£43.57m cash boost for Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership to help create local jobs and growth


Posted on: 23 February 2017

Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid has announced a government cash boost of £43.57 million to the Heart of the South West (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 the HotSW LEP, Councillor 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, Councillor 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.

Posted in: Business and Economy