Plans for Great South West region taken to parliament

In September 2017 Owl reported: We’ve had the Heart of the South West LEP! We’ve had the “Golden Triangle” LEP (Exeter, Plymouth, Torquay).We”ve even had the “Golden Quadrangle” LEP (Owl’s suggestion for adding in Cornwall or Dorset). NOW we have the “Golden Pentangle” (adding in Cornwall AND Dorset), yet ANOTHER unelected, unaccountable and non-transparent quango: The Great South West, the LEP for LEPs

Oh and who is the power behind the GSW economic strategy? None other than Pennon, the South West’s biggest employer and parent company of South West Water. So profit before investment – just what we need in the region! – Owl

Darren Slade

A DRIVE to promote Dorset as part of a “powerhouse” brand called the Great South West will share its vision of the future at the Houses of Parliament today [10 Jan]

The Great South West Partnership wants the name to sit alongside the Northern Powerhouse, the Midlands Engine and the Western Gateway as part of efforts to grow the UK economy.

The partnership recently held its first board meeting to discuss plans to build on the region’s natural capital, develop a clean, digital economy and tackle climate change.

It will host a parliamentary reception at the House of Lords today to showcase the Great South West prospectus and its vision for the future.

Karl Tucker, chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “The Great South West is united by the idea that by working together, we can achieve more. It was therefore fantastic to come together with our partners to define our ambitions as a region, and set out our plan for becoming the country’s Natural Powerhouse.

“We are looking forward to the region’s green and blue opportunity being presented in Parliament, as part of our efforts to gain government support for the Great South West.”

Cecilia Bufton, chair of Dorset LEP, said: “I’m delighted that the Great South West Partnership is up and running, developing pan-regional activities in areas of our common interest. Thanks to the determination of many over the past five years, it is great to see the Great South West campaign move forward with such ambition.”

The partnership aims to unlock the region’s potential to be a world leader in clean growth. It wants organisations across the region to work together on business support, trade and investment, net zero, sustainable transport, clean energy, rural productivity and tourism.

It aims to make the south west the first net zero region, improving connectivity and supporting technologies that will help generate prosperity.

The partnership is made up of businesses, universities, LEPs and local authorities, including Dorset Council, BCP Council and Dorset LEP.

At their first meeting, the partnership agreed four initial funding awards:

  • to support the high value manufacturing sector;
  • to work with the Department for International Trade to deliver a regional trade and investment hub;
  • to deliver a carbon emissions study;
  • and to support the South West Social Mobility Commission.