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South West transformational opportunities to be shared at this year’s UKREiiF

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will be promoting the South West’s opportunities to investors at the national investment and infrastructure forum, UKREiiF, in Leeds on 16th – 18th May.

The annual forum is designed to attract inward investment, generate economic growth, and drive a more sustainable and inclusive culture within the property and construction industries.

The Heart of the South West LEP will be attending the show to highlight the South West’s key aviation, maritime and business investment opportunities.

David Ralph, Chief Executive of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “We’re looking forward to presenting a number of transformational opportunities to investors at this year’s UKREiiF, from our world-leading aviation test zone, to our new Freeport. Our region offers a fantastic place to develop new and emerging technologies and businesses, with strengths in marine, data science, aerospace, clean energy, photonics, agriculture, defence and many more.”

Opportunities being presented at the event include the South West’s Future Aviation Test Zone, Smart Sound Plymouth, the new Plymouth and South Devon Freeport and Gravity, the UK’s first smart campus.

The Plymouth & South Devon Freeport opens up opportunities to build upon the region’s marine heritage, with a strong business, manufacturing and research community in Plymouth and the Oceansgate innovation centre; a world-class hub for marine industries.

Richard May, CEO, Plymouth and South Devon Freeport, said: “We have a unique opportunity with the Plymouth & South Devon Freeport to catalyse deeper innovation in the South West’s key sectors of marine, defence and space. This will support sustainable economic growth, new jobs, national and international investors, and existing business expansion.

“The Freeport and its partners have already been recognised by Government for leading innovation in marine autonomy, connected ocean and clean propulsion solutions. This furthers our partnership with other nations and the opportunity to lead the creation of standards and international regulations in these growth markets.”

Smart Sound Plymouth is a fully managed and instrumented testing zone stretching up to 25 miles offshore, available to test and develop technologies for advanced marine autonomy, clean propulsion and digital ocean innovation.

Rob Watson, Director of the Marine Business Technology Centre, said: “Smart Sound Plymouth has its roots in the world-class marine research activities undertaken by Devon’s world-class academic and research organisations. All of this activity has created a huge amount of national and international interest, and Smart Sound underpins the Plymouth & South Devon Freeport marine innovation offer.”

Located over 600 acres in Somerset, Gravity is one of the largest oven-ready sites in the UK. With direct access to the M5, international airports, freight and rail terminals, this Enterprise Zone offers unique flexibility for forward-thinking companies.

Claire Pearce, Director of Planning & Economic Development at Gravity, said: “Gravity is geared to hosting international investment for UK plc, enabling a transformational step change in the transport decarbonisation efforts. Driven by a clean and inclusive growth vision, the Gravity Smart Campus will create up to 7,500 high-value jobs in a future-facing industry, stimulating economic restructuring and supply chain development. A Local Development Order has enabled us to provide both the scale and flexibility to host a gigafactory – one of 5 needed before 2030 to electrify the UK. We are excited to see how Gravity will act as a catalyst for wider economic renewal and the transition to Net Zero.”

Find out more about UKREiiF.

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