Partnership Working

 Cross LEP Working


The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) represents Place Directors from county, unitary and metropolitan authorities, along with Local Enterprise Partnerships and corporate partners drawn from key service sectors. ADEPT members are at the very heart of maximising sustainable growth in communities throughout the UK. We are delivering the projects that are key to unlocking broader economic success and creating more resilient communities, economies and infrastructure. 

M4 Arc

Many of the economies along the M4 corridor are net contributors of revenue to UK plc. We do not need to overturn a deficit; our economies continue to grow, especially in high value sectors such as Digital Tech. Our rate of growth could be higher still. Unlocking additional value both for the wider region and the UK economy, is an important priority for us all.  Evidence shows that greater collaboration and connectivity between regions, effectively brings firms closer together; accelerating growth.

Dorset LEP, GFirst LEP, Newport City Council, Swindon and Wiltshire LEP and the West of England LEP are considering the case for greater collaboration where interests are aligned to maximise their impact. Work is underway to explore the benefits of working together to accelerate growth along the M4 corridor. This work includes a review of infrastructure connectivity (road and rail), movement of workforce, business linkages and the flow of ideas. A report summarising the conclusions of this work will be available for consideration in March 2019. Collaboration refers to the process of working together, and not to changing governance structures or geographies. 

South West Agri-tech

As in other key sectors within the South West, the six Local Enterprise Partnerships are working together to promote the strength of the agri-tech sector with the Region to attract further inward investment and to focus attention on the centres of excellence within the region.  

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The Careers and Enterprise Company Advisory Group

Careers and Enterprise Company brings Skills Leads from all 38 LEPs together to talk about the strategic direction of the Enterprise Adviser Network and other Careers and Enterprise Company funded delivery.


Partnerships within Dorset 

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

The Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers almost half of Dorset and is part of a family of nationally important protected landscapes. The Dorset AONB Partnership is made up of several groups representing local and environmental interests; local landowners, businesses, environment groups, and local authority representatives; and also various governmental organisations. These groups are represented on the Dorset AONB Partnership Board, which meets twice a year.

Dorset Local Nature Partnership


Local Nature Partnerships (LNPs) originate from the Government’s Natural Environment White Paper 2011, ‘The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature’.  In the paper the Government recognised the importance of partnership work in delivering positive environmental change at a local level. The aim of the resulting LNPs is to work within their local area, creating positive change through strategic, integrated management of the natural environment.

LNPs involve a broad range of stakeholders who are able to work with and influence decision makers, ensuring that the value of the natural environment is embedded in the local decision making process.  

Strategic Planning Forum (SPF)

A joint strategic committee composed of council members for all Dorset authorities. The groups focus is strategic cross-boundary matters, providing a forum for the councils to engage constructively under their Duty to Co-operate.


Great South West 







The South West of England is a great place. It is poised for a step change in productivity and prosperity, taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the Industrial Strategy.

When productivity in the South West matches current levels in the South East, we will add over £18 billion a year to the UK economy.

Businesses, LEPs and universities in the region have been coming together as the Great South West partnership over the last 18 months to build the narrative and momentum for a region that is of national and international significance. Read more.

Nuclear South West

Nuclear South West is the nuclear cluster for the South West of England.
The South West is set to become a nuclear hub in the next two decades, with 15 projects worth £50 billion to our economy. NSW provide a platform for businesses to understand and take advantage of new opportunities.


South West Energy Strategy

In 2017, in partnership with Cornwall & Isles of Scilly (CIoS) and Heart of the South-West (HoSW) LEPs, bid for and was awarded a £100k grant from the Government to develop an Energy Strategy for the area covered by these LEPs badged the South West. Through an open and transparent procurement process, led by HoSW, the Carbon Trust were appointed to develop and deliver the Energy Strategy. The Dorset, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly and Heart of the South West Energy Strategy has developed a common vision across the South West geography: We will create an energy future that is low carbon and more affordable, maximising and retaining benefits in the region. The three LEPs continue to work in partnership to create and deliver a Strategic Delivery plan.

Wessex Academic Health Science Network

Wessex AHSN improves people’s health, achieve excellence in healthcare and boost innovation and growth in our region’s life sciences and healthcare sector. Wessex AHSN connect academics, NHS, industry and others to bring fresh energy to old problems, inspired thinking to new ones and to spread innovation and best practice.






Communications Forum


Partnership of communications officers across Local Authorities and Dorset LEP


Cultural Enquiry

Shaping a new creative future by looking at the role culture plays in people’s lives and exploring the opportunity for a long-term cultural vision for all our communities.
Three Councils, two Universities, a Local Enterprise Partnership, a Symphony Orchestra and a major venue have come together, supported by Arts Council England to develop a long-term vision for Culture at the heart of the UK’s newest City Region. Read more. 

Joint Asset Management Board (JAM)

A group composed of estate and property managers for public sector organisations operating across Dorset. Identify common aims in line with One Public Estate best practice.

Strategic Planning Policy Managers Forum (SPPMF)

This group includes planning policy managers from all Dorset councils to work on cross boundary strategic and policy issues. This group feeds into and supports SPF. is responsible for co-ordinating the work of the different authorities, monitoring progress of local plan preparation across the area and to provide advice and information to the Strategic Planning Forum.  

Strategic Housing Group

This group brings together local authorities enablers and planners, developing RP’s and the HCA and focuses on common aims and issues in housing development.
















The South West Aerospace cluster has global prominence and is essential to driving up the UK’s industrial productivity and excellence. iAero’s purpose is to collaborate to innovate and retain global competiveness.

iAero is thecollaboration of key stakeholders from the South West region that includes:

  • Aerospace industry,
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships,
  • local government,
  • The West of England Aerospace Forum,
  • National catapults via the National Composites Centre,
  • Academia including world class Universities,
  • Technical skills providers
  • Business support for the SME supply chain.

iAero is a cost-effective mechanism for enabling technological innovation, making it faster and better through effective collaboration. Read more

South Coast Marine Cluster

The South Coast Marine Cluster is a large public / private partnership, set up to continue to strengthen marine and maritime-related economic growth and productivity across the UK’s south coast. SCMC offer a comprehensive, confidential, free of charge advice service,

South West Energy Hub

The key objective of the South West Local Energy Hub is to work collaboratively across the south west area to co-ordinate the identification and prioritisation of local energy projects and to undertake the initial stages of development for priority projects, up to a point where investment can be secured.















Dorset Business Alliance

Dorset Business Alliance is a strategic partnership between Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the Institute of Directors and Dorset LEP. 

Dorset Coastal Forum

The Dorset Coast Forum (DCF) is an independent strategic coastal partnership, which looks at the long term, broad-scale issues facing the Dorset coast and its inshore waters. The overriding aim of the Forum is to promote a sustainable approach to the management, use and development of Dorset’s coastal zone to ensure that its inherent natural and cultural qualities are maintained and enhanced for the benefit of future generations. Established in 1995, DCF has a strong network of over 1000 members from over 260 organisations.

Silicon South

Silicon South is an ambitious not-for-profit organisation dedicated to accelerating the digital economy in Dorset – one of the fastest growing creative and digital hubs in Europe. Set up in 2013 by an energetic group of digital industry specialists and supporters, it has grown to become not only a support organisation for the area, but a moniker for the place it was founded, the vibrant and inspiring Dorset region.

As an organisation SiSo delivers projects, manages investment, nurtures new talent, and encourages cross-industry collaboration to make Dorset the best place for digital and creative organisations to thrive. As a place Silicon South is a bustling economy of passionate and motivated digital and creative organisations who punch well above their weight on a global scale. A hot bed for start-ups, scale-ups and multinationals to set up, thrive and expand. 


Innovation South 

Innovation South is a powerhouse of world class strengths in digital technologies that can transform the world and the way we live for the better: Better transport; better health; and ever more creative ways to relax and be entertained. 

In Autumn 2015 the UK Government announced regional investigations in different parts of the UK to identify individual region’s specialities. These so-called Science and Innovation Audits (SIAs) are a new approach to local economic development, and in the South of England, the Government gave its approval to the formation of the Innovation South consortium and its focus on strengths in Digital Enabling Technologies. Read more.

South West Aerospace

South West Aerospace represents a collaboration between the six LEP areas in the South West to promote the aerospace sector in an international arena using the “South West Aerospace” brand. Focus on a geographical area that is of sufficient size to be recognisable to an international audience, this has resulted in a coherent and consistent approach to inward investment within the region. 

South West Rural Productivity

The South West Rural Productivity Commission has been established as a partnership by four LEPs in the South West of England: The Heart of the South West (HotSW LEP), Dorset LEP, Swindon & Wiltshire (SWLEP), Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly (CIoS LEP) to explore the issues around rural productivity and growth.
These south west LEPs recognise the importance of rural growth, productivity and prosperity being tackled alongside urban growth, to ensure that improvements impact on all parts of the economy. The commission is set up to hear and review evidence from a range of sources and stakeholders. Read more












Dorset Cyber Alliance 

Dorset Cyber Alliance is a group of business leaders, public service managers, academics, skilled professionals and interested citizens. Our Board and advisory group have access to international expertise as well as local knowledge of cyber security implementation.

Dorset Engineering and Manufacturing Cluster

DEMC aims to provide an information hub and forum for collaboration by:

  • Helping to raise the profile of the engineering and manufacturing sector and the work of companies within Dorset, in particular to drive productivity and growth
  • Developing supply chain opportunities in order to increase market share
  • Providing an opportunity to network and collaborate through a programme of events and workshops
  • Supporting solutions to underpin workforce development, skills, training and apprentice schemes
  • Identifying ways of working with education providers and research organisations to drive innovation
  • Provide information on access to business support, market intelligence, finance and funding. 

Smart City Consortium

The Smart Place Research & Development Consortium, which includes major private sector technology partners, local authorities, local universities, the LEP, Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group and Public Health Dorset, has been formed to accelerate the region’s Smart Place programme that will enable productivity, drive innovation across the region and generate value for people, business and place.











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