073 2020 or click here for more information.
The GAIN Growth Fund Grants budget has been extended by an additional £100,000. The extra funding has been allocated to businesses that can provide match funding and will create significant numbers of jobs and we hope to have news of further funding shortly.

Marine Industries Production Campus

The Outline Planning Application to develop the site for industrial/maritime use has been submitted and can be viewed here:
Plymouth City Council has approved recommendations on the exchange of land in South Yard, which will be transferred from the MOD in three phases beginning in March 2015.  Work will start on developing the east end of Area 1 in April 2015, with the remainder of Area 1 and Area 5 transferred in March 2016 and March 2017.

Youth Deal

The first of five pilot schemes for the £750,000 Wage Progression Pilot began in Plymouth in December, with further programmes for Cornwall, Exeter, Somerset and Torbay starting in January. The scheme is run on behalf of the City Deal by Working Links, and works with young people and their employers to help young people move forward in their working lives.
The delivery contractor for the Personalised Mentors scheme will be selected this month. The scheme will support 1500 young people with a target of 900 moving into work.
More general information on the Plymouth and SW Peninsula City Deal can be found at:

Inward Investment update

Following the launch reported on in last month’s newsletter, the Investor Growth Package and the Soft Landing Package have received a high level of interest from companies looking to invest in the Heart of the South West – both those who are already located here and those from outside of the area.

The packages offer grant funding to encourage SMEs to grow and create new jobs, and can be used for capital and revenue costs.

Applications for the Soft Landings Package only are open until 31 March, or until it’s fully allocated, whichever is the soonest. (The Investor Growth Package deadline has passed). If you are in contact with any companies that might be interested in the Soft Landings package, please ask them to contact Heart of the South West LEP Inward Investment Manager, Julia Stuckey

Business is Great

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has launched a new service - the Business Growth Service - to support sustained growth and higher skills, bringing together several initiatives under one umbrella service to make it simpler for businesses to seek advice and support. The local Growth Hubs are still the main signposter for all business advice and support - the Heart of the South West's Growth Hub is delivered by the GAIN Network at part of the Plymouth and Peninsula City Deal - they will direct customers to this new Business Growth Service for relevant matters that can help local businesses grow.

What is the BGS?
The BGS consolidates GrowthAccelerator and the Manufacturing Advisory Service and schemes from the Intellectual Property Office (IP Audits) and the Design Council (Design Mentoring) into a single service. Export support is provided by UKTI and UKEF. The service is closely linked to Innovate UK and the British Business Bank.

Businesses interested in getting support from the BGS should visit or call 0300 303 0034 or contact their local growth hub at or call 0800 052 5600.

Free event - Unlocking Big Data - Investing in Human Capital - 28 January 2015

Organised by the Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board, with support from HotSW LEP, The Met Office and The Deer Park Country House Hotel near Honiton.

The conference will feature a range of industry specialist keynote speakers. It aims to help the Heart of the South West realise its Big Data potential to shape the conversation, examine the skills we need to invest in and define the focus for potential future funding proposals.

To book your place and to find out more please visit:

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