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South West Partnership for Environment and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP)



1 January 2017 – 31 December 2021

Awarded to: Professor Ian Bateman
Partners: University of Plymouth, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Funding awarded to Exeter: £5m
Sponsor: NERC (Regional Impact from Science of the Environment)

The South West Partnership for Environmental and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) was a highly successful and impactful research-focused partnership, between 2017-2023. The SWEEP approach applies environmental research to bring natural capital into the heart of decision making, to benefit the environment, society and economy: an exemplar of best practice in the South West of the UK.  

SWEEP is the result of a collaboration between three research institutions - the University of Exeter, the University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marine Laboratory – working together with a large group (300+) of highly engaged business, policy and community partners.

Through SWEEP, a holistic, systems-based approach has been implemented, primarily across the South West region of the UK; Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This approach was adopted across a wide range of Natural Capital sectors and environments.

SWEEP has transformed environment-led decision making in the South West region and beyond; supporting decision-makers to adopt a Natural Capital Approach to investments and policy through the development of bespoke guidance, decision support and mapping tools. Ultimately, this enables a more resilient and enhanced natural environment, producing gains for business, government, and society.


Image: Illustrative Science 2022

SWEEP in numbers

Visit the SWEEP website