HotSW: Strategic changes in Devon & Dorset

As you know, this month’s theme concentrates on the upcoming pilot framework launch for the Smart Specialisation Hub Observatory. This week we’re focusing on Heart of the South West LEP (HotSW). HotSW has adopted an evidence-led approach to identifying their priority sectors which aligns closely with the tenets of Smart Specialisation.

HotSW: a crucial juncture

HotSW LEP aims to lead and influence economic growth, job creation and prosperity across the Heart of the South West area covering Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.

A thorough analysis of the opportunities for economic prosperity in the Heart of the South West are presented in the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), which sets out the rationale to generate growth and attract inward investment from business and UK and EU government.

The LEP is currently at a crucial juncture of its Smart Specialisation journey. Work is currently underway to prioritise investment in the local area, having identified the following specialisms:

  • Marine,
  • Aerospace & Advanced Engineering,
  • Rural Productivity,
  • Health and Social Care, and
  • Nuclear and Data Analytics.

Earlier this year, HotSW LEP submitted bids to government proposing a range of LEP-led economically critical investments of just over £400m.

The money will be invested across a range of projects throughout the LEP area which will help boost growth in local economies and improve crucial transport links.

Post-Brexit strategy

As part of the bid, the LEP invited Government to discuss opportunities that may arise from the decision to leave the European Union.

Initial work has already been undertaken to identify potential areas for this which will be expanded upon with partners.

“…ambitious plans…”

Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Steve Hindley, said:

“We have ambitious plans for the Heart of the South West… This area – we believe more than any other area in the country – has the chance to leverage a step-change in transformational growth at a level higher than anywhere else, to benefit our local economy and that of the UK.

“Decades of under-investment has given way to new opportunities through our sector strengths, which are international engines of growth.

“The LEP is grateful to all the partners who have dedicated time and expertise to the process so far, and we expect to hear confirmation of the award from Government in the autumn.”

Please note: this post has been made from content adapted from the HotSW LEP website.

About the author

Kim is the Digital Communications Officer for the Smart Specialisation Hub.

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