Latest round-up from David Ralph, HotSW LEP CEO

As we make the final preparations for this year’s Annual Conference and AGM on 4 November, we look forward to sharing with our stakeholders the year’s achievements and the impact that the LEP is making on the economy. Over 150 delegates have already registered, and there’s still time to do so at the link here.

Another major milestone we’re working towards is the Local Industrial Strategy which sets out our plans for turbo-charging a low carbon Clean Growth economy and raising productivity and prosperity for all. Dialogue with Government has been encouraging and we’ll be announcing the agreement of the strategy as soon as we have the green light.

This month we report on more progress with our Growth Deal projects; with three new enterprise centres getting underway; and the latest annual report on the flood action plan from Somerset Rivers Authority makes interesting reading. It’s partly funded by the LEP to protect businesses and communities from future flood risk following the storms of 2014.

We also report on new initiatives for businesses, employees and students: We’ve got news from our Digital Skills Partnership about free digital training for underrepresented groups; a new apprenticeship support service is launched; there’s a TechStars Start up weekend in Plymouth in November; we’ve introduced a Business Bulletin conveying the views of 25,000 businesses quarterly and our Growth Hub has collated a range of business support resources to help them Get Ready for Brexit.

Our strategic partnerships are progressing well too. Another successful Nuclear South West conference was held; we’ve published the first stage submission to Government of our Great South West prospectus which aims to promote our region on an international platform with our neighbouring LEPs, and we were delighted to have won a competitive bid, along with our partners at TDA, to promote the HotSW area as a High Potential Opportunity in Photonics with the aim to generate high value inward investment. This again links back to the Clean Growth theme of our Local Industrial Strategy.

I look forward to seeing many of you at our Annual Conference and AGM next month.