We work with multifarious partners nationally and regionally to represent and promote Dorset and drive our economy.

ADEPT is the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport, and represents Place Directors from county, unitary and metropolitan authorities, along with Local Enterprise Partnerships and corporate partners drawn from key service sectors. ADEPT members are at the very heart of maximising sustainable growth in communities throughout the UK. We are delivering the projects that are key to unlocking broader economic success and creating more resilient communities, economies and infrastructure.

Great South West is a partnership between LEPs, authorities, universities and businesses, and we're proud to be a part of it! The partnership released it's most up to date prospectus on the 13th of January 2020. This document sets out plans to deliver £45 billion of economic benefit and 190,000 jobs for our region’s economy by 2035.

iAero is the collaboration of South West Aerospace cluster stakeholders. This cluster has a global prominence and is essential to driving up the UK’s industrial productivity and excellence. iAero’s purpose is to collaborate to innovate and retain global competitiveness.

Stakeholders include:

  • Aerospace industry
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships
  • Local government
  • The West of England Aerospace Forum
  • National catapults via the National Composites Centre
  • Academia including world-class universities
  • Technical skills providers
  • Business support for the SME supply chain.

iAero is a cost-effective mechanism for enabling technological innovation, making it faster and better through effective collaboration. 

Innovation South is a powerhouse of world-class strengths in digital technologies that can transform the world and the way we live for the better: better transport, better health, and ever more creative ways to relax and be entertained. 


In Autumn 2015, the UK government announced regional investigations in different parts of the UK to identify individual region’s specialities. These Science and Innovation Audits (SIAs) were a new approach to local economic development, and government approved formation of the Innovation South consortium and its focus on strengths in digital enabling technologies across the south of England.

Nuclear South West is the nuclear cluster for the South West of England, an area set to become a nuclear hub in the next twenty years, with 15 projects worth £50 billion to our economy. Nuclear South West provides a platform for businesses to understand and take advantage of new opportunities.

Maritime UK South West works with businesses and academia to collaborate and promote the region’s maritime strengths, and create stronger links between the south west sector and national government.

South West Agritech

As in other key sectors within the south west, six Local Enterprise Partnerships are working together to promote the strength of the agritech sector with the region to attract further inward investment and to focus attention on the centres of excellence within the area.  

South West Energy Strategy

In 2017, in partnership with Cornwall & Isles of Scilly and Heart of the South-West, Dorset LEP bid for and was awarded a £100,000 grant from government to develop an energy strategy for their shared regional area, badged the South West. Through an open and transparent procurement process, Carbon Trust was appointed to develop and deliver the energy strategy, which established a common vision across the south west geography to create an energy future that is low carbon and more affordable, maximising and retaining benefits in the region. The three LEPs continue to work in partnership to create and deliver a strategic delivery plan.

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The key objective of the South West Net Zero Hub is to work collaboratively across the south west area to coordinate the identification and prioritisation of local energy projects and to undertake the initial stages of development for priority projects, up to a point where investment can be secured.


Dorset LEP is part of the hub, supporting aims to increase the number, scale and quality of low carbon energy projects across the south west, locally, identifying opportunities through our Dorset Net Zero work.

South West Rural Productivity

The South West Rural Productivity Commission has been established as a partnership by four LEPs in the South West of England:

Heart of the South West LEP

Dorset LEP

Swindon & Wiltshire LEP

Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly LEP.


Together, they explore issues around rural productivity and growth, commissioning an independent enquiry to identify opportunities to stimulate rural productivity and growth which resulted in the South West Rural Productivity Commission Report, published in October 2017. Read more.

These south west LEPs recognise the importance of rural growth, productivity and prosperity being tackled alongside urban growth, to ensure that improvements impact on all parts of the economy. The commission is set up to hear and review evidence from a range of sources and stakeholders. 

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The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) brings skills leads from all 38 LEPs together to talk about the strategic direction of the Enterprise Adviser Network and CEC funded delivery - read more

Wessex AHSN aims to improve people’s health, achieve excellence in healthcare, and boost innovation and growth in our region’s life sciences and healthcare sector. Wessex AHSN connects academics, NHS, industry and others to bring fresh energy to old problems, inspired thinking to new ones and to spread innovation and best practice.