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Chancellor urged to back the Great South West

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, is being urged to back the Great South West in the Budget and help kick start ambitious plans to create the UK’s first clean energy powerhouse.

A powerful alliance of the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships, business leaders, local government, universities and colleges have written a joint letter to Mr Javid calling for official Government recognition of the Great South West in the Budget and an initial £2 million of pump priming investment.

The Great South West alliance is aiming to deliver a massive £45 billion boost to the region’s economy and create 190,000 new jobs by 2035.

Great South West Chair Steve Hindley said: “With Government support, our ambition is to unlock the Great South West region’s huge potential to become the UK’s clean energy powerhouse, harnessing the unparalleled scale of our natural assets and the expertise of our world-leading research institutions.”

Jim Stewart, Chair of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, one of the Great South West LEP partners, added: “The Great South West has united the south west region, creating a clear voice and an ambitious vision for the future. We will focus on clean and sustainable growth, utilising our outstanding natural assets and thriving blue and green economies. With the government backing this Great South West proposal will bring economic, social and environmental benefits to our region.”

The Great South West partners have set out their vision for the future in a prospectus for growth, “Securing Our Future”, which is backed by a cross-party alliance of the region’s MPs led by South West Devon MP, Sir Gary Streeter.

Sir Gary said: “We have so much innovation and leadership to offer in developing green and marine energy technologies, key elements to the journey to our nation’s net zero carbon commitment and to tackling climate change. Government funding to support our development will see these skills and resources unlocked to the benefit of the region and the country as a whole.”

The Great South West is an economic roadmap to drive a £45 billion uplift to the South West economy that has been formally presented to the government.

The Great South West prospectus sets out how the area spanning Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the Heart of the South West (Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay) and Dorset aims to become the latest growth alliance to rebalance the UK economy, alongside the Midlands Engine and Northern Powerhouse.

For social media please use #BacktheGreatSouthWest

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership is a business led private and public sector partnership, promoting local economic growth and prosperity. Dorset LEP deliver projects that support and develop infrastructure, housing, skills, enterprise and business growth to achieve long-term economic benefit for all in Dorset. For more information visit the Dorset LEP website

For more information visit the Dorset LEP

Paul Appleby
Author: Paul Appleby