Getting Building Fund projects announced for Heart of the South West

Exeter Science Park Grow On Building 3

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) announces the 12 projects which will develop business cases to receive funding from Government’s Getting Building Fund.

HotSW LEP received £35.4m from the national pot of £900m from the Getting Building Fund and has chosen a final list of ‘shovel-ready’ projects from its bid. Projects will now complete a business case by the end of August demonstrating job creation and that spending will be complete by March 2022.

The funding is allocated under three headings: Work Hubs and Fit out ( £8.7m); Retrofit and Low Carbon ( £5.3m) and Individual Projects ( £21.4m).

The projects progressing to business case submission, which will support employment, regeneration, skills, innovation and clean energy, are:

  • Torquay Gateway ( £2m)
  • Concourse Phase 2, Brunel Plaza, Plymouth ( £4.17m)
  • Firepool and Taunton Station Access ( £0.4m)
  • Ilfracombe Watersports Centre ( £1.5m)
  • Burrows Centre, Torridge ( £0.4m)
  • Exeter Bus Station ( £0.8m)
  • Enhancement of Future Skills Centre at Exeter Airport ( £1m)
  • Taunton Digital Innovation Centre ( £5.5m)
  • Welding Centres of Excellence, Plymouth ( £0.35m)
  • Exeter Science Park Grow-out Building ( £5m)
  • Green Housing and Business Programme ( £5.3m)
  • Work Hubs and Fit-out project ( £8.7m)

Projects were selected from a call through Local Authority partners to submit quality assured, ‘shovel-ready’ schemes which would support recovery across the Heart of the South West. The selection considered areas hit hardest by Covid-19, and projects which could complete within the timescales for the funding. The final list was agreed with Government.

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

“This economic stimulus will help our plans to restart, revitalise and grow our economy. Each of the projects will support growth of the local economy and deliver the LEP’s aims. We welcome the Getting Building Fund to start new projects and accelerate projects across the Heart of the South West.

“We recognise that there are still many other important projects that we identified in our area that currently remain unfunded. We will continue to work with Government to secure future funding to further invest in our recovery pipeline.”


The table below shows further detail on each of the projects:

Project NameProject typeProject SummaryNew or Accelerated project?Local Authority areaTotal Getting Building Funding
Torquay GatewayEmploymentLocated on the junction of the South Devon Highway in to Torbay, the Council has acquired a difficult to develop site but a site that provides a unique opportunity to be Torquay’s ‘shop window’ and deliver highly visible and prominent employment space which will create new jobs and the conditions for sustainable economic growth. Development of the site will provide over 2000 sqm of office and industrial space along with supporting infrastructure. This development will also act as a catalyst to accelerate the development of approximately 400 new homes and links to associated infrastructure including the needed Edginswell station and Torbay Hospital improvement programme.AcceleratedTorbay £ 2,000,000
Concourse ph2, Brunel Plaza, PlymouthRegenerationThe project will comprise:

– The refurbishment of Intercity House by the University of Plymouth (UoP);
– Improvements to the station concourse;
– New accommodation for British Transport Police (BTP), GWR and Cross Country staff.
– The transfer of land from Network Rail to the Council for a new multi-storey car park (MSCP) and development plots for a hotel and a second UoP faculty building.
– A new pedestrian gateway to the city centre and improvements to the public realm.

Additional funding is being sought to extend the project by carrying out a second phase of improvements to the station concourse.

AcceleratedPlymouth   £ 4,170,000
Firepool and Taunton Station AccessRegenerationImprovements to Taunton Station include provision of a multi-storey car park, an enhanced forecourt better integration with bus services and relocating the entrance and ticket office to face the new firepool development.     Creation of the road access to both the station and the firepool development is via a traffic signal junction and associated pedestrian crossing enhancement.     The junction and crossing currently have an unresolved funding shortfall of approx £400k.   The scheme is designed and procured and only held back by  the funding shortfall.   Additional funding would provide access to the firepool regeneration site and the new station car park.AcceleratedSomerset West and Taunton   £       400,000
Ilfracombe Watersports CentreRegenerationThe construction of a watersports centre and associated infrastructure on a brownfield site within Ilfracombe Harbour. The project aims to regenerate the harbour, (the main tourist attraction within the town), improve and increase tourism, provide up to 101 direct and indirect jobs and  support up to 300 local businesses. The centre will also provide training and events facilities.AcceleratedNorth Devon District Council   £ 1,515,535
Burrows CentreEmploymentThe Burrows Centre in Northam seeks to transform a building which is no longer fit for purpose into a regional destination and centre for environmental awareness and education. Surrounded by SSSI and within both the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and North Devon AONB the site works closely with schools yet has limited facilities and a limited draw for tourists. Yet the proposals aim to develop a high-quality offer for nature and eco-tourism in the area and will be supported by a designated Nature Tourism Officer to work with the community and business sector.AcceleratedTorridge   £       400,000
Exeter Bus StationRegenerationCreating a new, fit for purpose Bus Station, which is a key transport interchange and hub in the City Centre – this will not only be a hub for the city but is vital for bus services from rural towns & villages across the County. This project is a critical enabler for the wider CityPoint regeneration – relocating the old bus station has freed up a critical city centre site which is of great importance in the economic growth of Exeter – creating space for over 1,000 city centre jobs (offices, hotels, etc), and over new 500 city centre homes.AcceleratedExeter City Council   £       800,000
Enhancement of Future Skills Centre at Exeter Airport (former Flybe Training Academy)SkillsEquipping of the Future Skills Academy at Exeter Airport (previously Flybe Training Academy) to provide an enhanced range of advanced engineering, green jobs and wider business skills and training, led by Exeter College. Mixture of capital assets to enable specialist training to be taken forward, including specific engineering and tooling assets, and provision for interactive and digital learning, including resourcing of new business and learning space. Significantly reinforces local capacity around advanced manufacturing training, as well as returns and reinforces a learning centre lost through COVID related closures to the marketplace with an expanded offer.NewEast Devon   £ 1,000,000
Taunton Digital Innovation Centre (TDIC)InnovationThis is a collaborative Somerset County Council and Somerset West and Taunton Council scheme to bring forward a 3,000 square metre Digital Innovation Centre on the Firepool site in Taunton. The Centre will provide flexible, high-quality innovation and collaboration space and support services targeted at new-start and existing businesses in, or moving into, the digital economy. It will therefore:

Capitalise on the recognised ‘digital’ competitive advantage for the local economy;

Respond to evidenced market failures and unmet target business needs; and

Support productivity-led growth and higher-value job creation in and around Taunton, as a town with currently poor relative economic performance.

NewSomerset West and Taunton   £    5,500,000
Welding Centres of ExcellenceSkillsWelding Centre in Plymouth   – Sitting alongside the work with Bridgwater and IOT, Plymouth is seeking to fastrack new welding capacity to support the ongoing development at Hinkley Point and emerging work at Devonport, as well as provide crucial backfill for welding / engineering capacity already being displaced by the HPC project. In addition, Plymouth has the opportunity in the early spring for matched funded provision, working with the Weldability Foundation, doubling the number of welding bays and specialist trainers to allow for additional learners.NewPlymouth £         350,000
Exeter Science Park Grow-out BuildingEnterpriseThe financial risk of relocating to Grow-on Space (GoS) means steady-growth innovative companies stay too long in the Science Park Centre (SPC) incubator, thus limiting smaller, start-ups’ opportunities for growth. The net zero-carbon, BREEAM-Excellent, three-storey GROW-OUT BUILDING (GOB – 1,245sqm gross) with its flexible floorplate fills the gap with office and laboratory spaces configurable from 95sqm-335sqm. Its low-risk, eighteen-month development comes from its fourth-generation design, outline consent, experienced team, procurement framework and cost knowledge from an ongoing development. The GOB will help larger start-ups relocate, smaller start-ups grow, support local recovery and drive Devon’s productivity and economic growth.NewEast Devon   £   5,000,000
Green Housing and Business ProgrgammeClean Energy/Resource EfficiencyA programme to deliver low carbon housing and businesses in the area (including innovation and skills).   This will include:
– ZEBCat Phase 2 (Zero Energy Buildings Catalysis) which builds on the successful ERDF project and includes a further 125 home retrofits, innovation and development of a local industrial supply chain
– Smarter Carbon   – an innovative approach to helping SMEs reduce their carbon emissions
– Green Retrofit homes in Plymouth –   including 1) Green Homes Retrofit Plymouth 2) An exemplar net zero carbon development in Kings Tamerton (Plymouth)
NewVarious   £    5,200,000
Work Hubs and Fit-out projectEmploymentA programme to deliver a series of 8 workhubs across the area including:
1) Electronics and Photonics Centre and South Devon College High Tech Centre equipment
2)   iAero – workspace, equipment and supoprt services to support aerospace and advanced engineering
3) Torbay Business Centre, Phase 2 – providing flexible grow on space in Torquay
4)   Devon Work Hubs – Capital grants programme to support rural workhubs
5)   Bruton Enterpise Centre – Enterprise and light industrial space in Bruton (Somerset)
6) Plymouth City Business Park for start-ups and scale-ups
7) Centre for Clean Mobility – Capital fit out of the new centre for clean mobility at Exeter Science Park
8) Health Technology Incubation Hub at Plymouth Science Park
1) Torbay; 2) South Somerset DC;   3) Torbay; 4) Devon; 5) South Somerset; 6) Plymouth; 7) East Devon; 8) Plymouth   £  9,080,000
Total   £ 35,415,535