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Economy and Enterprise

Devon County Council

Devon Place Board minutes – 24 April 2023



Last Updated


Melanie Sealey, Keir Duffin, Alison Hayward, Andrew Wood, Chris Fuller, Chris Shears, Dan James, Dominie Dunbrook, Fergus Pate, Heather Hillman, Ian Collinson, Mike Deaton, Tim Child, Zoe Lentell, Hannah Keyte (Minutes).


Adrian Welsh, Chris Brook, Dave Bartram, David Boocock, Jamie Evans, Jamie Hulland, Neil Blaney, Richard Marsh, Sarah Jane Mackenzie Shapland, Sean Kearney, Zoe Smith

1. Rural England Prosperity Fund / LUF – Update / Discussion

Chris Shears (SW Devon) – letter received from DEFRA to confirm LUF Funding.  Delays and being in pre-election period have added complexities.  Projects are going to be feeding into REPF.  SLAs are in place and can start moving forward.

Andy Wood (East Devon) – completing end of year activity for last financial year.  Mobilising two grant funding agreement streams around tourism and innovation and resilience fund, aspects around decarbonisation also included. Currently establishing oversight and governance.

Fergus Pate (Teignbridge) – funding green business grant through UKSPF and will be going ahead with second round, using some REFP capital funding.  Separate transport innovation funding likely in 24/25 and looking to build in communities’ element.  Hoping to launch a digital connectivity fund to plug some of the really hard to reach gaps that CDS are unable to cover at this point.

Chris Fuller (Torridge) – currently exploring subsidy control with DLUHC.  Been asked to submit monitoring form which is pending approval.  Currently pushing towards a couple of different planning deadlines.

2. People and Skills Year 2 / 3 UKSPF – Phill Adams

Guidance has been received from Government that the people and skills element of UKSPF has now been brought forward to 1st April 2023.  DWP are expecting to see some skills activity now it has been unlocked this year.

Fergus Pate (Teignbridge) – have already gone out to Stakeholder Groups, Councillors etc and set expectations on what is to be delivered, therefore changes may have reputational impacts.

Zoe Lentell (Mid Devon) – no plans to change year 2 delivery to extend provision to include people and skills.  Some low level skills programmes in train, going to use match project support for year 2 and then funding for year 3 to make a more robust programme.

Chris Shears (SW Devon) – no provision under people and skills theme has been included in UKSPF programme.

3. Devolution Update – Phill Adams

Phill Adams confirmed Leaders met with the Minister for Levelling Up in February to discuss next steps.  Since then, the Minister has written to Leaders to acknowledge Devon’s position and agreed to work with Devon on a deal.

This will be the formation of a County Combined Authority (CCA) which is a new local government partnership, and whilst governance is being discussed, looking to establish a CCA Board.

Consultation will likely follow later in the year and looking to have a formal deal arrangement in place in the first half of 2024.

4. Devon Coastal and Market Towns Urban Renewal – Keir Duffin

Keir Duffin provided an overview of the programme, outlining objectives, regeneration strategies, outputs, quick wins and lessons learnt to inform thinking for phase 2.

The 8 towns included in this were Axminster, Bideford, Dawlish, Ilfracombe, Seaton, Teignmouth, Tiverton and Okehampton.

Regeneration Groups were established within each of the areas, with slightly different approaches to fit the need of the town.

Initial outputs were achieved; match funding was significantly higher, 7 regeneration boards established, 8 regeneration strategies created, and 8 business cases developed.  In terms of the quick wins output, the forecasted total was 24 however only achieved 12, this was because the projects that came forward needed slightly larger sums of money but gave us a better set of outcomes and higher outputs.

The challenges and barriers included aspiration and co-ordination, limited opportunities for young people, lack of sites for employment development and poor housing availability and affordability.

Opportunities for towns include regeneration strategy and co-ordinated activity, independent traders, markets, events to draw footfall, greener/low carbon tourism, creation of workspaces for flexible working and new-start businesses and re-using under-used / redundant sites and buildings.

Keen to take forward a second phase of this work and seeking to move from development to delivery stage, helping the districts / towns to deliver their regeneration strategies.  Been in contact with majority of towns, to go through regeneration strategy projects in terms of deliverability and delivering outputs to move this forward.

Alison Hayward thanked Keir Duffin and the team for their work and support with this programme.

5. Any Other Business / Districts Update

Going forward will be looking to reschedule the future meeting dates, moving away from Monday morning meetings, to maximise attendance.

Future Meeting Dates

Wednesday 19th July 2pm – 4pm

Wednesday 8th November 2pm – 4pm