Heart of the South West, the Local Enterprise Partnership has today welcomed the government announcement naming the South West as the UK’s first Marine Energy Park.
Stretching from Bristol to the Isles of Scilly, the announcement makes the region the leader in marine energy for the UK and gives firm backing to its intention to become an international centre of excellence.
The Heart of the South West (HOTSW) will be working in partnership with the region’s other Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP), The West of England, and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, as well as the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth and local industry.
By 2050, wave and tidal energy has the potential to generate the energy equivalent of 8 coal-fired power stations, up to 27GW of power.
Through the Marine Energy Park, the private and public sectors will work together to speed up the development of the marine renewables industry, creating jobs and economic growth across the region.
Tim Jones, Chair of HOTSW said: “This is an enormous initiative which is the beginning of a new industry for our region, it will be benefiting our economy in 50 years time. We are fortunate to have both Plymouth and Exeter Universities on the Board alongside representatives from Further Education.
“We have known for years that natural energy was one of our greatest assets, now is the time to ensure that we responsibly capitalise upon this. It is not an overstatement to say that this area will be a world leader in the near future. We have the research facilities, advance manufacturing capacity and a wide range of specialist small businesses, which are able to participate.
“It is time to replace those traditional industries which are in decline. The South West Marine Park will ensure vital economic growth, become a centre for inward investment and grow into a global industry.”
Plymouth City Council and Cornwall Council commissioned Regen SW to develop the South West Marine Energy Park prospectus, which is available from Cornwall County Council.
More information is available on the website www.heartofswlep.co.uk
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For more information, contact Liz Waugh or Julie Everett at Coast Communications on 01752 847135 / 07966 388921
Heart of the South West
The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has been formed under the leadership of the private sector supported by the local authorities from Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay and the area’s District Councils. It is one of 32 partnerships created since the Government’s Local Growth White Paper published in October 2010. More information about the work of the LEP is available from the website www.heartofswlep.co.uk.