Great South West outlines ambitions for region’s green and blue future

a great view up into the trees direction sky

The economic ambitions for the Great South West, the ‘powerhouse’ brand promoting the Cornwall, Isles of Scilly, Devon, Somerset and Dorset region, have been outlined in the Partnership’s first board meeting.

The Great South West Partnership came together on 2 December to discuss objectives to build on the region’s natural capital opportunity, develop a clean, digital economy, and tackle climate change.

The Great South West powerhouse brand is striving to unlock the region’s potential to be a world leader in clean growth, backed by the area’s wealth of natural and research assets. The Partnership is calling on the region to work together on business support, trade and investment, net zero, sustainable transport, clean energy, rural productivity and tourism, to become the first net zero region, improve connectivity, and support technologies that will help to generate prosperity.

The Partnership is calling on Government to recognise the Great South West powerhouse as an opportunity to rebalance and grow the UK economy, alongside the Northern Powerhouse, the Midlands Engine and the Western Gateway. On 10 January, the Partnership will be holding a Parliamentary Reception at the House of Lords, to showcase the Great South West prospectus and vision for the future.

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West 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 in January, as part of our efforts to gain Government support for the Great South West.”

The Great South West Partnership is made up of businesses, universities, local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). The Partners were confirmed at the meeting, which includes the University of Exeter, University of Plymouth, Bournemouth University, Falmouth University, Devon County Council, Cornwall Council, Dorset Council, Somerset County Council, Bournemouth Christchurch Poole Council, Plymouth City Council, Torbay Council and the three Local Enterprise Partnerships. In addition, five business representatives were appointed, and Karl Tucker was confirmed as interim Chair.

The Partners also 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.

Cecilia Bufton, Chair of the 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.”