Karl Tucker announced as Chair of Great South West

Karl Tucker Great South West

The Great South West Partnership has announced the formal appointment of its first Chair.

Karl Tucker, also Chair of Yeo Valley and the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), has been officially appointed as Chair of the Great South West by its Partnership Board. Karl will lead the Board in its ambitions to drive the region’s growth through its green and blue economies.

The Great South West is a Pan-Regional Partnership covering the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset. Its main focus is delivering a larger and more productive economy, unlocking the potential of the region’s green and blue economies, and driving investment into the region.

As Chair of Yeo Valley, one of the country’s largest organic food brands, Karl has an extensive background in the food and drink industry. Karl also presides as Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, and is a member of the Somerset Growth Board and Advisory Board for the South West Food Hub.

He said: “I am delighted to have been formally appointed as the Chair of the Great South West. We have worked hard since the Government’s Levelling Up white paper in February 2022, which acknowledged the Great South West as a good example of a business-led pan-regional partnership. Having turned this acknowledgment into formal recognition and funding is a testament to the effort and commitment shown by all involved in the process.”

The Great South West Partnership has ambitions to establish the South West as the UK’s ‘Natural Powerhouse’ by highlighting the region’s abundant blue and green assets. The area’s unique marine, energy, environmental, technological and agricultural strengths present an opportunity to be a major contributor to the economy, alongside other powerhouses including the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine.

Karl added: “The Great South West represents a significant opportunity for the region to be heard by central Government and investors within the UK and beyond. There are major opportunities to transform our economy, creating new careers and jobs within our blue and green economies. The Great South West has the potential to become the UK’s Natural Powerhouse, helping to deliver on our decarbonisation and net zero targets. To unlock these opportunities we need Government investment in our infrastructure, the national grid, roads and rail networks, digital connectivity, housing and workforce development. As the Chair of Great South West I am excited to get on with working with the Government, our partners and stakeholders, in the region and beyond to deliver on this opportunity.”

Cecilia Bufton, Chair of the Dorset LEP said: “I’m delighted that Karl has been confirmed as Chair of the Great South West after a thorough, agency-led recruitment process. Karl’s passionate commitment to the Partnership and his understanding of the needs and opportunities in the region were key factors in his selection for the role. I look forward to continuing to work with him.”

Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP, said: “The Great South West is England’s newest regional powerhouse that will lead the country in the transformation to a net zero economy, unlocking new industries such as floating offshore wind, reinventing our land-based and hospitality sectors, and developing traditional specialisms such as marine and mining, and in so doing attract billions of private and public investment.

“We are delighted that Karl Tucker will lead a Board of public and private sector leaders along with our universities to deliver this promise. Karl has led the three LEP teams to achieve recognition of this Partnership by Government over a number of years, so is ideally placed to move the Great South West to the next stage of its evolution.”