About us

Working in partnership to plan and develop infrastructure across the South West

The South West Infrastructure Partnership (SWIP) is a collaboration of organisations and professionals from across the South West, all with an interest in how we shape our region. 

Founded by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South West in 2017, with a panel of infrastructure sector experts, we now have representation from local and national bodies, including academia, local enterprise partnerships and organisations who plan, design, deliver and operate infrastructure, plus many other stakeholders.

Membership is free and our aim is to share information and connect relations between different sectors, in terms of planning and sharing experience on all aspects of infrastructure.

SWIP works throughout the wider South West region, including Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, and everywhere in between.

Our purpose is:

  • To provide an independent platform for debate with key stakeholders and decision makers across the South West and nationally
  • To provide informed, strategic and objective advice on behalf of the South West region in respect of critical infrastructure: transport, waste, water, flood alleviation, broadband, energy and other aspects of civil engineering that underpins communities and services
  • To advocate resilience and improvements to critical infrastructure, not only within the South West but also with neighbouring regions, helping to provide and support business cases for investment 
  • To respond collectively to issues regarding critical infrastructure with objective and strategic observations.
  • To learn from best practice in other UK regions, and internationally, adopting where possible

Our objectives are to:

  • Consider the likely range of infrastructure demands across the South West over the next thirty years and how to meet them.
  • Address the various challenges of decarbonisation.
  • Protect and enhance the natural environment.
  • Serve the needs of our population and business.
  • Ensure equitable infrastructure investment for the South West from national policy and funding

To achieve these objectives, it is essential that we speak with one voice and that we look broader than our own specialist interests. Joining the dots is perhaps the simplest way of expressing it.

The secretariat is provided by ICE South West and our Steering Group comprises senior infrastructure leaders representing each of the many sectors involved in infrastructure.

Key achievements

SWIP brings senior members of the civil engineering profession together to discuss the issues that each sector was facing and assessing what lessons or experiences could be learned from other sectors.

Subsequently we have embarked on a number of initiatives. These include hosting a DfT roundtable on the Williams Rail Review, ongoing round tables with the ICE President and gathering evidence for the annual ICE State of the Nation reports, ensuring the South West regional perspectives are included in influencing national policy. 

For the past twelve months, we have been working on potential ways the South West could decarbonise its infrastructure going forward. A grant was secured from the University of Bristol to conduct what is effectively a diagnostics approach and in early 2020, two workshops were held within the region, attended by over 120 professionals. These incorporated the ICE’s State of the Nations consultation on decarbonisation as well as a more bespoke approach for the South West.

The University of Bristol have produced their report on the workshops and this is available in the Insights section.

How you can become involved

Everyone with an interest in how the South West plans and delivers its infrastructure over the next thirty years can get involved.  It’s free to become a contributor and registration is simple.

Contributors are encouraged to share their thoughts and experience with the Partnership as well as comment on outputs from SWIP. 

Most importantly SWIP, through its website, can serve as a first port of call for anyone seeking to understand what different authorities and organisations within the South West are doing to deliver zero carbon infrastructure.

Find out more about how to join us.

Our Terms of Reference

For more information, please download our Terms of Reference or contact us.