HotSW LEP’s Conference & AGM


Heart of the South West LEP Annual Conference Success

Around 300 delegates attended the second annual conference held by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, at Sandy Park in Exeter on Monday 3 October.

The Conference was an opportunity for the wider LEP partnership – which includes public, private, education and third sectors in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay – to meet and to network with other stakeholders and consider the productivity challenge the area is facing.

The event also enabled speakers and delegates to look at other key issues for our area, including Brexit and Devolution.

HotSW LEP presented its Annual Review at the conference – which gave a roundup of key achievements over the last 12 months, including:

  • The launch of the Growth Hub – a service to help any business start-up and grow.
  • An update on the half a billion pound investment programme which is delivering a range of infrastructure and other projects to help growth.
  • The LEP has secured commitment from government that all EU-funded projects with agreements signed before the Autumn Statement will be safe (and during the course of the day, Government confirmed that this commitment was extended to include all EU-funded projects signed prior to the UK leaving the European Union)
  • A Local Authority led Devolution Prospectus has been submitted to secure more powers and funding for the area.
  • A Brexit Resilience and Opportunities Group has been set up by all the partners to look at the opportunities and what can be done to adapt to changes resulting from leaving the EU
  • The third bid for £109 million of Growth Deal funding has been sent to government.

Steve Hindley, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I am very pleased to see such interest in our Annual Conference from such a broad range of partners.

“The Heart of the South West is on the verge of transformational change, and we’ve made some good progress with investors and government this year to realise that change and fulfil our ambitions. It’s good to share this success with the stakeholders in our area, many of whom have been instrumental in our progress.

“The Heart of the South West is an excellent place to do business and it’s important that we all share that message, both locally and further afield; and instil a sense of pride, confidence and ambition in our business communities from the very small micro-business to the big international players. I’m very pleased to see the business community and other partners joining us in our journey by taking an active part in the conference.”

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