March 2014

Renewable Energy Marketplace event - this event on 8th April brings together communities, businesses, landowners, farmers and homeowners with a range of solutions and demands centred on renewable energy. Click here for more details.

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.

Strategic Economic Plan - next steps

Firstly, thank you to all the people who have provided comment and feedback on the Strategic Economic Plan.  Consultation on the plan - the document that sets out the vision for the area on achieving jobs, growth and prosperity - has been taking place over the last six months, culminating in the formal consultation earlier this year. 

Hundreds of people from across the area attended workshops, events, meetings or undertook the online survey to help shape the economy of Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.

We have been adapting the strategy in light of this feedback, and with partners have been pulling forward our proposals for the Growth Deal 2015/16.  

Through the Growth Deal we can seek freedoms, flexibilities and influence over resources from Government, and a share of the new Local Growth Fund to invest in transport, housing and skills, ahead of final submission to government on 31st March.

Please click here to read more about the plan.

EU Structural and Investment Funds Strategy

HotSW has also submitted the final draft of the EU Structural and Investment Funds Strategy (SIF) to Government. 

This document outlines how the provisionally allocated EU funds for the area will be distributed between 2014-20. 

The strategy has now been assessed by Government at local and national level and has been considered by the Growth Programme Board. Initial general feedback from the assessment process was provided from Government to LEP Chairs in mid-March.
The next steps involve further dialogue and meetings with local Government teams for specific feedback  indicating those areas where additional work is required in order to complete the next phase of development.  The Growth Programme board is keen to see these activities addressed by 31st May 2014.
We will need to complete this work before Government confirms the timetables going forward - ‎future bulletins will provide details.

To read the final draft and to find out more, please click here.

Flooding Action Plan

A 20 Year Flood Action Plan for the Somerset Levels and Moors was unveiled earlier this month (6th March 2014). 

Chris Garcia, Chief Executive of HotSW, said: "We commend this plan to Government.  It sets out clearly the need for proactive and long-term partnership with Government to help a vital part of our area recover, not just from some of the severest weather experienced for many decades, but also a legacy of underinvestment.  

"Our economy can only become more prosperous and grow once we have business confidence, and to achieve that, we need resilience.  Investment into our infrastructure and action to cut the risk of flooding will be critical contributions.”

The full plan, and an executive summary, can be found on the Somerset County Council website.

Coastal communities awarded funding

The government has announced that Minehead, Seaton and Teignmouth have been awarded funding from the Coastal Communities Fund, which helps seaside economies and flood-affected areas.

Initiatives in Minehead, Seaton and Teignmouth are among over fifty projects across the UK that have been awarded a share of £27.7 million of funding.  

Chris Garcia, Chief Executive of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership said: “This is brilliant news for the coastal projects that have been awarded funding and an opportunity for businesses throughout the Heart of the South West. 

"These projects will promote sustainable economic growth and increase jobs, whilst helping to boost skills that will benefit the whole area.”

You can read more about this story on the LEP website.


Praise for Heart of the South West Rural Growth Network

DEFRA Minister George Eustice MP praised the Heart of the South West Rural Growth Network (RGN) pilot on a recent visit to Devon.

The Food and Farming Minister spoke on support for rural business at the Growing the Rural Economy event at the Cullompton Community Centre.

The event, organised by Devon County Council, was part of the work by the Heart of the South West LEP Rural Growth Network (RGN) pilot.

The pilot was awarded £2.9 million from DEFRA to develop a network of rural enterprise hubs to support micro and small businesses across rural Devon and Somerset, and is expected to help create around 1,300 jobs in the area.

To read more please click here to visit the LEP website.
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