England

Vision for South West powerhouse revealed

Hinkley Point C Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The report believes there are opportunities for the region to sell power from Hinkley Point C

A coalition of businesses in the south west has set out its vision for economic growth as part of a bid to establish a regional "powerhouse".

Three Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) are lobbying central government to formally establish the alliance.

Leader of Cornwall Council, Julian German, said: "It's time to hand over the reins of power and let the Great South West shape its own future."

The aim is to create 190,000 jobs and generate £45bn of economic benefit.

The report said this would be done by developing so called "green" economies, such as agriculture, and "blue" economies, such as marine research.

By doing this, the aim is for the region - from Somerset and Devon through to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly - to be net carbon zero.

One suggestion is to sell electricity to the grid from Hinkley Point C in Somerset once it is built.

The report said: "The Great South West has the opportunity to become a net exporter of electricity by 2030 - but that requires improvements to the grid."

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, Dorset and Heart of the South West LEP also want to be assigned a minister to help the cause.

Chief executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, Glenn Caplin, said: "We're hopeful that what we've got in the prospectus sets out the barriers to growth but what also makes the region unique."

He added barriers that needed addressing included improving the roads and broadband connectivity.

In December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed support for a Great South West powerhouse.

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