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A new local enterprise partnership for part of the South West of England was approved today by Minister for Business, Mark Prisk, and Decentralisation Minister, Greg Clark.

The Heart of the South West local enterprise partnership covers Devon, Plymouth, Exeter, Torbay and Somerset.  It joins the 31 partnerships announced since the Government’s Local Growth White Paper was published in October last year.  The Heart of the South West partnership proposal was agreed after separate bids from Devon and Somerset were not approved by ministers.  The partnership announced today covers a large economic area and will be able to establish good working relationships with neighbouring partnerships in Dorset, Cornwall and the West of England.  Mark Prisk said: “I’m delighted that we are able to ask another local enterprise partnership to appoint its board and join the growing network.  The Heart of the South West partnership has a strong business focus with vital support from the local universities“.  As someone who grew up in the South West I understand how diverse the region’s economies are and I am pleased the different partnerships across the South West are committing to working together.  I’m confident the new partnership will play a crucial role in driving local economic growth and creating a strong environment for business.  “We are continuing to assess proposals for further partnerships in areas which are currently not represented.  I want all local communities to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of the private sector and the opportunities that growth brings”.  Greg Clark added: “Congratulations to Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and Somerset for making Heart of the South West the 32nd local enterprise partnership to be invited to put their board in place.  They can now throw their hat in the ring for the competition to be one of our next ten Enterprise Zones and all the business benefits they can bring“.  Our local enterprise partnership network continues to spread across the country showing that there is real local enthusiasm, ambition and ingenuity, and proof that central government does not need to micromanage our grassroots economic growth. ”Local enterprise partnerships bring together local business and civic leaders, working to support their local economy.  They operate within a geography that reflects natural economic areas and provide the vision, knowledge and strategic leadership needed to drive sustainable private sector growth and job creation in their area.

1. The Heart of the South West partnership consists of the following local authorities:

- Devon County Council
- East Devon District Council
- Exeter City Council
- Exmoor National Park Authority
- Honiton Town Council
- Newton Abbot Town Council
- Plymouth City Council
- Sedgemoor District Council
- Somerset County Council
- Torbay Council
- Torridge District Council
- South Hams District Council
- West Devon Borough Council
- North Devon Council
- West Somerset District Council
- South Somerset District Council
- Taunton Deane Borough Council
- Mendip District Council

2. In September 2010 the Government received 62 responses to its invitation to form local enterprise partnerships. Proposals covered every part of England outside London. Today the Heart of the South West partnership has been asked to set up its board and progress its proposals to the next stage. It joins the 31 partnerships approved since October. The total 32 now approved are:

- Black Country
- Birmingham & Solihull with E. Staffordshire, Lichfield & Tamworth
- Cheshire and Warrington
- Coast to Capital
- Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly
- Coventry & Warwickshire
- Cumbria
- Enterprise M3
- Gt. Cambridge & Gt. Peterborough
- Greater Manchester
- Hertfordshire
- Kent, Greater Essex & East Sussex
- Leeds City Region
- Leicester & Leicestershire
- Lincolnshire
- Liverpool City Region
- London
- New Anglia
- North Eastern
- Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby, & Derbyshire
- Oxfordshire City Region
- Sheffield City Region
- Solent
- South East Midlands
- Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire
- Tees Valley
- Thames Valley Berkshire
- The Heart of the South West
- The Marches
- West of England
- Worcestershire
- York and North Yorkshire

3. Taken together, these 32 partnerships represent:

- 1.8m or 90% of all businesses (active enterprises) in England
- 21m employees (employee jobs figures) or 91% of all employees in England and;
- A population of 47m or 90% of England's population.

4. A map of approved local enterprise partnerships is available from 


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