Heart of the South West Launches COVID-19 Route Map to Recovery

The Heart of the South West LEP has today (3 June) launched its Route Map to Recovery which outlines measures to help stimulate the economy across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay through three phases: Restart, Revitalise and Grow.

Evidence has shown that the economic impact of COVID-19 in the Heart of the South West area is expected to be deeper and longer than in other parts of the UK. There are specific challenges here; including reliance on those sectors that are hardest hit by lockdown, especially in rural and coastal communities; a high proportion of jobs are at risk, particularly affecting young people; and the effects of no tourism and hospitality impacts on the food, farming and fishing sectors.

The Restart phase entails supporting businesses to re-open, getting the unemployed into work and supporting the hardest hit sectors. The Revitalise phase aims to accelerate recovery through local interventions on training and growth support; and the Grow phase aims to create a better, cleaner, more inclusive economy with higher productivity and earnings.

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership said:  “The Route Map to Recovery is our blueprint for building a better economy that’s clean and inclusive with a Digital step-change, whilst targeting the hardest hit sectors to enable their quick revival.

“We have the opportunities and the knowledge-base in our area to bring about the right sort of recovery; and for this we need the Government to back us with investment in infrastructure and skills, and to formally recognise our powerhouse economic region: The Great South West.”

The Route Map to Recovery updates the aims and opportunities in the Heart of the South West’s Local Industrial Strategy submission to Government, with Clean and Inclusive Growth being its central theme to re-growing the economy.

As this plan is launched, substantial economic assessments are ongoing to ensure decisions are driven by data, and task forces will ensure responses cover all localities. The LEP is developing its pipeline of investments to bid for in future funding opportunities – including the replacement to EU funds – to prioritise those which best support recovery and growth; and the area-wide strategies that have developed in the last 5 years are being consolidated to produce a single 3 year action plan for all partners to work to, which will be completed by the end of September.

The Route Map to Recovery is available here.