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10 July 2024 – East Devon Growth Strategy approved


A vendor at a stall pouring a tasting drink at a drinks stand



Yesterday (Wednesday 10 July) East Devon District Council’s new Economic Development Strategy was approved at a cabinet meeting.

The strategy has been designed to address the key challenges facing East Devon’s economy, which have been highlighted in the findings of the 2023 Local Economic Review. The work is based on economic evidence including recently published census data, Office for National Statistics datasets and the views of our business community, stakeholders and local organisations.

East Devon’s economy is improving, with wage levels approaching the regional average, but the region faces unique challenges including: a lack of available industrial and logistics space; a lack of jobs close to where people live; an ageing population and falling economic activity; a lack of housing for young people in work; and the need to do more to reduce carbon emissions to achieve net zero by 2040.

Councillor Paul Hayward, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Assets, East Devon District Council, he said:

“This important strategy marks a significant milestone in shaping the borough’s economic future over the next five years. This work directly delivers on the priority of our Council Plan for a Resilient Economy. It promotes a shared understanding of our most pressing local economic issues and how teams across the Council can work together to deliver positive change. Our number one priority is to provide more workspace for businesses and to unlock barriers to delivery.

“We thank everyone who helped to develop the strategy. We listened to many local employers, groups, voluntary and community organisations and incorporated their ideas where possible.

“This shared vision will improve the lives of local people and the prosperity of local businesses, ensuring East Devon becomes an attractive place to live, work, study, invest and visit.”

John Varley OBE TD, Chief Executive, Clinton Devon Estates, he said:

“I am delighted that East Devon District Council has really listened to the business community and set out a path to economic growth. This strategy builds on our unique circumstances – our wonderful natural and built environment; our wealth of talent; our access to science and knowledge; and our decision-makers and business leaders who want to make a real difference. Now we need to pick up the baton and work together with a clear focus on growing our green economy for the good of all.”

Carmen Hanif, Development Manager at Federation of Small Businesses, Devon, he said:

“During stakeholder consultations, the Council was interested in understanding the challenges and barriers to growth that affect small businesses. EDDC’s engagement with the local small business community ensured that the priorities identified were representative of the small business community, resulting in a sense of ownership.”

Nick Ames, CEO of SC Grouphe said:

“This economic strategy is key to the area and I was pleased to support its development. The work will deliver positive change by helping us as local employers to recruit, train and retain the skilled staff we need. We look forward to seeing the fruits of this document in the near future.”

If you have any questions about the strategy please email [email protected]