Budget 2020 response from the Heart of the South West LEP

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“We’ve been campaigning for the dualling of the A303 for years, so we’re delighted to get final commitment from this Chancellor and look forward to getting clarity about when this project will go live; however what we need to see next is a holistic approach to our whole transport network that invests in rail resilience, wider road network resilience and addresses our recent loss of air connectivity with the collapse of FlyBe.

“As an area with a high proportion of small businesses, the measures to support enterprises through the Covid-19 emergency are welcomed and will be particularly beneficial to our local enterprises – our Growth Hub reports a high number of people contacting them for advice. There’s a lot in this budget about rural economies, particularly on improving broadband, flood resilience and the exemption from fuel tax relief abolition for agriculture and fishing.

“On the whole, we welcome today’s largest sustained fiscal boost for 30 years – but we need to know where our share is on the Government’s levelling-up agenda; so we look forward to working with the treasury on the detail on how this translates directly to investment in the Heart of the South West and the Great South West over the coming days.

“We’re ready and willing to increase our contribution to UK plc – levelling up has always been key to our agenda and is central to our forthcoming Local Industrial Strategy which we believe is soon to be backed by Government.

“To quote the Chancellor: “More investment and growth means more jobs and higher wages” this concept is central to our Productivity Strategy that aims to create higher value careers and raise prosperity for all.”

Rebalancing the UK’s Economy is our prospectus outlining how the Heart of the South West aims to level-up and increase our contribution to UK plc. The Heart of the South West Local Industrial Strategy is soon to be published jointly with Government. Progress statements and the evidence base on which it has been written are available here.

On the wider Great South West geography which includes the LEP areas of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and Dorset, we’ve outlined our asks and opportunities for increasing the region’s contribution to the economy by £45bn in the Prospectus: Securing our Future.