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Team Devon COVID-19 Economy and Business Recovery Prospectus

Last Updated 12:12pm, 3 July 2020


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The COVID-19 Economy and Business Recovery Prospectus sets out Devon’s shared vision for economic recovery over the next three years. Devon is predicted to be the fourth-worst impacted county in England, and the South West is predicted to host 7 of the 20 worse affected districts in the UK. Even before the pandemic, Devon was home to the district with the lowest average wages in the UK, so this is a critical document for Devon, setting out clearly how we can level up our economy and achieve national productivity rates providing a prosperous future for our communities. We are seeking an initial investment package of £56m to support our hardest-hit communities and sustain 6500 local jobs, deliver 5000 training opportunities and support 7500 enterprises.

Developed in partnership by local authorities, key public sector agencies and business and community stakeholders, the plan provides a single economic programme for the County to respond to the crisis and build our economy back stronger and more resilient. It aligns activities to address our hardest-hit places, communities and business sectors and take forward emerging new opportunities capitalising on our significant assets. Key amongst these is taking forward a set of measures to achieve a greener economy.


Exeter City Council Leader Phil Bialyk:

“Exeter City Council supports and endorses the work of Team Devon and the Devon COVID 19 Economy and Business Recovery Plan. The city of Exeter is positioned and ready to drive forward the economy of Greater Exeter and Devon.”

Steve Hindley CBE DL, Chairman of Midas Group:

“Covid-19 has struck a major blow to the economy of the County of Devon. As we turn to recovery it is so encouraging that we have been able to assemble a comprehensive and collaborative plan that recognises the importance of all sectors of the economy. It should enable us to “Build Back Better” and hopefully achieve our zero-carbon targets ahead of the timescale originally planned.”

Anthony Mangnall, MP for Totnes:

“We have faced an unforeseen challenge in the form of Covid-19 and we now face the monumental challenge of rebuilding our economy. This document represents the views and thoughts of local leaders from politicians to business owners to college principles. It is focused on the many strengths of Devon’s economy as well as developing and expanding clean green growth opportunities, improving our digital and transport networks all with the aim of encouraging new jobs and business investment to our special and unique part of the United Kingdom.

“It has been a pleasure to work with colleagues from across Devon on this prospectus and I look forward to taking this document to Government Ministers as we fight for Devon’s fair share.”

Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter:

“It’s vital that we work together to help our communities through this crisis, as well as taking the opportunity to build on the lessons we’ve learned. I’m pleased to support Team Devon’s plan for a sustainable recovery.”

Lee Tozer, Greater Devon Partnership Manager for the Department of Work and Pensions:

“It has been great to see colleagues in Devon pulling together as a whole to support the local economy and the people of Devon”

Melanie Squires, Regional Director, South West NFU:

“The farming industry that underpins our food and drink sector is so important to Devon, not just the economy but also our local communities and landscapes. Despite often being unseen down farm lanes or behind hedges, like the rest of the economy the farming community has had a significant shock from COVID-19 and will continue to deal with the after affects for some time, with the double whammy of so many having also diversified into the tourism and hospitality sector. But we can use this as a re-set moment, look to build on our strengths and grow what our family farm businesses offer and as a consequence deliver more back to our economy and local communities. I am delighted that the NFU has worked with Devon County Council and fellow partners to publish the Recovery Plan, there are many excellent initiatives that will undoubtedly deliver for Devon.”

Stuart Elford, Chief Executive, Devon & Plymouth Chamber:

“The Devon & Plymouth Chamber is proud to have worked in partnership on the Team Devon Prospectus to ensure that business in the County has the best possible chance to not just survive, but thrive as we emerge from the current crisis. We can achieve so much when the public and private sectors work together for the good of all.”

Mike Matthews. Managing Director, Lineal Software Solutions:

“Businesses can take pride in how they’ve responded to this crisis, but there are some major challenges for Devon ahead – technologically, environmentally and financially.

The Recovery Prospectus is a really encouraging plan, and as a technology company supporting many local SMBs, Lineal especially welcomes the focus on skills development, business stability, upgraded digital infrastructure and investment in training.

These are critical priorities to build resilience to future economic shocks and help strengthen the economy of the South West over the long-term.”

Cllr Graeme Barnell, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration, Mid Devon District Council:

“The prospectus sets out a shared vision across Devon for building back a strong and sustainable local economy. It provides the focus for local authorities to work together as “Team Devon” and to work with local business and with Central Government to get the job done.”

Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council:

“I am really pleased with the recommendations in Team Devon’s recovery plan. Building back the economy and supporting our local businesses is crucial, and priority must be given to helping businesses recover. It’s going to be a challenge, but West Devon fully endorses this Team Devon approach. By working together, we have the potential to not just recover, but to build back better and create more sustainable communities for the future.”

Cllr Paul Arnott, Leader of East Devon District Council:

“We are fortunate in East Devon to have world-leading expertise in climate science and big data at our Science Park. These will play a vital part in Team Devon’s excellent ambition to make our recovery from the pandemic a green one. Housing configured to perform to the best environmental standards must happen on our own doorstep, but we also want to play a leading role in major global challenges such as de-carbonising transport and aviation. Together with investment in skills and training, we hope these ambitions will be welcomed by all of our residents.”

Laurence Frewin, Principal and CEO at South Devon College:

“I have been pleased to Chair the People Group which has collectively informed and shaped the skills, training and related support which is being proposed for people of all ages across the whole of Devon. The work with partners from across the county has been focused and positive and the College is delighted to positively support the publication of the Devon Prospectus which it feels provides the necessary response to allow our local and regional economy to be rebuilt in the short term and to return stronger and better for the longer term.”

Cllr Elizabeth Brookes-Hocking, Vice-Chairman of the Devon Association of Local Councils:

“The Devon Association of Local Councils welcomes the Team Devon COVID-19 Economy and Business Recovery Prospectus. Towns and parishes are keen to work with authorities and agencies to help restore the well-being of all sectors of our communities post-Covid. Measures to restore education and training opportunities for young people are especially welcome. We also strongly support the prospectus’ proposals for encouraging innovation, for investment in inclusive growth and the green economy, for sustainable transport and sustainable living, especially greater reliance on local supplies and services.”

John Laramy, Principal and Chief Executive, Exeter College:

‘We need to put people, skills and place at the heart of our recovery, I believe the Devon Prospectus does just that’