February 2014

Innovation for Growth - A new £4 million funding programme, run by the University of the West of England has been launched: available to both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large companies, the Innovation for Growth scheme will part fund research and development projects with grants of between £25,000 and £150,000 - www.innovation4growth.co.uk

Meet the Neighbours’ Business Lunch - Somerset Chamber of Commerce, in association with Exeter and East Devon Chambers of Commerce and the Blackdown Hills Business Association, are planning a ‘Meet the Neighbours’ Business Lunch on 26th February - visit the LEP website to find out more.

LEP Network - the LEP Network is the hub for LEPs throughout the country -  visit lepnetwork.org.uk


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 - we want your views

The Heart of the South West's Strategic Economic Plan - the document that sets out the vision for the area on achieving jobs, growth and prosperity - is currently being prepared by the LEP.

The first draft of the Plan was submitted to Government in December and we are now seeking feedback ahead of the next deadline in March.

Focused on delivery, the plan is structured around three major themes: place, business and people and targets strong, vibrant growth in both rural and urban economies.

We want to hear your views and understand how we can adapt our strategy to best reflect the needs of our area.

To read more about the plan, to view the first draft and find out how to give feedback, please click here. 

New business support service launched for rural Devon and Somerset

6,000 rural businesses across Devon and Somerset are set to benefit from the Heart of the South West’s new rural business support service. 

Entitled the Heart of the South West Business Support Service, the package provides a range of options to help businesses grow and develop. 

This includes face to face business advice from a team of specialist business advisers; an interactive workshop programme; an innovation programme; specialist support for women’s led enterprises; and a voucher based support programme (so that businesess can purchase support they need).

The aim is to provide businesses with resources that they need to stimulate business development and growth.

To find out more about the service, please visit www.business-supportsw.com.  You can read the full press release on the LEP website.


HotSW signs the Deal for economic growth

Greg Clark, the Cities Minister, was welcomed to the Heart of the South West on Friday 17th January.

The minister visited Devonport South Yard to sign the Plymouth and Peninsula City Deal, and hear about the plans for economic growth across the area.
As part of the overall economic strategy for the South West, the City Deal will boost the area’s marine and advanced manufacturing sectors. 

This is set to create over 10,000 permanent jobs by supporting 25,000 businesses through bringing £72m of private investment, set to rise to £266m, over the next fifteen years. 

The City Deal will benefit the marine sector, associated businesses and the general economy across the Peninsula.

The Plymouth and Peninsula City Deal is just one of a number of opportunities for the area, which together have been identified as having the capacity to transform the local economy over the coming decade.

Click here to read the full press release.
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