Have your say on the priorities that will shape Teignbridge’s five-year economic plan of action

Date: 
12 Jun 2018
Details: 

People with a passion for the future economic prospects of Teignbridge are invited to help shape the council’s draft Economic Development Plan. 

Teignbridge has published its draft Economic Development Plan and is inviting you to have your say. The council is keen for the district to remain a great place to do business and wants to ensure its future actions are focused in the right areas. 

You can let us know whether you agree with the actions being proposed, or provide suggestions for what it can do differently, by completing the survey online at www.teignbridge.gov.uk/edpsurvey The consultation runs until June 29 2018. 

Teignbridge District Council interacts with businesses on a daily basis through the services it provides and the support it offers. 

For communities to thrive, jobs and growth are needed and it’s recognised that the Teignbridge economy benefits from its diversity. It has significant agriculture and hospitality sectors, and wholesale and retail, manufacturing, and construction are particularly strong compared to neighbouring areas and the national average. Unemployment has been slowly decreasing and the number of economically active residents is increasing. 

The district also has challenges to overcome. For example, demand for employment space in Teignbridge far exceeds supply, affecting the ability of businesses to grow. Low wages and low skill levels mean that productivity levels are below the regional and national average, and residents have to go outside the district to find better paid work. 

It’s these opportunities and challenges the draft Economic Development Plan seeks to address. It sets out how Teignbridge will continue to support local businesses, broaden opportunities for the people of the district, drive inclusive economic growth and what may be needed to support others. 

It contains a series of five ‘ventures’, each with its own set of objectives and direct actions on what Teignbridge can do or influence in some way, who the council will work with, the resources needed, timescales and how success will be monitored. 

The ventures are: 

- Driving productivity 
- Catalysing growth 
- Building partnerships 
- Supporting and networking 
- Co-operative services. 

Planned initiatives include creating new employment space, free Wi-Fi for Newton Abbot, Teignmouth and Dawlish town centres, a joint Town Development Manager role covering Ashburton, Bovey Tracey, Buckfastleigh, Chudleigh and Moretonhampstead, events to attract visitors, and facilitating training and networking opportunities. 

Cllr John Goodey, Teignbridge District Council's Executive Portfolio Holder for Community Neighbourhoods, said:

"Our local economy is constantly changing and businesses face daily challenges and hurdles in trying to move forward. Teignbridge is committed to supporting businesses in its area, to be an enabler and not a barrier. The draft Economic Development Plan and its associated action plan set out how Teignbridge will work to fulfil that role. 

"Now we need feedback from our businesses and people who work in Teignbridge – does this work for you? Is there anything we have missed? Is there anything we could do differently? This is a real opportunity to influence the way in which we work and we encourage as many people as possible to join in."

An Overview and Scrutiny Committee Review Group was established to work on the document with Teignbridge officers. The draft plan was reviewed by Overview and Scrutiny on April 9 and subsequently approved by Executive on May 1 for consultation. 

Cllr Richard Keeling, Chair of the Economic Development Review Group, said:

"We are very pleased to present the draft Economic Development Plan for public consultation. A cross-party group worked closely together to bring this forward, showing a strong commitment from all at Teignbridge to support our local economy. 

"The plan sets out the actions Teignbridge can take to deal with the issues businesses have told us are important to them. The supporting action plan gives more details on the actions, delivery mechanisms and how we will measure progress. We have already delivering some of these objectives in reaching out to new businesses in sending out a Tenant Leaflet to new business rates payers, and on to very important keystone opportunities in our plan such as free Wi-Fi in town centres and bringing forward our own commercial sites to correct market failures. 

"We want the plan to be effective and right for businesses and all those who work in Teignbridge. To do this we need people to give us feedback on it and tell us what they think will work and what could be better."

The draft five-year plan takes into account input from businesses, partners and the different services which make up the council, many of which deal with a wide range of organisations too. 

The document takes a medium term view, looking far enough ahead to ensure that important decisions about economic development are coordinated without losing relevance as the economic environment changes. 

Feedback will be reviewed and fed into a final version of the plan which will go back to Overview and Scrutiny and Executive for endorsement in autumn 2018.

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