November 2013

Business is Great - BIS has launched a new campaign to help boost over 460,000 private sector businesses in the South West. 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.

Chair announcement

The Heart of the South West (HotSW) has appointed Steve Hindley as Chair of the board, effective from the end of December.

Steve was formally chosen as Chair following a board meeting by the LEP last week (Thursday 21st November) – existing Chair Tim Jones will continue in his role until the end of December; he then continues as a board member.

Steve said: "I’m absolutely passionate about the wealth creation role of business for society as a whole. I also believe there is a great need to nurture our local businesses in order to create and maintain sustainable jobs within our communities.  So I am very much looking forward to working with the other members of the board of the HotSW to drive economic growth across the area”.

Vice Chair, Frances Brennan said: “Steve is a high calibre candidate with a strong business background in a number of industries. The HotSW will benefit from his experience in a variety of ways, helping to shape the economy of Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay.

“Tim Jones, who will remain a valued member of the Board, has had a number of high profile achievements during his time as chair – including securing £4m of Growing Places Funding, £200m of pinch point funding for transport schemes and £2.9m to develop a Rural Growth Network across the area.  I would like to thank Tim for the enormous amount of work he has done for the LEP and for the number of achievements he has secured for the area as a whole.”

Chair, Tim Jones said: "I am looking forward to passing on the baton to Steve and being an active Board member, ensuring that the voice of the private sector remains key to our partnership. It has been a fascinating experience and I am keen that we maintain the momentum. I wish Steve every success.”

Please click here to read the full article.

Last chance for businesses to secure rural enterprise grant funding

Businesses across Devon and Somerset are being urged to complete their applications for the HotSW Rural Enterprise Grant (REG) as soon as possible, before the deadline in early January 2014.
Over £600,000 has already been allocated from the £1million REG fund which was launched in January. 

Administered by Devon County Council, funds have so far been allotted to 19 businesses across the area with the remaining funding due to be allocated in early March 2014.

Applicants can visit the website for further details and check their eligibility.

Strategic Economic Plan - your feedback needed

The LEP is currently developing a Strategic Economic Plan, the first draft of which will be submitted by Christmas.

We are formulating evidence-based priorities and intervention strategies for the 'business' sections of the Plan and are looking for views of businesses in terms of priorities and thoughts about the business environment.

Please click here to complete a short survey that will help inform the types of business support developed across the LEP and its future strategies.

The first draft of the plan will be submitted on 19th December.
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