Category: Profile

Our Economic Development team work on a wide range of projects, covering multiple sectors.

In the second of our profile pieces, we’re talking about David Lea, one of the Senior Economic Development officers and the work he does with some of Plymouth's sectors.   


Job Title

Senior Economic Development Officer


What area of work do you focus on?

I have a wide and varied role within the Economic Development team. My focus is on the Medical, Health and Life science sector, the Marine sector and the Manufacturing sector in Plymouth.

My role is to work with the businesses in these industries to facilitate and enhance activities which look to create a favourable trading environment, thereby attracting new investment to the area and creating jobs.

Within my role I am also responsible for co-ordinating the biennial Marine Tech Expo, to highlight Plymouth’s incredible strengths when it comes to the marine industry and the companies, research and testing that happens here in the city around autonomous and sustainable marine technology.

Additionally I focus on recording and tracking inward investment that enters the city as Foreign Direct Investment either from new businesses or new investment into existing businesses


Tell us a bit about your background and career history:

I began my career in Plymouth City Council as a Business Administration apprentice in the Economic Development Team and fell in love with the work that the team does. I was able to progress through an Economic Development Assistant position into an Officer role and in 2018 was recruited into the Senior Economic Development Officer role within the Business and Innovation team


What are you working on at the minute?

One of my current priorities is the Marine Tech Expo – a business, academic and research focused event showcasing the latest marine innovations and technology from across the South West and wider South Coast. Returning to the city in summer 2020 this event is a must visit for anyone in the marine industry. More information can be found at

I’m also supporting the establishment and development of the Plymouth Health Innovation Alliance in order to encourage more effective co-ordination and communication within the sector and cross sectors to ensure the opportunities coming out of underpinning tech developments such as immersive and digital are exploited.

As well as identifying potential funding opportunities for businesses in the area and disseminating these out through existing networks and via the Business News and Events newsletter – you can sign up here, it is a fantastic resource.


How is what you’re working on going to impact on Plymouth and its businesses?

The aim is that through our work we make it easier for businesses to operate in Plymouth. This means creating the right environment in the city, from transport infrastructure to skills to ensuring the right support packages are available locally and that businesses have access to good digital connectivity among a host of other things.

We help to inform the policies that we adopt as a city to ensure we can grow and expand and provide jobs for residents.


How can businesses engage with you and what you’re working on?

I am always keen to meet with the businesses operating in Plymouth especially within the sectors highlighted above. If businesses are keen for a chat you can reach me through, just ask for David.

Additionally if you would like to be involved in the Marine Tech Expo you can find out more info on the event on the MTE website.


What’s your favourite thing about your role and what you do?

I love meeting businesses and gaining an insight into the incredible stuff they are doing that you would never think was happening right here in Plymouth. It truly is fascinating and never ceases to amaze me. I also love that my role allows me to do good things for the city and its residents.


How would you describe Plymouth in 3 words?

Aspirational, inspirational and pioneering 

You can view the first profile piece of Tracey Beeck, iMayflower Project Manager, here.



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