The South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) is a government-funded public body. There are nine RDAs in England: the South West RDA, North West Development Agency; Yorkshire Forward; ONE North East; East Midlands Development Agency; East of England Development Agency; London Development Agency; South East England Development Agency; and Advantage West Midlands.

RDAs were set up in 1999 to help improve the quality of life and economic prosperity in the English regions. They aim to achieve this through driving economic development and regeneration, developing business competitiveness and improving the skills base.

In the Budget of June 2010 the Government confirmed that all RDAs across England, including the South West RDA, will close by March 2012.

Find out more about Regional Development Agencies.

The South West RDA (Regional Development Agency) has led the development of a sustainable economy in South West England, creating the conditions for business and communities to thrive.

In response to the recent recession, reductions to our funding and lessons learned from the RDA Impact Report we updated our plans for 2009 to 2011. The updated plan was called ‘What Now’ and was produced alongside a review of our budget carried out in June 2009.

Although now overtaken and superseded by the announcement of our closure, ‘What Now’ identified at the time five key priorities for our work between 2009 and 2011:

  1. Low Carbon Economy: Enhancing activity to provide greater emphasis and investment in the drive to a low carbon resource-efficient economy for the South West.
  2. Successful Businesses: A more focused approach to retain and develop a competitive and innovative business base – encouraging innovation, research and skills.
  3. Prosperous Places: A more selective approach to the transformation of key places that most help to improve the region’s economy.
  4. Leadership and Advocacy: A more targeted approach to ensure that we develop an appropriate strategic leadership and advocacy role.
  5. Better Service: Better Value: Increasing our efforts to deliver a more effective and streamlined service, at a time of reduced public finance.

What we do

Find out more about the work of the South West RDA since 1999 in the Transforming the South West report. The short guide to the South West RDA provides an overview of our work and role up until 2010.