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David Ralph, HotSW LEP

By January 1, 2021April 28th, 2021EXIST


David Ralph is CEO of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership – the business-led partnership charged with raising productivity and prosperity for all across Devon, Plymouth,  Somerset and Torbay.

“Exeter Science Park is a success story that continues to attract confidence and investment from the private sector as well as local and national public sector funding.

“The LEP was set up to raise productivity and generate business growth; and has drawn down an investment programme of over three-quarters of a billion pounds to invest in infrastructure, business support and skills projects to boost the local economy. Exeter Science Park is one of our flagship business locations and has benefitted from a number of LEP funding packages which continue reap dividends.

“A LEP Growing Places loan of £4.55m and LEP Growth Deal funding of £2.5m helped construct the Innovation Centre with £15m of private sector funding – it’s occupied by small knowledge-based companies which are accepted according to criteria that targets a knowledge/innovation/science focus. A further £6m of LEP Growth Deal funding for the MET Office Environmental Futures Campus generated £18.2m from the private sector and a total of £8m from the public sector. £5.5m of Growth Deal funding is allocated to the Open Innovation Centre which will be complete next year, and the latest developments to be built are the Grown-On buildings – which had £4.5m of Growth Deal funding and provide space for six businesses, including a global healthcare software provider, a veterinary pathology firm, and an automotive technology firm.

“The Met Office is the science park’s anchor tenant, and is building its new £97m super-computer at this site  – one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world – which will be a further catalyst for growth and supports collaboration and partnerships between science, business and academia.

“Exeter Science Park is part of the Heart of the South West’s portfolio of Enterprise Zones which offer favourable terms for tenants and enable the retention of business rates for re-investment into local infrastructure. It’s part of our long term commitment to create a technology cluster and improve science & innovation in the wider Exeter Growth Corridor, and complements our enterprise zones at Oceansgate in Plymouth – which is a centre of excellence for the marine sector – and Gravity in Somerset which focusses on Clean Energy.”