To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what recent steps his Department has taken to increase economic growth in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.
25 March 2015
The Heart of the South West and Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are the local bodies responsible for driving economic growth opportunities in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall. As partnerships between business and local authorities, the LEPs drew up Strategic Economic Plans in spring 2014.
The Heart of the South West LEP (representing Devon and Somerset) prioritised three aims in its Strategic Economic Plan: using the area’s distinctive assets to create higher value growth and better jobs; stimulating jobs and growth across the whole economy and all sectors, and creating the conditions for growth through better infrastructure and services.
The Government agreed a Growth Deal with the LEP in July 2014 to provide £130.3m of Local Growth Fund investment between 2015 and 2021, which has enabled the LEP to secure an additional £140m of investment from local partners and the private sector. These funds will provide new transport infrastructure, open up sites for housing and employment growth, and drive investment in skills to support existing and growing industries in the area. In January 2015, the Government agreed a £65.2m expansion to the Heart of the south West’s Growth Deal.
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP Strategic Economic Plan set out its aims to exploit new and emerging markets where they had identified a competitive advantage; to improve business productivity and competitiveness; and to enhance economic growth through targeted infrastructure, housing and skills programmes.
In July 2014, the Government agreed a Growth Deal with Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP in which provides £48.9m of investment between 2015 and 2021. This has been matched by an additional £150m of investment from local and private sector sources to deliver new transport and housing infrastructure, better business engagement in schools, and targeted support for high growth sectors such as marine energy. In January 2015 the Government agreed an £11.3m expansion to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly LEP’s Growth Deal.