Autumn Statement Confirmation for Country’s Highest Allocation of Growth Deal Funding

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement yesterday, confirming this government’s commitment to the Growth Deal expansion announced under the coalition government.

The news confirms the Growth Deal for £65.2m – the highest amount allocated to any one LEP in the country – to be invested in infrastructure projects in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay. The projects were put forward by the HotSW LEP to boost the economy and act as a catalyst for growth and job creation.

This is in addition to the £130.3m of funding committed by the government in 2014.   Over the lifetime of the Growth Deal – 2015-2021 – HotSW LEP estimates the investment will create up to 22,000 new jobs and 11,000 new homes; and that it has the potential to generate £260m public and private investment.

Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Steve Hindley said:

“I am delighted that the government has confirmed its commitment to the Heart of the South West. To achieve the largest allocation in the country is surely testament to our belief in this area, and HotSW LEP’s ability to deliver.

“These projects will benefit to the whole Heart of the South West economy, which is what the LEP is all about: partnership working to deliver economic growth and new employment opportunities throughout Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.”

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Growth and Exeter, and the Council’s member on the Board of the Heart of South West Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“Welcome news from the Chancellor. This confirmation of funding will unlock further investments in infrastructure, leading to more job creation and growth for our local economy.”

Councillor David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Inward Investment and Policy, said:

“This news confirms huge amounts of investment in Somerset and across the South West and shows what can be achieved through working together in partnership. In Somerset this means further funding for key schemes, like the Energy Innovation Centre in Bridgwater, superfast broadband in rural areas and vital improvements to the M5 Junction 25 at Taunton. These schemes will make a real difference by providing jobs, new homes and pumping millions of pounds into the local economy.”

Elected Mayor of Torbay, Gordon Oliver, said:

“This funding will help Torbay realise our ambition in developing a new Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre to support the growth of the local hi tech cluster.

“The centre will foster the commercial development of emerging ideas by bringing together businesses, scientists and engineers together in one space. This project will create up to 220 new jobs and complement the South West’s economic growth.”

Notes to Editors:

Projects in this second round of the Growth Deal include:

• Further funding for the Low Carbon Innovation Centre in Bridgwater, which will support the development of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.
• Providing universal superfast broadband coverage by tackling the next 5% of premises in hard to reach, largely rural areas as part of the Connecting Devon and Somerset scheme.
• The Electronics and Photonics Centre (EPIC) at White Rock Business Centre in Paignton, providing incubation for start-up businesses and highly-specialised equipment for more developed companies.
• South Yard Enterprise Zone in Plymouth: funding for site separation and remediation activities to boost the Plymouth City Deal’s flagship marine campus scheme.
• The Unlocking Growth Fund to invest in projects across the area to boost employment at key sites.
• The creation of a collaboration centre at the heart of the Met Office Environmental Futures Campus at Exeter Science Park, linked to one of Europe’s most powerful supercomputers.
• The delivery of Phase 2 of Exeter Science Park.
• A package of transport schemes including: major improvements at Junction 25 of the M5; the creation of a new link road in Plymouth between the A38 Parkway and the major growth area at Derriford/Seaton Barracks; and a new junction at Tiverton giving access to Tiverton Eastern Urban Extension from the A361.
Media Enquiries: Helena Davison, Communications Manager, Heart of the South West LEP Email: Tel: 07525 806 333