“It's time to Take Action”- that is the messages for businesses across Dorset as they are urged to back a regional campaign to boost prosperity in the south west.

‘Back the South West’ was endorsed by over 300 delegates at the annual South West Growth Summit designed to ignite the region’s growth, productivity and opportunities.

The campaign has been spearheaded by Great South West, a group comprising of business and education leaders, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and local authorities.

It was launched a year ago, at the inaugural South West Growth Summit, following the development of the South West Growth Charter.

Speakers at this year’s summit included Chris Loughlin from Pennon, chairman of the Midas Group Steve Hindley and MP for South West Devon Gary Streeter.

Keynote speaker Rain NewtonSmith, chief economist of the CBI, spoke about the unique economic challenges facing the region.

Rob Dunford, Interim Director Dorset LEP, said: “It’s time to take action. Over the past year we’ve been working to develop what is unique about the region and what, exactly, our best commercial opportunities are to drive prosperity and growth in order that we have a range of clear asks for government.

“The whole ethos of Great South West is about working together to ignite future growth and opportunities.

We all know that the South West of England is a great place to live and last year we launched our SW Growth Charter.

“This year’s Growth Summit was about continuing that journey: updating delegates on progress, outlining our detailed propositions and gauging appetite across the area to move forward together with real momentum and purpose.

“But we can only be successful if we work together - this is our call to arms. We need everyone to get behind the campaign and Back the South West, publicly pledging their support – together we can increase prosperity and productivity for all.”

Rozz Algar, south west partnership executive from Great South West, said: “This is a pivotal time for Great South West – it’s our big opportunity to promote and take forward the region’s great opportunities and huge potential.

“We need to work collaboratively across our cities, towns and rural communities, developing shared propositions, attracting investment and tackling barriers to productivity.”

Businesses are being encouraged to get involved by joining the social media campaign using #backthesouthwest