East Devon's five-year Economic Development Strategy (EDS) aims to help address our core economic challenges and embrace new opportunities.

The key objectives of our Strategy are:

  • To clearly set out a shared economic vision for the district.
  • To set out a list of short-term actions and longer-term priorities. 
  • To outline how we will prioritise our resources.
  • To provide a consistent message on our economic priorities, aligned with the Council Plan, to help strengthen future funding bids.
  • To help identify shared objectives with our regional partners and local stakeholders.

Read the Economic Development Strategy

Developing the strategy

Cabinet agreed to commission a new Economic Development Strategy on 10 October 2023, following their assessment of the Local Economic Review

An earlier draft version of the Strategy was produced following a series of workshops with local businesses, community organisations and groups representing local business. This input was key to making the Strategy reflect the local knowledge and experience of these stakeholders. 

Following this, a consultation exercise was open from the 19 February to the 10 March 2024 where all local businesses had the opportunity to give feedback on the draft. 

All comments from the consultation were reviewed and considered. A second draft of the EDS was then produced following this feedback and presented to Cabinet for endorsement on 10 July 2024.

The strategy was fully developed in-house using the Council's existing expertise and local knowledge. 

Comments from consultees 

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

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

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

“Throughout the stakeholder consultations, the Council were keen to understand the challenges and barriers to growth affecting small businesses. EDDC’s engagement with the local small business community have ensured that the priorities outlined are representative of the small business community, resulting in a sense of shared ownership.”

Nick Ames, Chief Executive of SC Group, said:

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