The Clean Growth Opportunity

The Heart of the South West is in a unique position to take a lead on the UK’s transition to net zero based on our pedigree of:

  • having an unrivalled set of industrial, academic and research assets aligned with clean growth: the Met Office, UK Hydrographic Office; the UK’s 5 most influential climate scientists at the University of Exeter and the UK’s largest cluster of marine researchers in Plymouth, exploring marine autonomy and digital ocean technology.
  • having an abundance of natural capital, both green and blue, with assets like Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks, the North Devon Biosphere and Plymouth Sound National Marine Park.
  • being home to the first new nuclear power station in decades at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, which will generate 3.26 GWs of clean energy. In addition, we have an aspiration to complement this mix with floating offshore wind from new seabed leases in the Celtic Sea.

Importantly, there is also strong political will among the area’s local authorities and public sentiment associated with the climate emergency that is stimulating the development of collective processes to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

Blueprint for Clean Growth

Read our Blueprint for Clean Growth which sets out how the LEP plans to ‘build back greener’ - focusing on growing the economy whilst protecting the environment, lowering emissions and enhancing natural capital.

Clean Growth Dashboard

Explore our new Clean Growth Dashboard, which brings together information from partners and organisations across our area up to November 2021 to present the most up to date picture around clean growth and help determine the action that needs to be taken to meet net zero targets.

The dashboard is interactive, so you can click on any sections on the front page and it will take you to the corresponding page within the document that provides further detail.


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    David Ralph

    Chief Executive

    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.