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23 October 2017

Regional businesses urged to Back the South West

Regional businesses urged to Back the South West

Businesses across the region are being urged to support the #backthesouthwest campaign, set to ignite future growth and opportunities in the South West.

The campaign was endorsed by over 300 delegates from across the region at the 2017 South West Growth Summit held at Sandy Park in Exeter.

Organised by Great South West - the group comprising business and education leaders, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), and Local Authorities from across the region - the second ever Growth Summit was attended by over 300 delegates, who all pledged to ‘Back the South West’.

The campaign was launched a year ago, at the inaugural South West Growth Summit, following the development of the South West Growth Charter.

Now other businesses from throughout the region are being asked to get involved and publicly announce their support for the campaign by tweeting using the #backthesouthwest hashtag.

‘Igniting future growth and opportunities in the South West’ was the theme of the conference, which focused on how the South West is poised for a step change in opportunities to aid prosperity and productivity.

The event opened with a welcome speech from Chris Loughlin from Pennon, and included talks from Steve Hindley CBE DL – Chairman of the Midas Group Ltd and the Heart of the South West LEP and Gary Streeter, MP for South West Devon. Keynote speaker Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist of the CBI spoke about the unique economic challenges facing the region.

Delegates then took part in panel discussions on how ‘the distinctiveness of place can drive economic growth’ and on ‘leveraging new technologies’.

Rob Dunford, Interim Director Dorset LEP, said: “It’s time to take action. Over the past year we’ve been working to develop what is unique about the region and what, exactly, our best commercial opportunities are to drive prosperity and growth in order that we have a range of clear asks for government.

“The whole ethos of Great South West is about working together to ignite future growth and opportunities.

“We all know that the South West of England is a great place to live and last year we launched our SW Growth Charter.

“This year’s Growth Summit was about continuing that journey: updating delegates on progress, outlining our detailed propositions and gauging appetite across the area to move forward together with real momentum and purpose.

“But we can only be successful if we work together - this is our call to arms. We need everyone to get behind the campaign and Back the South West, publicly pledging their support – together we can increase prosperity and productivity for all.”

Rozz Algar, SW Partnership Executive from Great South West said: “This is a pivotal time for Great South West – it’s our big opportunity to promote and take forward the region’s great opportunities and huge potential.

“We need to work collaboratively across our cities, towns and rural communities, developing shared propositions, attracting investment and tackling barriers to productivity.

 “I’d like to ask all South West businesses to get involved and show their support to #backthesouthwest”.

The event was sponsored by Pennon Group, Vodafone, Western Morning News and the CBI, with exhibitors from across the region all putting their weight behind the campaign

Businesses can get involved by:

  • Tweeting their support using the #backthesouthwest hashtag
  • Working collaboratively with others across the region
  • Promoting the SW as a great place to live and work
  • Continuing to put pressure on our MPs to promote the South West

 About Great South West

Leaders from organisations across the South West of England (including the public, business and education sectors) have been developing a strategy on increasing productivity and prosperity through collaborative working. Great South West is the working title for this group.

To date, this has been guided by an informal group of leading business leaders and discussed by both LEP and Local Authority Leaders and Chief Executives (as part of SW Councils) with a common interest in increasing prosperity in the region. This work has been led by a small group drawn from the Local Enterprise Partnerships, including businesses, universities and Local Authorities.

Our focus is to work collaboratively across our cities, towns and rural communities, developing shared propositions, attracting investment and tackling barriers to productivity; making the whole of the South West a prosperous region. This is not adding an ‘extra layer’, it’s about working on areas of common interest across the South West where our combined efforts can make a real difference.

For further details, please visit:



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