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Report reveals thousands of jobs and millions of pounds boost to South West economy

New report reveals significant economic impact of Heart of the South West LEP funding

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)’s new impact report, published today, 31 January, reveals that since 2011, over 7,000 jobs have been created by LEP funding, generating more than £2.3 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) into the region. 

The report evaluates the outcomes of three key funding streams: the Growing Places Fund, Local Growth Fund, and Getting Building Fund, which collectively have a total investment of £582 million across over 100 projects.

The funding is forecast to have created over 20,700 jobs by March 2025, and £6.8 billion of GVA, through projects which have supported areas of competitive advantage, infrastructure, innovation, business support, people and skills.

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “We are immensely proud of the achievements we’ve made in driving economic growth and job creation across the South West. This report not only reflects our commitment to sustainable development but highlights the critical role LEP funding has played in shaping the region’s economy, productivity and job creation.”

More than 810 jobs were created through Growing Places Fund initiatives, which will generate £260 million of GVA.

Local Growth Fund projects have created 5,560 jobs, and are forecast to reach 17,640; although these are unlikely to be created by March 2025.

Getting Building Fund projects have created 750 jobs, with a forecast of 2,250 jobs to be created by March 2025, although most likely after this date. The GVA generated by jobs created to-date is £296 million, and this could eventually become £874 million. 

The report also outlines recommendations for future investments, emphasising the need for a robust strategy, realistic project targets, and a continued focus on areas of competitive advantage, infrastructure, innovation, and skill development.

The LEP is working with key stakeholders to transition functions to upper-tier Local Authorities by April 2024.

Read the full report.


Comprised of business leaders from across our key sectors, the LEP Board oversees the programme of infrastructure, business support and skills projects being delivered by 2025.

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      David Ralph

      Chief Executive

      David Ralph started as Chief Executive of Heart of South West LEP at the beginning of June 2018. Previously, he had spent 5 years as CEO of the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire (D2N2) LEP from 2013 where he oversaw the development of the D2N2 Strategic Economic Plan and sector strategies, 3 Growth Deals with HM Government to deliver a £1billion capital investment programme, securing and implementing £200m ESIF programme, the Derby and Nottingham Enterprise Zone, the D2N2 Skills Deal and Time for Innovation programme, community fund and led the executive team to develop the HS2 East Midlands hub. He was also closely involved in the proposed North Midlands Devolution Deal and one of the key architects in establishing the Midlands Engine, chairing the officer steering group. Whilst in this role David was a NED of the Nottingham Enterprise Zone, and Marketing NG, the Outer Estates Foundation and a Governor of Nottingham College and on the advisory Board of Nottingham Business School.

      Before the East Midlands, David was CEO of the Have Gateway Partnership working closely with local stakeholders including the ports of Felixstowe, Harwich and Ipswich and BT Adadastral Park across Suffolk and Essex and prior to that was Chief Exec of the Barton Hill New Deal for Communities programme in Bristol and the Nelm Development Trust in Norwich.

      David is a keen sailor, walker and trail runner.