SWITCH Support

About SWITCH

Somerset West and Taunton Council’s Inward Investment team has a strategic objective to secure investment in the region, support the growth and innovation of local businesses and create job opportunities.

With this in mind, the local authority has launched SWITCH support packages to provide free advice and assistance to potential investors, new businesses to the area and those already based here, but looking to grow.

The SWITCH team is able to connect your business with strategic partners and draw upon a broad network of business support organisations.

The SWITCH Up package offers local businesses the opportunity to benefit from expert advice and access to business intelligence and opportunities. Our aim is to help you continue your growth journey in the region and support your expansion and innovation.

For those looking to invest in the region or relocate to the area, the SWITCH Location bespoke package includes expert knowledge and local intelligence tailored to your business needs.

SWITCH ambassadors

Andrew Cockcroft

Senior Manager – Community Relations, Strategy and Corporate Affairs, EDF

The first new nuclear power station to be built in the UK in over 20 years; Hinkley Point C in Somerset will provide low-carbon electricity for around 6 million homes, create thousands of jobs for local businesses and spur inward investment into the area.

Andrew says: “Somerset West and Taunton is home to one of the most important projects in the UK’s net zero ambitions. We’re investing millions into infrastructure, skills and employment and working with local businesses and colleges to drive innovation and enterprise.”

Becky Wright

Creative Director & Founder, New Leaf Workplace Wellbeing

New Leaf Workplace Wellbeing is a B Corp Company and provides Mental Health First Aid Training, counselling, and wellbeing services to businesses. They focus on growth and change in a caring, fully supported environment.

Becky Wright is the founder, she engages with green initiatives locally in order to raise awareness of the relationship between our environment and our wellbeing.

Beccy comments: “Somerset is the centre of wellbeing for the UK. The balance between positive working environment and homelife can be easily achieved. We are surrounded by nature in a rich green tapestry. You can easily feel part of a positive small business community with great support.”

Ben Trickey

Director, Summerfield Commercial

Summerfield has earned a reputation throughout Somerset and the South West as a developer of high quality homes, offices and commercial properties, characterised by craftsmanship and the personal touch.

Ben Trickey, Commercial Director is responsible for commercial property development and investment.

“Somerset West and Taunton area offers businesses a superb location in the South West of England, which is highly accessible, well connected and with a skilled workforce.” says Ben.

“All of this whilst being close to a wonderful coastline, world renowned beaches and Exmoor National Park.”

Charlie MacEwan

Corporate Communications Director, WPA

As Corporate Communications Director, Charlie’s role is to raise awareness of WPA, a not for profit health insurer helping retail, SME and global brands fund their healthcare. He also leads the WPA Benevolent Foundation promoting physical activity amongst the young across the UK and the WPA Charitable Foundation supporting parents in the South West. Before WPA, he worked for the Institutional Division of GartmoreInvestment Management and was a soldier for 12 years.

“Why work in the city when you can work in Somerset?” says Charlie.

Harry Singer

CEO/MD, Singer Instruments

Harry Singer has been the Managing Director of Singer Instruments for over 25 years. Harry and the team at Singer believe that they have a responsibility to science. Through scientific research and hard work, SInger works with the scientific community to develop solutions to important issues, and to make research life easier.

Harry says: “The South West is a fantastic place to live and to do business. We’re surrounded by the remote, natural beauty of Exmoor National Park and the coastline, and our staff get to enjoy what the area has to offer.

At the same time, we are able to trade internationally, and collaborate with other businesses and initiatives such as Tech South West, which champions and supports the growing South West tech sector.”

Amy Carrillo

Chief People Officer, UK Hydrographic Office

The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is a world-leading centre for hydrography, specialising in marine geospatial data. We share this data with governments, defence users and academia, as well as make it available through our portfolio of ADMIRALTY Maritime Data Solutions.

As Chief People Officer, Amy Carrillo is responsible for developing a culture and work environment that helps staff to thrive at the UKHO.

Amy Carrillo says: “As the global marine industry embraces its digital transformation, Somerset West and Taunton is an ideally located hub, with its maritime heritage, positive links to this sector and a thriving community for businesses to call home.”

Jeremy Hyams

Chief Executive Officer, Claims Consortium Group

Jeremy Hyams is the CEO and Founder of Claims Consortium Group, a multi-award-winning claims handling service, and Synergy Cloud, a transformational workflow technology for insurers. As an advocate for exceptional customer service and establishing better standards, Jeremy became a VP of the Institute of Customer Service in 2017.

“Being based in Somerset and Taunton, we’re physically and digitally connected, with excellent transport connections and access to superfast broadband.” says Jeremy.

“As one of the fastest growing regions, we’re home to a skilled workforce and diverse selection of businesses and industries, from start-ups to large global companies.”

Matt Tudor

Director of Commercial Development, Strategy and Partnerships, Bridgwater and Taunton College

Matt Tudor is the Director of Commercial Development, Strategy and Partnerships at Bridgwater and Taunton College. The college is one of the largest further and higher education colleges in the region and works closely with industry to ensure that the future skills needs of the workforce are met.

Matt says: “The benefits of being based in Somerset West and Taunton are immense. With strong geographical and economic links to the region and fantastic opportunities for engagement with the digital and Healthcare sectors as one of the colleges main focuses.”

Lisa Tuck

Service Manager Economic Development, Growth and Inclusion, Somerset West and Taunton Council

Lisa Tuck leads the Economic Development, Growth and Inclusion Business Unit at Somerset West and Taunton Council. Working for the Council for over 20 years Lisa brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the local community, and economic landscape and is passionate about creating a vibrant district where businesses can start, develop and scale.

Lisa comments: “Somerset West and Taunton is ideally situated on the M5 corridor to and from the South West, with key employment land sites under development, supported Town Centres, high performing education providers, strong business to business networks, a vision of innovation, and a beautiful place for your employees to live, work and play Somerset West and Taunton is an ideal place to grow your business.”

Chris Winter

Managing Director, Cherwyn Developments Ltd

After a long term career in the construction and development industry in Somerset, in 2018 I decided to set up my own house building and land promotion business. We build quality individual homes in Somerset. I have been actively involved in the Taunton business community and a member of the towns chamber of commerce executive committee for many years, promoting the benefits of living and working in an attractive and dynamic part of the country.

“Somerset offers businesses and employees many benefits, its geographical location and connectivity to regional centres provides an excellent environment to run a business. For staff and their families Somerset offers a good selection of high quality schools and colleges and easy access to beautiful countryside and coastlines.” says Chris.

Martin Jenkins and Sassi Holford

Managing Director and Designer, Sassi Holford

At the heart of Sassi Holford is the atelier in Taunton, Somerset where the team of thirty creates the luxury bridal and fashion ranges bought by discerning women in the UK, Europe, USA and further afield. This is a heritage brand that prides itself on being ‘made in Britain’ and prioritises its environmental responsibilities.
Sassi Holford is the award winning designer who drives the business forward. She works with absolute attention to detail and an uncompromising eye for quality to create collections that are all about being confident and feeling fabulous.

Martin Jenkins is the Managing Director with a background in marketing and PR. He is responsible for the Sales, Marketing and Finance operations, and is also Sassi’s husband.

Sassi moved the business to Taunton in 1985 and it has grown steadily to encompass a thriving wholesale business, two retail stores and an ecommerce site. Whilst we continue to recruit locally and run an apprenticeship programme, increasingly relocation is seen as a positive lifestyle choice in our recruitment. Sassi also appreciates that she can be in her London flagship store 2½ hours after leaving the Taunton atelier.

Joe Wharton

Assistant Director Major and Special Projects, Somerset West and Taunton Council

The Major and Special Projects team at Somerset West and Taunton are responsible for delivering Regeneration, Heritage at Risk and Active Travel programmes. This includes key regeneration sites in Taunton such as Coal Orchard and Firepool, and recently completed the Rainbow Way commercial units in Minehead.

“The district is blessed with excellent transport links coupled with fantastic natural assets. There is a tangible extra quality of life that can be achieved here, with opportunities to start or grow a business as exciting as the space and scenery on offer.” says Joe.

Nick Porter

Business Banking Regional Manager, Somerset, Dorset & Wiltshire, Barclays

Nick Porter is Barclays Regional Manager for Business Banking in Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire. He also leads Barclays ‘Rebuilding Thriving Local Economies’ programme for Taunton Deane. Nick’s career working with businesses spans nearly 30 years, with the past decade focussed on supporting Somerset businesses, which he is particularly proud about having grown up in the area.

Nick Porter, Barclays Regional Business Manager, says: “Somerset West and Taunton is a fabulous location for inward investment. It’s strategically located at the heart of the South West blending a quality lifestyle with excellent transportation links to London, the Midlands and the rest of the UK. Added to this is an established ecosystem, including manufacturing, food and health-tech industry, helping to retain and attract a highly-skilled workforce.”

Partner organisations

Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership is a strong and dynamic business-led partnership between the private sector, local authorities, universities and colleges. The HotSW’s purpose is to raise productivity and ensure prosperity for all through clean and inclusive growth.

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Into Somerset

Into Somerset is an inward investment agency for the county of Somerset. It works with local authorities, other economic agencies and private sector partners, to encourage business relocation to Somerset.

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The Growth Hub

The Heart of the South West Growth Hub provides independent diagnosis and referrals to business support schemes and sources of further support. The Growth Hub offers support to businesses in the Heart of the South West LEP area wishing to develop and grow.

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Tech SW

Is a free to join membership organisations which helps to support, connect and showcase the tech sector across the South West.

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