The Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has submitted the first draft of its EU Structural and Investment Funds Strategy to the Government, aimed at accessing the allocated share of EU funds.
The proposal puts forward the LEP’s priorities for the period 2014-2020, following a series of consultation events held across the area this year. Attended by representatives from business, education and social enterprise backgrounds, the consultation provided vital evidence and intelligence on local issues.
The strategy follows on from the LEP EU prospectus submitted earlier on in the year to the Government. The prospectus highlighted specific local issues that were constraining economic growth that had emerged from earlier business consultations. Superfast broadband, better infrastructure, more accessible business support and supply chain opportunities were all cited as barriers to growth.
Chris Garcia, Chief Executive for the Heart of the South West LEP said: “We want sustainable and skilled jobs, improved productivity and economic growth in order to bring prosperity for all in the Heart of the South West.
“It’s crucial that we continue to liaise closely with the business community and other partners to ensure that this strategy accurately plans, influences and delivers funding for the area.
“We are asking people to comment on the strategy to ensure that we’ve effectively captured the area’s needs and challenges, and to give us the best possible chance of accessing funds.”
The final document is due for submission to the government in January. Stakeholders have further opportunity to provide feedback on the draft strategy by downloading the document from the LEP website www.heartofswlep.co.uk – the deadline for comments has been extended to 15th November.
The Strategy will also link into the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, which is currently being developed, the first draft of which will be submitted by Christmas.