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February 2017

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.

Chris Garcia, Chief Executive 

The biggest news the LEP has had since the Hinkley go-ahead is securing our Growth Deal allocation last week for £43.57 million to invest in projects that will generate growth.

We made an ambitious bid last July with a pipeline of projects that we are convinced will improve connectivity, unlock growth potential and drive productivity through smart specialisation.

The Growth Deal across the country was three times over-subscribed, so we were pleased with the Heart of the South West’s share of the £191m spread across the South West LEPs. In terms of population and number of businesses, we fared well with our amount and we believe this shows the confidence that the government has in our partnership’s ability to deliver and the growth opportunities that the area has to offer.

The full story about our third Growth Deal award is below, with links to the website for the list of projects included and a breakdown of the whole of the funding secured by the LEP over the last four years; this now totals nearly three quarters of a billion pounds from a zero starting point when we were first set up.

Last month we talked about the launch of the HotSW Devolution Partnership’s Productivity Plan following the launch of the national Industrial Strategy. The LEP is working with local authorities and national parks on this and the first stage consultation for the HotSW plan is open until 10 March here

There are currently two live ERDF and three live EAFRD funding calls in HotSW, so potential applicants are invited to view the opportunities on our ESIF pages here.

We’re pleased to see that our Enterprise Advisor Network is already addressing concerns highlighted by Ofsted nationally about the need to strengthen the links between education and employers. More funding means we can roll out this successful project to a further 27 schools so we’re looking for an extra 27 business leaders to act as enterprise advisors. Read more about this rewarding role later in this newsletter.

The LEP’s private sector led Board is crucial to keeping up the momentum and strategic direction of these achievements, but many of them come to the end of their terms of office this summer so I’m delighted to say that we’re in the process of appointing new members to take their place at the helm. There’ll be more news about this soon.

£43.57m cash boost to help create local jobs and growth

Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid announced last week a government cash boost of £43.57 million to HotSW LEP to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth.

The third round of the Heart of the South West Growth Deal, along with the match funding of £115.92 million from the public and private sector, means a total new investment of £159.49 million. This brings HotSW LEP’s total investment programme to £722.70 million.

The ten selected locally-chosen projects set to benefit over the next few years includes: Phase 3 of the Somerset Innovation Centre, the Connecting Devon and Somerset broadband and mobile expansion and an exciting regeneration project at Plymouth Station. These, alongside other projects, will improve educational attainment, create jobs, build homes or improve infrastructure.

This latest award of ‘Local Growth Funding’ is on top of £195.5 million of Growth Deals funding already awarded to The Heart of the South West. This total investment could see 26,270 jobs created, 16,360 homes built and attract £376 million extra investment over the next 5 years.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“As part of efforts to deliver an economy that works for everyone, the Government is equipping local people with the resources they need to drive forward local growth.

“That is why we’re giving £43.57 million of new money to Heart of the South West to give businesses the support and opportunities they need to achieve their potential – on top of the £195.5 million already awarded”.

Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, Steve Hindley CBE DL, said:

“We can and will deliver transformational growth in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay – with the right level of backing from government to create the right conditions and remove the barriers to poor productivity, including improved connectivity and investment in skills.

“This latest round of Growth Deal funding helps us to achieve the step change that we aspire to, and we look forward to putting these ten new schemes into place that will help us raise productivity for the area and generate rewarding careers for the people of the Heart of the South West.”

Devon County Council’s representative and Board Member for HotSW LEP, Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, said:

“I am delighted that this funding will be coming to the South West and that it will be used to progress a range of really worthwhile projects that will benefit the economy of the region, particularly those positively impacting on Devon. There is, of course, a finite amount of money in the Government’s purse, and therefore I believe that we have done rather well in attracting this level of funding.”

Leader of Plymouth City Council, Councillor Ian Bowyer said:

“This is fantastic news and a real place changer. This Growth Deal funding will act as a catalyst to the regeneration of the station and will lever in significant inward investment.

“Plymouth railway station is the busiest south west of Bristol. Currently 2.5 million journeys start or finish here and is a number set to grow. When people arrive here by rail, their first view is a 1960s multi-storey car park and a very dated and tired impression of the city.

“We want to change this and to overhaul the railway station completely. This project will provide a new gateway and the station will be designed so that the first image of the city will be of the view along Armada Way towards the sea and Smeaton’s Tower.

“Working with our partners, this project will redevelop the station and the wider area, provide a new and increased capacity car park, improved public realm and enhanced retail offers at the station itself.“

Somerset County Council Cabinet Member for Business and Inward Investment, Cllr David Hall, said:

“This settlement is good for the region and good for Somerset. It paves the way for major infrastructure and innovation schemes that will be vital to the county’s future prosperity and growth

“The settlement we have had is a testament to the hard work of the LEP, its partners and local MPs who have helped make a strong case for these important forward-thinking projects.”

Elected Mayor of Torbay, Gordon Oliver, said:

“The announcement of this funding is great news and means Torbay can take another step towards supporting the growth of our local hi-tech cluster. This also means our young people will now have the opportunity to receive a high level of technical skills and qualifications without having to move away from the Bay to study.”

Bids are highly competitive and to be successful, LEPs need to work with partners to agree strong and accountable governance and put forward proposals that boost growth and bring in private sector funding.

This round of the Growth Deal brings the total value of the three Growth Deals awarded to the Heart of the South West to £597.69 million to invest in projects that benefit the local area and economy.

It secures £43.57 million from government; which, with additional investment of £115.92 million from local partners and the private sector, means a total of £159.49 million to be invested in projects to generate growth in the Heart of the South West area, which includes Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay. Over the lifetime of the Growth Deal – 2015 – 2021 – HotSW LEP estimates the investment will create up to 22,000 new jobs and 11,000 new homes. This means a total funding portfolio for HotSW LEP is now £722.70 million.

The ten projects were selected by the Strategic Investment Panel through consultation with the three Leadership Groups of People, Place and Business. Selection criteria prioritised projects with area wide benefits and strategic alignment with LEP aims: delivering: Productivity through smart specialisation; Strategic connectivity & sustainable transport and Unlocking & enabling growth potential. 

The list of projects to be funded under Growth Deal 3, along with a full breakdown of LEP funding is available here.

Growth Deal 1 funded One Research Way opens at Plymouth Science bringing 200 jobs

The most technologically advanced building in the West Country opened this month at Plymouth Science Park. One Research Way is the fifth phase of the development, and is part funded by £3m from the LEP’s Growth Deal along with additional funding from Plymouth University and Plymouth City Council.

One Research Way is spread over three floors and offers 11 units with adaptable layouts, super-fast broadband, an on-site data centre, 24-hour security and 24/7 access. It is a regional centre for science and technology businesses at a premier location. With unobstructed south-facing views, the glass and steel building makes clever use of natural light and features meeting spaces extruding from the structure in striking breakout pods, designed to encourage collaborative opportunities and inspire creativity.

The flagship gateway project is already 60% let with the matching learning company iotec Global and London based e-learning company The Key Support Solutions, occupying the top floors. The park expects the building to be 100% occupied by the summer.

"We are extremely excited to have made the move to Plymouth Science Park and the new facilities that One Research Way has to offer,” says iotec CEO Paul Wright. “We’re amongst some of today’s most innovative and ambitious companies who are committed to being leaders in their respective fields. It’s fantastic to be working in close proximity to other like-minded businesses.”

Director of Operations, Christian Jenkins, said: “This is a fantastic building in all respects and any aspirational business should want to be part of this dynamic and exciting community. The success of One Research Way has given us the confidence to start planning Phase 6 and it is yet another mark of confidence in the growth and sustainability of Plymouth as the region’s economic heart.”

Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Steve Hindley CBE DL, said: “Phase 5 of Plymouth Science Park, now named One Research Way, is one of the LEP’s Growth Deal funded projects that are selected for their strategic importance to generating growth in productivity throughout the Heart of the South West, which covers Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay. “This new centre ticks the boxes as an ideal Growth Deal funded project. Not only does it provide state of the art facilities for one of our key sectors for growth: Science and Innovation, it’s attracting companies to relocate from other parts of the country, bringing high value jobs to the area and building on the Heart of the South West’s profile as a leading business destination.”

Inward Investment success through Regional Growth Fund

Leading Swedish oral hygiene company TePe AB, have demonstrated their commitment to the UK market and confidence in the Heart of the South West as a business location by investing in a brand new UK headquarters at Cathedral Park in Wells. The new facility, which opened in January, is the head office and warehouse for the UK subsidiary of TePe AB and was supported by a grant from the Regional Growth Fund through the LEP to create a new facility to enable growth and stimulate the economy.

The move marks an exciting future for the company, with the expanded head office providing the opportunity for further UK investment and future job creation. Previously based in Wedmore and Cheddar, the company’s new headquarters are strategically designed to accommodate the rapid growth TePe has undergone in recent years and provide a facility for continued growth for the future.

Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Steve Hindley CBE DL said: “We are delighted to see the fruition of a strong partnership between TePe, the LEP and Mendip District Council to bring about this major inward investment by a global brand to the Heart of the South West area with the help of a Regional Growth Fund grant.

“Growth and productivity are our main focus and this project enables future expansion bringing more new jobs to the area.”

Cllr Tom Killen, Deputy Leader of Mendip District Council, said: “Helping expanding high quality businesses such as TePe is a key priority for the council and we are very pleased that they have chosen Wells as their preferred location to invest and grow in the future.”

Jayne Lunnon, General Manager UK at TePe, said: “Moving to a new purpose-built office and warehouse facility marks a hugely exciting time and demonstrates commitment for the future growth of our UK business. We have potential to expand the current site as we expand the business – this will inevitably create new jobs.”

“Equally, we’ve always had Somerset as our UK base and it was important to us that we continued to operate from the county. We’re surrounded by beautiful countryside, which is important to the pastoral side of our business and the well-being of our employees. Wells’ surrounding restaurants and hotels will also provide us plenty of opportunity to support local businesses, while entertaining our international colleagues and visitors”.

Enterprise Adviser Network - update

Volunteer businesses needed!

As reported in the December newsletter, the Enterprise Adviser Network has received additional funding and will roll out to a further 27 schools across the area.

As a result, the project wants to recruit another 27 business leaders across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay to volunteer as Enterprise Advisers.

The project connects local business leaders with schools, helping to motivate and inspire young people. Businesses work closely with schools to put together a plan that links careers provision with business and economy needs.

The Enterprise Adviser Network supports young people in making choices about their future career, helping to shape and influence their employment plans. The aim is to strengthen the links between employers and education, helping them to increase strategic planning and tackle skills provision together.

Two of the businesses who have taken part so far are Honiton-based Cosmic and Farringdon based LittlePod – we have written two case studies on each company, so you can find out more about what is involved.

If you would like to volunteer or find out more, please visit here

Enterprise education: how secondary schools prepare young people for work

An Ofsted report recently highlighted the disparity of careers guidance for young people and found weak links between employers and schools nationally.

HotSW’s Enterprise Adviser Network is addressing the recommendations in the report, as it’s designed to help bridge the gap between schools and employers.

The report, available here, made two main recommendations of how businesses can help prepare young people for the world of work:

Support local schools by offering activities such as mock interviews, participation in careers fairs and careers talks.

Provide well-planned and constructive opportunities for pupils to gain work experience and an insight into a range of roles and occupations through work shadowing.

Find Business Advice Services with the Heart of the South West Growth Hub

Our Growth Hub website lists all of the funded business support and advisory services available in Somerset, with information about what they provide, who they are for and links to any free events they run. Our website is kept up to date with any new services as they launch.

No time to browse? Have a specific question?

Call the Growth Hub team on 03456 047 047 and we will be happy to help you identify which services you can access to make your business plans a reality. Our team can introduce you to services and will stay in touch with you to offer any further help as your plans progress. Our advisers can also provide you with access to a wealth of supporting information such as factsheets and guides.
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