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South West Observatory

Thematic Modules

The Modules provide theme-specific research and analysis about the South West to inform policy and decision making. They are each structured differently, but are all publicly funded in some way.
Coming together under the SWO banner with the local intelligence networks encourages and enables cross-thematic working, and provides a conduit for sub-regional thematic intelligence needs to be understood and met. For more information on the individual modules see below. Click on the links to the various module websites. For information on the latest news and releases from the Modules, click here.

Economy Module

The Economy Module provides those responsible for developing  economic policies in the South West with accurate and timely information, intelligence and analysis on all aspects of business and economic activity within the South West. The Economy Module is managed in-house by the SWO Core Unit, with content provided by former RDA economist Shane Vallance.
  • Email enquiries to
  • Access the Economy Module Website - http://economy.swo.org.uk

Environment Module

The Environment Module (SWENVO) is a partnership of environmental organisations sharing the collation, production, analysis & dissemination of intelligence, evidence & research on regional environmental matters here in the South West. Most content is provided by the Environment Agency.

Housing & Planning Module

The Housing & Planning Module collects, analyses and presents evidence to support housing planning policy in the South West. Content for the website is provided by a range of organisations, including the HCA.
  • Email enquiries to 
  • Access the Planning Module Website - http://housing-planning.swo.org.uk

Public Health Module

The South West Public Health Observatory (SWPHO) was created in 2005 as a result of a merger between the existing Public Health Observatory (Public Health Intelligence Team (PHIT)) and the South West Cancer Intelligence Service (SWCIS). It incorporates the Drug Treatment Monitoring System of the South West (NDTMS) and has an academic partnership with the Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol.

Skills & Learning Module

The Skills and Learning Intelligence Module (SLIM) was established in January 2001, following extensive consultation with regional partners. It is funded by the South West RDA and the European Social Fund and provides data, analysis and reports on a broad range of skills, learning and education issues.

Culture Module

The Culture Module is managed by the South West Cultural Executive Board and exists to bring the most up-to-date information and intelligence on culture to policy makers and practitioners across South West. 
  • Email enquiries to   
  • Access the Culture Module Website - http://culture.swo.org.uk