11. Priority two: Developing an outstanding local economy
As well as delivering our day-to-day services, our focus is on achieving the following successful outcomes:
● An economy which attracts inward investment.
● An economy which stimulates startups and new businesses as well as supports existing businesses to grow to bring better paid jobs and increased wealth into East Devon.
● Generation of new income streams (reducing our dependence on Council Tax and government funding) adopting an approach which continues to weigh and balance commercial interests with community benefit and value.
● Greater investment and economic growth into East Devon by strategically working with neighbouring authorities and other agencies.
● Promotion of East Devon and the wider region to create value and enjoyment of the area.
Over the life of this Council Plan we will take the following actions to deliver these outcomes successfully:
● Increase income from existing assets either directly or through local partnerships.
● Identify and bring forward a pipeline of regeneration and development projects across the lifetime of the Council Plan to deliver benefits through regeneration and/or capital receipts.
● Actively seek external funding and explore alternative delivery mechanisms for a series of priority regeneration and development projects.
● Create opportunities through partnership and the planning process
and by activing as a facilitator to bring about further development on strategic employment sites to attract new jobs into the district.
● Work in partnership with and gain the positive support of town councils and local partners to identify and deliver new opportunities for regeneration.
● Implement the serviced workspace study recommendations and initiate site specific detailed reviews and business cases to seek investment and funding.
● Continue to support the growth of the Greater Exeter’s economy through promoting employment sites identified in our Local Plan.
● Deliver projects to help create the conditions for local economic growth in partnership with neighbouring authorities where shared objectives exist and improved efficiencies evidenced.
● Work with Exeter and Heart of Devon (EHOD) partner economic development teams to produce a joint economic development strategy which prioritises inward investment.
● Secure new job opportunities in conjunction with development arising from the Local Plan for local residents (both young and disadvantaged in the labour market).
● Deliver our target to pay businesses within ten working days and through our Procurement Strategy encourage local business to do business with the council.
● Work closely with our rural, coastal and market town economies to encourage business resilience and growth.
Services which support East Devon’s economy include:
● Promoting and improving our town centres and high streets to encourage community identity, local services, more trade and stronger businesses.
● Managing the successful operation and opportunities provided by the East Devon Business Centre.
● Improved and targeted engagement with our business community.
● Ensuring that economic impacts are considered in responding to and deciding upon the relevant planning decisions.
● Ensuring there is an adequate supply of employment land to facilitate the expansion of businesses and to assist startup companies.
● Working with employers and training providers to give local people a competitive edge to sustain existing employment and encourage new skilled and better paid jobs in new sectors.
● Providing business support, innovation and networking opportunities for small and medium size businesses and lobbying on their behalf.
● Lobbying for better and more comprehensive broadband coverage to support the rural community and businesses.
● Continuing to work with our towns to review and optimise the arrangements of parking and charges for the benefit of East Devon and its communities.
● Progressing partnership arrangements with the Science Park, Local Enterprise Partnership and the University of Exeter.