The business voice for a better future

The South West Business Council is the economic partnership for the South West of the UK, representing the interests of businesses across the region, nationally, and across the world.

The business voice for a better future

The South West Business Council is the economic partnership for the South West of the UK, representing the interests of businesses across the region, nationally, and across the world.

An introduction to SWBC

About SWBC

The South West Business Council is the economic partnership for the South West of the UK. We shine a spotlight on regional capabilities that are ahead of the field nationally and around the world, providing evidence of the South West’s differentiation in a global marketplace and providing a single voice that describes an open, innovative, dynamic and exciting region.

With a track record of over 18 years, we broker high-level connections between the private, public, and third sectors and lobby on regional issues of importance to the business community. Working at a strategic level, SWBC works hard to ensure that the best decisions are made to deliver sustainable economic prosperity for the South West; an economy of over £30 billion. Above all, we focus on delivering and enabling insight, innovation and impact for every business across the South West.

South West Business Council activities are supported by private sector membership. We focus on bringing new opportunities to life for our members by operating as an enabler, a catalyst and an honest broker and by sharing strategic insight and information. Make a difference, Join our network.

Strategic Priorities

About us


Latest news

News from SWBC and its members

Buckfast Abbey’s popular Summer Fair returns

Buckfast Abbey’s popular Summer Fair returns

The popular Summer Fair is back at beautiful Buckfast Abbey this August for three days filled with an array of food, music, crafts and entertainment. Running from Thursday 4th – Sunday 6th August (10am - 5pm) the Summer Fair will offer a fabulous mix of independent...

Virtual Data Analytics Training

Virtual Data Analytics Training

Date: 21/10/2022 Time: 10:00am – 11:45am AND 1:00pm - 2:45pm Venue: Online Event Organiser: The University of Exeter and Somerset County Council  Book: Email      Due to the popularity of the previous events, the University of...

SWIG Finance’s Social Impact Report 2021/22

SWIG Finance’s Social Impact Report 2021/22

SWIG Finance’s annual Social Impact Report for 2021/22 shines a light on how their finance is being used as a force for good across the South West. During the 2021/22 financial year SWIG Finance lent more than £10.8 million to underserved SMEs and Start Ups across the...

Diversity Business Incubator BAME Awards

The SWBC was delighted to be part of the Diversity Business Incubator Grand BAME Gala Awards. DBI do an amazing job highlighting the great work of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic businesses & entrepreneurs in the region. We are really proud to partner with them and have their Managing Director Jabo Butera part of our Statutory board.

SWBC in the News

As a voice for the South West business community, we regularly comment on key topics impacting the wider region in the media. Click the button below to see the latest examples of the South West Buisness Council in the news.


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Upcoming Events

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The South West Business Council organise quarterly conferences, which link closely to our strategic priorities, and also an Annual Dinner in October.

Keynote speakers are often from outside the region, delivering insights from a national and sometimes international perspective

We also work with our members to promote their own respective events, occasionally collaborating on joint event initiatives.


As the only dedicated public affairs and government relations consultancy in the far South West, Rowan Public Affairs is proud to be a member of the SWBC. We were delighted to assist with the organisation and hosting of the fascinating SWBC conference on international trade last year, which revealed the potential for global trade that exists among businesses in the South West. We gain great value through the networking opportunities offered by SWBC membership and also being part of a body which is so well connected with the wider business, social and economic factors that affect companies operating in the South West. The SWBC offers a ‘connected’ voice for business which has reach far outside the region and this can only be good when it comes to putting the South West on the wider business agenda in the UK and elsewhere.

Craig Carey-Clinch
Managing Director, Rowan Public Affairs

It was fantastic to engage with South West Business Council to discuss Kickstart and the importance for young people in our community. The SWBC has a valuable, well-connected, network that is clearly committed to increasing outcomes for both businesses and citizens. It was a pleasure to be involved.

Mark Peck
Group Director South West, Department for Work and Pensions

Womble Bond Dickinson has had a longstanding relationship with Tim Jones and the team at South West Business Council. As a business we span eight locations across the UK, focussing on providing high-quality legal capability and outstanding personal service to a wide range of regional, national and international clients. Our membership with SWBC enables us to gain insight and influence strategic direction in regional matters, and also explore opportunities for us to collaborate on client-facing initiatives and challenges. SWBC’s excellent networking opportunities have meant meeting some really key individuals and organisations, as well as introductions that have enabled us to work on joint assignments. I look forward to seeing what else we can do together.

Craig Moore
Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson

As the gas distribution network serving the south west of England, we are delighted to be members of SWBC as this offers us opportunities to connect with so many of our customers and stakeholders in the area.

We appreciate being able to meet with a range of businesses and other organisations through our membership, and to explain who we are and about the services we supply to the south west.

Steven Edwards
Director of Regulation & Commercial, Wales & West Utilities

SWBC were a big part of the business network and cross political party lobbying that helped secure the future of Barden in late 2019 when closure was planned. But it is since then that I have seen the real benefit of SWBC membership, firstly helping me personally in my new role as MD, and also opening doors to future financing for our business growth. They are always there to pick up the phone, offer advice and support in any way they can, a great contact to have in both good and hard times. I would recommend membership to all, especially if you are new to the area, role and growing.

Damian Dunne
Managing Director of Barden Corporation (UK) Ltd

SWR is pleased to have been a member of SWBC for several years since the start of our franchise in 2017 and alongside our sister company, GWR. We value our membership in several ways – the influence and connections that SWBC has within the wide geographic coverage of the region with both business and local government is key to joining the strategic dots together which in turn helps to influence central Government at a time of high competition for funding. SWBC is also a key gateway to SWR working more closely with local businesses and tourism organisations to support greater usage of rail which in turn drives many economic, social and environmental benefits across the region.

Andrew Ardley
Regional Development Manager, South Western Railway

The College is a long-standing member of the South West Business Council who we have always considered as one of the most effective networks of businesses. They have supported the College over the years, providing vital strategic advice and valuable guidance to ensure our vision, strategies and curriculum design are relevant for the needs of our regional business community. The SWBC team have been instrumental in providing valuable insight helping us to secure valuable support regionally and nationally for some of our key projects over the last decade.

Laurence Frewin
Principal & CEO, South Devon College