Outside body

Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership


The Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was formed under the leadership of the private sector supported by the local authorities from Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay and district councils from throughout the area in June 2011. 


It is one of 39 partnerships created since the Government’s Local Growth White Paper published in October 2010.


LEPs are unique due to the direct involvement from the business community – HotSW is a partnership managed by a voluntary board consisting of business leaders, alongside representatives from local government and educational institutions. They work together to lead and influence the economy of Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay by improving economic growth and job creation.



Managing Director (Supacat Ltd)

Director of Business Development (UK Government Business)

Operations Director (South West Water Ltd)

Regional Director (South West for Working Links)

Chief Executive Officer (Peninsula Enterprise)

Principal (Somerset College)

Consultant to Clarke Wilmott LLP

Leader (or Cabinet Member) (Plymouth City Council)

Director of Research & Knowledge Transfer (University of Exeter)

Deputy Leader (Somerset County Council)

Chartered Surveyor/Commercial Property Developer

Chief Executive (The Dartington Hall Trust)

Cabinet Member for Economy, Enterprise and Employment (Devon County Council)

Mayor and Leader (Torbay Council)

Vice-Chancellor (University of Plymouth)


What do they do?

Our vision is to lead and influence economic growth, job creation and prosperity across the heart of the South West.


The Heart of the South West’s purpose is to lead and influence outcomes for economy of Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay by improving economic growth and job creation.


Our role is to:


  1. Champion Priorities: Identify the important challenges and opportunities facing our economy, set out priorities for economic growth and prosperity and promote these priorities to businesses, policy makers and investors.
  2. Secure Investment: Influence investors to support our objectives and help advance our priority initiatives to achieve growth.
  3. Lead and Co-ordinate: Bring partners together to align their activities, policies and investments with our vision and objectives.  This will allow us to draw on our existing strengths and distinctiveness and give critical mass.
  4. Share Insight: Ensure intelligence from and perspectives of our partners are embedded in policy and investment decision-making.



The LEP has designed its structure to allow the Board to remain independent, impartial and flexible.  At the same time, the Board also supports regular two-way dialogue with our all our partners, businesses and local authorities.


The LEP structure is as follows:


HotSW LEP Board

The Board is the most senior decision-making authority within the HotSW LEP and will ensure good governance and clear decision making.  It will take responsibility for setting strategic priorities for the economy and the LEP and will oversee progress against objectives.


The HotSW Team

The LEP has a small dedicated team of two staff who support the Board in their decision-making and provide logistical support for partnership working. The members of the team work with the Executive Group and Board members to complement their activities. This team provides a contact point for partners, Government and investors and works closely with the Chair of the Board as the public face of the LEP.  The team reports to the Board and has day to day responsibility for managing resources.


The HotSW Executive Group

The Executive Group provides the LEP with the resource and capacity to progress our priority initiatives.  It is resourced by partner organisations and its composition will evolve as the agenda shifts and further resources become available. The Executive Group will develop the detail of the LEP's priority initiatives and provide much of the resource needed to initiate new activities and implement opportunities presented to the LEP.


The Business Forum

This group of business leaders provides advice to the LEP on performance.  First and foremost, the Business Forum is a critical friend.  In addition to this, it provides the Board, Executive Group and HotSW team with insights into current and future challenges and opportunities facing the areas' economy. Over time, the Business Forum will become advocates for and participants in priority initiatives.


The governance structure can be viewed here - http://www.heartofswlep.co.uk/sites/default/files/Governance%20diagram%20-%20LEP.pdf



Contact information

Anthony Payne / David Draffan

Our representatives

  • Tracey Lee - Chief Executive