South West pandemic recovery plan to ‘build back better’ published

Wednesday 21st April 2021

The Heart of the South West LEP has published its plan to help the region recover from the pandemic, incorporating the aim to ‘build back better’. The Build Back Better plan has been developed by the LEP in consultation with business, local authorities, universities and FE college partners. The plan highlights significant opportunities in the south west that should lead to the unlocking of investment and the creation of more and better jobs, whilst delivering carbon-net zero in response to climate change. More details and some of the programmes contained in the plan are included in the bulletin below which was issued today by Insider Media.

Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 21st April 2021



LEP releases plans to build back better

Heart of the South West LEP has published its plan to help the region recover from the pandemic and 'build back better'. 

The LEP has developed Build Back Better in consultation with business and its 16 local authority, four university and ten FE college partners. The plan identifies a number of opportunities that will enable the area to recover from Covid-19. 

Karl Tucker, chair of Heart of the South West LEP, said: "Whilst the immediate focus over the past year has been on protection for those worst hit by the pandemic, it’s vital that we also look at the medium and longer term opportunities to revitalise and strengthen the Heart of the South West economy. 

"Build Back Better sets out the key transformational opportunities in our area that will unlock investment, create more and better jobs, and deliver carbon-net zero in response to the climate change emergency declared by many of our partners. The plan is rooted in the ambitious vision of our Local Industrial Strategy, maintaining our commitment to increasing productivity through clean and inclusive growth."

Programmes in the plan include:

  • Renewable and nuclear energy, stemming from the construction of the UK’s first nuclear power station in 20 years at Hinkley Point C, nuclear submarine decommissioning in Plymouth, and the development of the next generation of marine renewables. The plan aims to capitalise on the potential and be a green energy powerhouse and first net exporter of clean energy. 
  • Marine autonomy is a growing, disruptive technology with the power to transform the marine sector. Build Back Better aims to make the area a national and international Centre of Excellence in the development and commercialisation of autonomy, digitisation and other low carbon marine technologies. 
  • Photonics is the technology behind the modern world, from mobile phones, to 5G to parking sensors and essentials of land, sea and air-based autonomous vehicles. They are also used in highly sensitive areas such as nuclear inspection. The area has a significant set of photonics businesses and will attract inward investment and skills development to support the creation of a world-class cluster that puts the heart of the south west at the forefront of cutting edge innovation in this field. 
  • Sustainable aviation is a major growth area. Working in partnership with neighbouring LEPs and the SW Aerospace Cluster, the plan sets out the establishment of a strong inward investment proposition to attract high value investment in rotary technology and electric aircraft as well as increasing homegrown capability.

The programmes in Build Back Better will be led by the HotSW LEP but will need require a collective effort from stakeholders.The plan calls for locally-led delivery through locally-designed funding, and advocates a devolved single pot of both capital and revenue funding. The LEP will be working with business, other local partners and Government to unlock the funding to realise the region's potential.