Building Back Better – HotSW LEP identifies £121m programme of shovel-ready projects

The Heart of the South West (HotSW) LEP has sent to Government a £121m bid to fund a package of “shovel ready” projects that will boost the local economy on its road to recovery. The full list of accelerated and new projects is available here.

These projects would provide an immediate stimulus to the economy, unlocking at least another £171 million of investment and creating over 3,000 jobs.

On 10 June the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government invited LEPs to submit a list of projects that could be completed by January 2022.

Working in partnership with the Local Authorities across the Heart of the South West area – Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay – the LEP identified and prioritised a range of capital schemes which would deliver the most benefit, give value for money and could be completed in such a short timescale.

A thorough run-through of the impact and viability of all of these proposals was conducted via an on-line Teams meeting last week, resulting in a robust HotSW bid for 63 projects within eight priority programmes:

  1. Town Centres
  2. Coastal Communities and Visitor Economy
  3. Work Hubs
  4. Retrofit Programme (lowering carbon impact on existing housing and businesses)
  5. R & D and Enterprise Zone Acceleration
  6. Unlocking Growth Funding (accelerating development of key sites)
  7. Helping Younger People Hard Hit by C-19 – Skills Project
  8. Enabling Projects (e.g. rural broadband/infrastructure)

A summary paper about the HotSW Covid-19 £121m Economic Stimulus – Shovel-ready Projects bid is available here.

The list was prioritised based on the partners’ criteria: deliverability, strategic fit, economic impact, low carbon impact and inclusivity, including recognising those places hit hardest by the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, Karl Tucker said:

“Our £121m bid to Government will help the national campaign to build back better. We’ve selected our list based on how much these projects can deliver in economic, social and environmental benefits in the short and long term.

“We’ve put forward a strong case, and we await what we hope to be a positive decision. The LEP has a track record of delivering its projects on budget and on time.

“This is just the start of our Route Map to Recovery  which will see the Heart of the South West Re-start, Revitalise and Grow; and we call on Government to back this and back the Great South West as part of its regional Levelling Up agenda.”

To build back better and deliver longer-term economic resilience and levelling up requires sustained activity and investment. The LEP has worked with partners to set out how the area can develop a higher productivity economy based on its comparative advantages.

The bid sets out only those investments that can be delivered by January 2022 and forms part of a more extensive investment plan that the LEP is developing under its Route Map to Recovery; which will not only support recovery but help transform the Heart of the South West’s productivity and our commitment to deliver net-zero carbon as part of England’s Greenest economy.