Issue - meetings

Meeting: 09/02/2024 - Cabinet (Item 477)

477 Integration of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Report of the Interim Director of Performance and Partnerships, (PP/24/1) on the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and Integration thereof, attached.


An Impact Assessment has been prepared for the attention of Members, is available at Published Impact Assessments - Impact Assessment ( / and is attached.

Additional documents:




(a) that the proposed Integration Plan for the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HOTSW LEP) and transfer of functions into the County Council by 1st April 2024 be endorsed;


(b) that delegated authority be given to the Director of Performance and Partnerships in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, the Director of Finance and Public Value and Director of Legal and Democratic Services responsibility for:


               (i) Finalising the HotSW LEP Integration Plan and;


(ii) Concluding the transfer arrangement and agreements with Somerset Council, Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council covering: operational implementation of HOTSW LEP functions, and the allocation of HOTSW LEP residual funding, resources, and assets;


(c) that the submission of a business case for Devon, including Plymouth and Torbay to bid for transition funding from Government up to £240,000 be approved; and


(d) that the dissolution of the HOTSW LEP Joint Scrutiny Committee, by the end of March 2024, also be approved.


(Councillors Hodgson and Leaver attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).


The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Performance and Partnerships (PP/24/1) on the integration of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.


The Report sought approval of the proposed HOTSW LEP Integration Plan and the transfer of functions to the Council by 1st April 2024.


The Report highlighted how Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) had played an important role in supporting local economic growth since 2011, bringing together businesses, educators, and local government, working towards the Government’s ambitions to support regional growth. The HOTSW LEP had been established in 2011 covering Somerset, Devon, Plymouth, and Torbay and incorporated as a Community Interest Company (CIC) in 2014. The Governance of this body was further outlined in the Report, including and assurance framework, the Standing Orders of Somerset Council, DLUHC and the role of the HOTSW LEP Joint Scrutiny Committee, administered by Devon.


The Cabinet noted that the Spring Budget Statement 2023 set out Government’s intentions regarding the future of LEPs and in December 2023, the Government wrote to local authority leaders and LEP chairs to confirm that it would provide up to £240,000 to upper tier local authorities in 2024/25 to deliver the functions previously delivered by LEPs.


Agreements between Somerset, Torbay and Plymouth Councils would underpin the transfer of functions and a fair distribution of assets and resources to ensure that no Council was disadvantaged or was required to deliver additional responsibilities without the necessary revenue and capital resource.


The proposed Integration Plan had been agreed with Government and developed through engagement with the HOTSW LEP and reflected the technical guidance issued by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).  This was attached at Appendix 1 of the Report and provided for a collaborative and smooth transition, within the Government timetable. It also recognised the development of a devolution deal for part of the area.


The functions to be transferred covered business voice, economic planning, andspecific government programmes such as the Growth Hub and Careers Hub. The HOTSW LEP Board had developed other significant projects and programmes and these would also transfer. Section 4.2 of the Report outlined the functions transfer in more detail and how delivery would continue. The four upper tier authorities had considered alternative options as set out in the Report and the recommended approach was considered to achieve a smooth transition that met Government’s stated timescales.


The Cabinet had considered the proposed Devon and Torbay devolution deal and draft proposal to establish a Devon and Torbay Combined County Authority (DT CCA) at its meeting on 2 February 2024.  Subject to the outcome of the public consultation, Cabinet and Council decisions and secondary legislation, the majority of HOTSW LEP functions would transfer to the DT CCA once established.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 477