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November/December 2014


Superfast Business website. Register FREE on the Superfast Business website today to access a huge library of guides on their Knowledge Hub covering all the latest business technology written by industry experts. It takes less than a minute! Click here.

Innovation Vouchers for start ups. Innovation Vouchers for starting up small businesses in the City Deal area are being allocated now until a date to be announced in early 2015. They can provide up to 50% of funding for innovation projects with a value between £10K and £25K. For more information click here or call 01392 241 301.

Growth Hub. The Growth Hub business engagement service provides impartial advice and support for businesses, call 0800 073 2020 or click here for more information.

Skills Newsletter - please take a look at the November edition 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.

Welcome, Chris Garcia, Chief Executive Heart of the South West LEP

Since our last newsletter when we announced the signing of the first Growth Deal which secures £270m of investment, we have been working with our partners and Government to progress a further round of Growth Deal funding. As before this will really help our area maximise on its potential for prosperity.

The process has two stages – the first was to share our potential pipeline of opportunities to help Government justify further allocations into the national pot.  We’ve provided a whole range of opportunities to drive up productivity and create jobs across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay. Once the Autumn Statement is released we anticipate starting work on negotiating our Deal – with decisions on which of our projects will receive funding being announced in two to three months’ time.
More on the partnership updates: we have been informed of potential delays to the process of the European Structural Fund, details are in the EU update below.

Also, ahead of the Autumn Statement, we have endorsed ‘Greater Connected’, an independent, business-led report to identify common strategic goals for greater connectivity across the five LEPs in the South West – all to enable transformational economic growth. The report has been endorsed by the CBI and all five Local Enterprise Partnerships in South West England: Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly LEP; Dorset LEP; Heart of the South West LEP; Swindon & Wiltshire LEP; West of England LEP and can be viewed on our website.

We also have an update on the Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal, and news about the latest inward investment packages available to attract business to the Heart of the South West with the new Soft Landings programme and the Investor Growth package.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @HeartofSWLEP

Greater Connected report

The Greater Connected report is an independent, business led review on strategic priorities that has been produced by Jim French CBE and endorsed by the CBI and the five South West Local Enterprise Partnerships: Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly LEP; Dorset LEP; Heart of the South West LEP; Swindon & Wiltshire LEP; West of England LEP.

Its aim is to secure government commitment to investment in the three essential infrastructure requirements of the region: road, rail and broadband. The report outlines the opportunity for local and national government and business leaders to work together to make the case for investment in these priorities.

Greater Connected has been sent to government ministers ahead of the Autumn Statement with a view to securing the necessary commitment and it publicly affirms our collective ask to government. This week’s announcements on the A303/358/30 is in line with this but our campaign continues.

In the context of this campaign,  the immense potential for business growth that would be generated through infrastructure investment isn’t commonly recognised.

For example, a £7 billion investment will achieve a 45 minutes reduction in the journey times to the Peninsula and will increase productivity by around 2%, adding £1 billion (GVA) per year to the SW economy (Sources: Universities of Bath and West of England; Parsons Brinckerhoff). We will be promoting more on this message through our newsletters.
We urge you to use the Greater Connected report to inform local decision makers as well as those in Westminster; join our campaign to encourage the Government to commit to greater connectivity for the South West. Please feel free to download and circulate Greater Connected, and promote it through your social media channels. Click here to view the document on our website.

Plymouth and the South West Peninsula City Deal news round up

  • The first of four initiatives aimed at young people, the £750,000 Youth Deal Wage Progression Pilot, run on behalf of City Deal by Working Links, aims to boost the earnings of 750 18-24 year olds across the peninsula. The Working Links team will be working with young people employed through the Work Programme and with employers already engaged with the Growth Hub. The scheme aims to help young people to secure better or permanent contracts, boost workplace confidence and move onto the next stage in their careers.
  • Proposals have been received from a variety of organisations applying to co-ordinate the Manufacturer’s Challenge in their areas. The Challenge will bring together employers and young people in a variety of activities that will foster a greater understanding of STEMNET careers.
  • The Growth Fund has agreed new grants for 8 companies worth over £600k, creating over 100 new jobs.
  • 1400 businesses have been supported by the Growth Hub delivered by GAIN.
  • The Outline Planning Application for industrial and maritime use of South Yard in Plymouth has been submitted.

The Plymouth and Peninsula City Deal newsletter is available here

Inward Investment update

The Heart of the South West LEP Inward Investment team has launched two new programmes to attract investment in the area from new and existing businesses.

The Invest in the Heart of the South West Investor Growth package is a grant fund to encourage SMEs to grow and create new jobs, and can be used for capital and revenue costs.

If you are in contact with any companies that might be interested in relocating or expanding into the Heart of the South West, it would be helpful to signpost the company to the new Invest in the South West Soft Landings Package.

It offers a comprehensive service to companies considering relocation to or expanding here, with advice from a local network of experts on key issues such as property, planning, recruitment, funding, market statistics and relocation logistics.

For more information on the Investor Growth or the Soft Landings package contact Heart of the South West LEP Inward Investment Manager, Julia Stuckey

The Digital Marketplace run by Peninsula Enterprise is holding the following Ecommerce events: 
22 Jan - Future Inn, Plymouth, Devon, 09:00 – 13:30 Selling Online Internationally
27 Jan - The Sanctuary, Watchet, Somerset 16:30 – 19:30 Essential Tips and Tools
3 Feb - The Workhub, Barnstaple, Devon 09:00 – 13:30 Selling Online Internationally
For more information visit or call 03001231043

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