The Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership held its first business conference yesterday, 21st September, which is set to become an annual feature in the HotSW calendar.
The event was a resounding success, with of 250 delegates from the HotSW business and partnership community.
Productivity was the theme of the conference, which opened with a welcome speech from HotSW LEP Chair Steve Hindley, outlining some of the distinctive assets of the area, followed by presentations on HotSW LEP achievements.
Delegates took part in a series of break-out seminars on export, employment & skills, innovation and EU funding; with presentations on sector specialisms including nuclear, electronics & photonics, marine, environmental futures and big data.
Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Steve Hindley, said:
“Ours is a unique area and we are on the verge of an unprecedented opportunity for transformational growth.
“We are celebrating the success of the HotSW area with our partners in the business community and public sector, who have all played a part in delivering this success.
“We’re very proud to showcase the remarkable achievements that the HotSW LEP has secured over the last 12 months, including the largest allocation of Growth Deal funding in the country; an Enterprise Zone at South Yard in Plymouth and 13 successful inward investment landings generating 340 new jobs.
“We were delighted that the Chancellor’s announcement of the government backing of Hinkley coincided with our first annual business conference – it’s the largest engineering project in Europe, creating 25,000 jobs, and is testament to the growing confidence and opportunity in the Heart of the South West.”
Feedback from business generated throughout the conference will be collated to improve the engagement of the HotSW LEP with local businesses; and findings will be published in on the HotSW website at www.hotswlep.oxygendesign.co.uk.
Heart of the South West Business Conference Agenda
The Productivity Challenge – Nick Aimes of Supacat and LEP Board Member and LEP Chief Executive, Chris Garcia
Voting results of delegates’ views on Productivity
Doing Business Abroad – UKTI and Julia Stuckey, LEP Inward Investment Manager
Attracting and Retaining Talent– Mark Shepherd of Waitrose and Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board
Maximising Innovation, Science and Technology (link to be added) – Adrian Dawson of Plymouth University and Chris Evans of Exeter University
Understanding the Complexities of European Funding – Julia Blaschke of Plymouth City Council and Emma Buckman of HotSW LEP
Marine Industries (link to be added) – Patrick Hartop of Plymouth City Council and Ellen Vernon of North Devon District Council
Environmental Futures, Big Data and Analytics – Exeter University and the Met Office