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Devon and Somerset bid for more powers to boost prosperity

All of the councils in Devon and Somerset, along with the Local Enterprise Partnership, the two National Park Authorities and the three Clinical Commissioning Groups, are working in partnership towards achieving devolution for the Heart of the South West as a means of tackling the region’s poor productivity levels.

Following the changes in Government after the EU Referendum, the process of moving towards devolution has slowed. Our devolution bid is fundamentally about addressing the productivity gap between Heart of the South West and the rest of the UK and we are continuing to focus on this.

The Partnership is working together to develop a Productivity Plan which will set out the areas’ long term aspirations. It will be a strategy to achieve greater prosperity through raising skills levels and creating better quality jobs, and by increasing the levels of enterprise and innovation to boost trade and investment.

The Plan will also provide our long term strategy to engage with Government on new funding opportunities and powers, for example with the emerging Industrial Strategy and the National Productivity Investment Fund.

The current draft document sets out the challenges facing the Heart of the South West in some detail. A number of questions are identified, and the Partnership wants to hear your thoughts on these points.

Please share and discuss this document with your colleagues and through your networks, and feed back your views by 10 March 2017 by making submissions to

The information provided during the engagement process will be used by the Partnership to prepare the Draft Productivity Plan - which will be released by the end of June 2017. There will be a further period of consultation on this paper over the summer, with the final Plan expected to be approved in autumn 2017.