May 2013

Plymouth Business Show - Wednesday 26 June 2013 - click here to find out more.

50 Shades of Finance event - Thursday 23rd May 2013, Effective Financing for High Growth - click here to find out more.

LEP Network - the LEP Network is the hub for LEPs throughout the country - visit

The Heart of the South West LEP has been formed under the leadership of the private sector supported by the local authorities from Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay to create a powerful economic alliance.

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

A303 delegation to Minister

Improving the A303 corridor could deliver a multi-billion pound boost to the national economy and save hundreds of lives, according to a new report presented to the Government last month.

A delegation lobbying for vital improvements recently visited Transport Minister Stephen Hammond to make progress on this issue.

The delegation, consisting of the Heart of the South West LEP, Swindon and Wiltshire LEP, and Somerset, Devon and Wiltshire Local Authorities, had a useful meeting with the Minister in April.

The Minister has committed the Highways Agency to working with the partnership on further preparatory work, in advance of another meeting in late summer.

New advisory groups launched

The LEP has set up a number of new groups to provide the partnership with specialist advice and the latest business intelligence.

The new Social Enterprise Group aims to provide advice and comment to the LEP board on issues that affect social enterprises - find out more about the group and how you can get involved by clicking here.

Three other groups have been set up to look at specific issues around Water and Environment, Skills, and Funding opportunities for the LEP.

Due to the highly technical nature of the remit, most of this work is being undertaken by Local Authority Officers, with assistance from the universities and central government departments. 

In each case, each group will report back to the Board with their recommendations, before consulting with the wider business community.

The groups are not open to all at this stage, but have Business Forum representation. 

The groups are still evolving and in the process of refining their remit and Terms of Reference - we will update the website when these details have been finalised.

Apply now for Rural Enterprise Grant

Businesses in Devon and Somerset are being urged to apply for grants to help grow their business.

The £1 million Rural Enterprise Grant (REG) Programme, which was launched in January, has received over 100 applications so far and businesses are being encouraged to apply now to maximise their chances of success.

Rural enterprises with fewer than ten employees are eligible to apply for the business grants, although applicants will need to meet 60% of project costs, with the grant covering a maximum of 40%.

Visit the website for more details or call 08456 047047 to speak with a Rural Focus advisor.

Appraisers sought

In addition, skilled and experienced appraisers are sought who can undertake paid or voluntary appraisals for the REG programme.

If you’re interested in finding out more, please visit our website.
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