The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is working with Tomorrow’s Tourism on a groundbreaking piece of work to develop a business plan for Local Visitor Economy Partnerships (LVEPs) in Somerset and Devon.

The LVEP Programme, developed by VisitEngland, aims to create vibrant and sustainable visitor economies and generate better outcomes for visitors, businesses, the environment, and local communities. The Partnerships provide strong leadership and management, working with the public and private sector to shape and deliver strategy and activities for the visitor economy.

The LEP has commissioned Tomorrow’s Tourism to develop a business plan that sets out what is needed to create and deliver two successful LVEPs in Somerset and Devon, including Plymouth and Torbay.

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: "Great destinations are not only attractive places to visit, but also fantastic places to live and work. The establishment of LVEPs in Somerset and Devon would help generate sustainable growth in our local visitor economies, attracting investment, driving productivity and increasing incomes. We look forward to working with Tomorrow’s Tourism to understand what is needed to achieve this, and help shape the future of the region as a thriving visitor destination.”

Vince Flower, Chair of Visit Devon and LEP Board member, said: "We are thrilled to be part of the collaborative efforts led by the Heart of the South West LEP in establishing Local Visitor Economy Partnerships. This presents a tremendous opportunity to leverage the rich heritage and natural beauty of our region to create unforgettable visitor experiences. By working together, we can develop destinations that not only attract visitors but also enhance the quality of life for our residents."

Giles Adams, Chair of Visit Somerset, said: "We are committed to fostering strong local leadership to ensure sustainable growth, drive economic prosperity, and enhance the well-being of our communities. Together, we will create memorable experiences for visitors from around the world, and drive productivity and growth for our businesses and residents."

Tomorrow’s Tourism develops tourism strategies, action plans and other solutions to help local authorities, DMOs and companies improve the performance of their destinations and visitor economies.

Richard Dickinson, Innovation & Insight Lead at Tomorrow’s Tourism said: “We are delighted to be working with the Heart of the South West LEP on this important project to drive positive change and innovation for Devon and Somerset’s visitor economies. Our focus will be on developing comprehensive plans that align with national objectives, promote sustainable growth, and maximise the potential of these remarkable destinations.”

The report is expected to be published in autumn 2023, outlining key recommendations and next steps to develop a ‘blueprint’ for the future of tourism in the Heart of the South West.


Find out more about the Heart of the South West LEP: