Heart of the South West LEP reaction to the Chancellor’s Budget

In the latest newsletter from the Local Enterprise Partnership for Devon & Somerset, Chief Executive, David Ralph looked at what it means for the South West

In the Chancellor’s Budget, I was pleased to see progress on nuclear delivery and an overdue reset of the green agenda, as well as some reference to clusters, which are becoming increasingly important. The package to encourage people back into work is welcome, and it was also positive to see incentives to encourage more investment in businesses.

However, much of the specific support is passing the South West by, often in favour of the North and Midlands; a missed opportunity for our area. This underlines the continued need for a strong, clear message about the challenges and opportunities of our area.

The Chancellor also revealed that there will be a consultation to transfer the role and functions of LEPs to local authorities. It is good to receive some clarity around the future role of LEPs, and we will be working with Government and our local authorities to ensure an orderly transition.

The details of how this will be progressed will now form part of the consultation process in the coming months. I would like to thank the LEP board and staff for their continued support and efforts, as we move through this next phase.

In the meantime, the Budget and the continually challenging economic data mean there is a lot to do! Therefore we will continue to deliver transformational opportunities through our Build Back Better Plan, and tackle the region’s challenges alongside our key partners.