Digital Skills Partnership Manager
The HotSW Local Digital Skills Partnership brings together businesses, charities, and public sector organisations to tackle local digital skills challenges. The partnership is one of three pilots nationally launched by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to translate the Governments Digital Strategy into tangible local delivery across Somerset, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay.
Appointed to her role in the LEP in November 2018, Charlotte’s background includes being Director of a software company, founder of a tech start-up, digital marketing manager for an International Health Tech company and manager of FabLab Devon and the Business & Intellectual Property Centre.
Charlotte is passionate about pulling together a strategy to support digital skills across the Heart of the South West region that supports individuals and communities to keep pace and be their ‘digital best’, for productivity and for the well-being of the HotSW region.
Head of Delivery
Claire started at the Heart of the South West LEP in January 2021 as Head of Delivery, working closely with the different sector specialists in the team. She is also the LEP’s lead on clean growth.
Claire has worked in the field of sustainable economic development for over 25 years, starting out as a planning consultant in London for Halcrow and ERM. In 2000, she moved to Devon to work for the South West RDA where she had a number of roles including the Director responsible for planning, transport, energy and climate change across the South West region. In 2012, Claire became the Managing Director of Wave Hub Limited which she set up as a BEIS non-departmental public body. Her responsibilities included operating the Wave Hub offshore renewable energy test site in Cornwall and developing the newly designated Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone for floating wind and wave energy in West Wales. Claire was also a Governor and Deputy Chair of Plymouth Marjon University for seven years until her term ended in 2020.
Claire completed an MBA Essentials course at LSE in 2020 and has an MPhil in town planning and a degree in economics. She went to school in Devon where she swam competitively but is rarely seen in a swimming pool now. Instead, she enjoys paddle boarding and running and is a keen rugby supporter. She has also spent many lockdown hours playing Scrabble.
Chief Operating Officer
Eifion joined the LEP full time in 2018 after an 18 months secondment with Heart of the South West from the Department for Communities and Local Government. At DCLG Eifion worked across Government to design the 2014-20 European programmes and develop a continuous improvement approach for DCLG’s teams working on EU funding.
Prior to that Eifion ran the previous two south west European funding programmes having joined DCLG from the South West Regional Development Agency in 2011. He joined the RDA in 2008 after 10 years in sales and marketing at Toyota where he headed up the product marketing and sales planning functions.
Eifion is a close follower of Exeter Chiefs and continues to believe Wales should have won the Rugby World Cup in 2019 (and 2015, 2011, 2007 etc).
Sector Lead – Nuclear and Aerospace
Corinne has been the Nuclear Sector Lead for the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership since January 2015, more recently adding aerospace and aviation. Prior to her role at the LEP Corinne was the Economic Regeneration Manager for West Somerset Council (now known as Somerset West & Taunton Council), which was the host local authority for Hinkley Point C.
Corinne’s role focuses on cluster development within sectors which means bringing together a range of stakeholders from industry, academia, business support agencies, Government and public sector partners and relevant assets to create the right conditions for growth, often across multiple economic geographies. Nuclear South West, iAero (SW Aerospace) and the Exeter Sustainable Aviation Cluster are examples of this.
Corinne lives on the family farm in Devon and so while advanced engineering, manufacturing and supporting the LEPs clean energy ambitions are the day job, she also has a significant understanding of rural challenges. Corinne’s main claim to fame, and a moment she still dines out on, was once training a 33-1 winner of a Novice Riders Race at Chipley Park Point to Point, made even more notable as the horse was piloted by her older son.
Janet provides secretarial support and diary management to the Chief Executive as well as supporting the LEP Board with the collation of agendas, papers and minute taking.
She also works across the wider core team, answering general enquiries and booking meeting rooms. Responsible for the filing of annual company accounts, IT kit and phone purchasing and managing the overheads budget, Janet is the ‘go to’ person in the LEP!
Prior to joining HotSW LEP Janet was a Line Manager for a Business Advisory Team, and Training & Development Skills Business Advisor for Peninsula Enterprise (formerly Business Link).
She also has more than 20 years’ experience in Hospitality and Catering, including general management of large city centre hotel with over 60 staff.
When not at work Janet enjoys walking her two lively dogs, swimming, travelling and sailing.
David Ralph started as Chief Executive of Heart of South West LEP at the beginning of June 2018. Previously, he had spent 5 years as CEO of the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire (D2N2) LEP from 2013 where he oversaw the development of the D2N2 Strategic Economic Plan and sector strategies, 3 Growth Deals with HM Government to deliver a £1billion capital investment programme, securing and implementing £200m ESIF programme, the Derby and Nottingham Enterprise Zone, the D2N2 Skills Deal and Time for Innovation programme, community fund and led the executive team to develop the HS2 East Midlands hub. He was also closely involved in the proposed North Midlands Devolution Deal and one of the key architects in establishing the Midlands Engine, chairing the officer steering group. Whilst in this role David was a NED of the Nottingham Enterprise Zone, and Marketing NG, the Outer Estates Foundation and a Governor of Nottingham College and on the advisory Board of Nottingham Business School.
Before the East Midlands, David was CEO of the Have Gateway Partnership working closely with local stakeholders including the ports of Felixstowe, Harwich and Ipswich and BT Adadastral Park across Suffolk and Essex and prior to that was Chief Exec of the Barton Hill New Deal for Communities programme in Bristol and the Nelm Development Trust in Norwich.
David is a keen sailor, walker and trail runner.
South Coast Marine Cluster Coordinator
Sheldon has managed the Maritime UK South West cluster since its inception in 2016, an ocean economy cluster which brings together the private, public, and research sectors to provide greater voice and promotion to focus areas of the ocean economy most likely to create growth for the SW economy. Prior to this Sheldon worked at Plymouth City Council as Business Relationship and Innovation Manager, working to develop the Marine Business Technology Centre and the Oceansgate Enterprise Zone in Devonport, in addition to this he led the Building Plymouth careers and skills project and the Connected Plymouth digital network.
Sheldon was also part of the South West Regional Development Agency innovation team, where he worked on developing and funding collaborative innovation projects in additive layer manufacturing, measurement science and marine and environmental technologies working across research and business partners. The first 10 years of his career was in the private sector, with the Institute of Physics and in the motorsport sector working for Exeter firm Goodridge. Sheldon holds a degree in Psychology and Business Administration, speaks average Spanish and has a small family in South Devon. He loves spending time outdoors or even better in the sea.
LEP Communications Manager with 30 years’ experience in destination marketing, regeneration marketing, events promotion, PR and public affairs campaigns in roles at Trafford Park Development Corporation, Manchester City Council, Torbay Council and Torbay Development Agency; prior to joining the LEP in 2014 to implement and deliver a communications strategy.
Helena manages the LEP’s online and offline communications activity across the LEP’s strategic and service initiatives via a mix of channels including media PR, web, video, social media, speech and copy writing, design and print and engagement with HotSW MPs and Government.
Helena has a BA (Hons) Fine Arts graduate with a CIM Post-Graduate Certificate in Marketing Management and is a qualified practitioner of the Institute of Leadership Management Level 5 methodology.
LEP Programme Performance Manager with 35 years’ experience in project and programme management, marketing, product management, funding programmes, infrastructure development and business support in roles in IT, Telecoms, Social Enterprise, Environmental Consultancy and the Public Sector. Mel is employed by Devon County Council as a Senior Manager in the Economy Enterprise and Skills Service and has been contributing to the LEP on a part-time basis since 2014.
Mel manages the Programme Management Office for the LEPs key capital funding streams – Local Growth Fund and Growing Places Fund, including managing the Strategic Investment Panel, monitoring outputs and expenditure, forecasting, reporting to government and working closely with Somerset County Council colleagues.
Mel is a BSc (Hons) graduate in Astronomy, with an MSc in Information Technology and a CIM Diploma in Marketing. She is a Prince 2 qualified practitioner and a qualified practitioner of the Institute of Leadership and Management Level 5.
Inward Investment Manager
Carla has recently joined the LEP as the Inward Investment Manager, her primary role is to launch and project manage the ERDF funded Inward Investment Support Package, liaising with DIT and progressing priority inward investment activity with local stakeholders.
Having worked in Economic Development for more than 10 years, at both a county and district level across Devon and Somerset, Carla is experienced in business support, marketing, regeneration and event management.
Carla has a passion for the underwater world and in her spare time can be found exploring the amazing Devon, Cornwall and Dorset coasts. She has recently taken this passion a step further and qualified as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor to bring forward the next generation of scuba divers.
Digital Futures Sector Lead
Vince joined the LEP in November 2020 to provide maternity cover for the Digital Futures Sector Lead Role. Prior to that he ran his own Business Consultancy specialising in helping businesses with Technology Digital & Web. Prior to that that he has also worked as a director of a bespoke software development company & internet marketing company. He is also an experienced business advisor having worked for Business Link & on various business support programmes such as Connecting Devon & Somerset, Superfast Business, and the Heart of the South West Growth Hub.
In the role as the Digital Futures Sector Lead, he is tasked to implement an ambitious Digital Strategy for the HotSW area as well as supporting and promoting the burgeoning tech sector in the region including AgriTech, Environmental Intelligence, Health-Tech & Geo-Spatial Innovation
He lives in Devon but hails from Northern Ireland. Plays some golf (badly), enjoys Rugby (Go Ireland!) and is one of the many dog owners in the LEP.