Prime minister I’m pleased to speak on behalf of the Southern LEPS – all powerful economies and major net contributors to the UK.
I will seek to give a bright, brief flavour of our achievements and will focus initially on one of the Grand themes – clean growth.
South East, Coast to Capital & Enterprise M3 have joined forces to forge a new Energy Strategy for the South East. The strategy has five priority themes – Low carbon heating; Energy saving and efficiency; renewable energy generation; smart energy systems and a revolution on how transport is fuelled and used. The collaboration has been very successful thus far and the strategy will be formally launched next month.
Linked to this, Enterprise M3 has launched a £20m Fund focussed on clean growth which backs innovators and entrepreneurs who can deliver projects which will drive growth, enhance productivity and create jobs across the digital, aerospace, defence, space, transport and med-tech industries.
Thames Valley Berkshire have invested in a new facility – The Energy Centre at Berkshire College of Agriculture opened by you in May 2018 – this will provide much needed skilled people in biofuel engineering and related areas.
You can see from these three of many examples the focus that there is on clean growth in the South.
The southern LEPs are also very active in the key foundations of the Industrial Strategy.
An example on innovative ideas is Solent LEP work in the development of the UK’s first dedicated Centre for Cancer Immunology. This will support innovation in the field of immunology research, and places the Solent firmly on the map as a global Centre of Excellence for the development and delivery of new therapies that will fight the scourge of cancer.
SMEs are supported by the Coast to Capital’s popular and over-subscribed business accelerator, where fast growth businesses between £1m and £20m turnover are supported in their scale up journey via an innovative programme with an emphasis on peer learning and support. Similarly the Hertfordshire LEP supports the capacity of SMEs through their Get Growing project to help them grow in regional, national and international markets, as well as to engage in innovation processes.
Finally place – Coast to Capital has a specific strategy pillar supporting the growth of thriving local towns by focussing support on intensification and regeneration of urban centres – especially around transport hubs.
Prime minister this is a quick snapshot of a few of the many inspirational projects across the South – and you can be assured of the focus and drive of all the Southern LEPs as we work in partnership with business, local government and academia to catalyse and support economic growth in our region.
Tim Wates, Coast to Capital Chairman