Devon County Council


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Devon County Council

  1. 1. Devon County Council Business Growth Strategy 2007 – 2009 Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 1
  2. 2. Business Growth Strategy Page Environment 16 2007-2009 Infrastructure 16 Contents Regulation 18 Page 1. Economic Context 3 5. Action Plan 20 2. Aims and Objectives 8 Appendices 1. SWOT Analysis 3. Strategic Approach 8 2. Priority Communities Productivity Drivers 8 3. Priority Sector growth Priority Sectors 9 analysis Cross Cutting Themes 10 4. Priority Sector issues and Character Areas 10 opportunities analysis Monitoring and 10 5. Agencies engaged in delivering Evaluation skills in Devon 6. Agencies engaged in delivering 4. Strategic Priorities 11 business advice and support in Devon Skills 11 Innovation 11 Enterprise 12 Finance 13 Social Cohesion 13 Globalisation 14 Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 2
  3. 3. 1. Economic Context One of the key economic drivers for Devon is its natural environment and the contribution this makes to the generally high quality of life experienced by those living in the county. It Devon is the most significant reason why people visit Devon and is a Devon’s economic base is broad and is characterised by key influence in attracting new business relocations and having higher than the national average employment in investment into the county. Agriculture and land-based traditional sectors such as agriculture and tourism, and below industries shape the county’s landscape and therefore make a average employment in the high value added sectors such as greater contribution to the future well being of Devon, beyond hi-tech manufacturing and financial services. Devon GVA. demonstrates some locations of significant growth, such as Exeter and some of the most economically deprived areas in Average earnings in Devon are below the national average, the UK, such as Torridge. significantly so in many Northern and Western parts of the county. Combined with high house prices often far above the Devon’s productivity is significantly below the national national average, this has led to employers experiencing average, and whilst productivity is increasing, the rate of difficulties recruiting and retaining staff in some areas and has change is only keeping pace with the rest of the UK, and is led to calls for more affordable housing. In some parts of not closing the gap. Productivity is measured in terms of gross Devon household incomes are above average due to value added (GVA). Devon’s GVA in 2002 represented 18% pensions and investments, illustrating a growing gap between of the total for the South West region. the respective wealth of working households and retired households. A report by the Plymouth Business School on behalf of the SW Regional Development Agency SWRDA) has estimated Devon has a higher overall skills and qualification base than Devon’s productivity growth prospects for the period 2005- the national and regional average, demonstrating an 2010 to be the lowest in the region, at just 1.2% per annum. opportunity for growth. Looking at Devon as a whole, The estimate for average regional growth for the same period however, masks the fact that the county also has some of the is 2.3%, with Cornwall estimated at 2.8%, Gloucestershire, UK’s lowest skills levels, such as in Torridge and in some of Wiltshire and West of England at 2.7% and Somerset and the wards in Exeter. Whilst Devon’s working population is well Dorset at 1.8%. skilled, there is also an apparent under utilisation of these skills. There is evidence to support the fact that much of the county’s workforce often pursue job and career paths where Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 3
  4. 4. their qualifications are not fully utilised, offsetting this against potential for Barnstaple are improving transport infrastructure, attaining a higher quality of life for themselves and their adequate supply of land, affordable housing, low wage rates families, by living and working in Devon. and retaining young, economically active people. Prospects for growth have been identified as majoring on the The county also shows an above average level of those who environmental quality of Barnstaple and surrounding area, are self-employed, demonstrating an entrepreneurial spirit. using the environment as an economic driver, building on the Where well-paid job opportunities fully utilising qualifications pharmaceutical specialism, supporting businesses with skills, are not available, the alternative for many of the county’s and encouraging new enterprises and taking advantage of the residents is often to become self-employed. bypass. Devon’s population is growing faster than the national Bideford average leading to an increased demand for services, Employment growth has been above the national average products, housing and energy, as well as an increase in between 1991 and 2001, with the majority of this being in Devon’s labour force. The county retains a high percentage of electronics and business services. The manufacturing sector retirement-aged residents – above the national average – has been in decline. Specific issues influencing the economic placing a growing demand for elderly services including health growth of Bideford are similar to Barnstaple; adequate supply care. of land, transport infrastructure, utilities infrastructure and the retention and attraction of young people. There is a notably There are some specific and different issues influencing skills shortage and a lack of high growth sectors. Future economic growth across Devon, and therefore the types of prospects are mixed, with a forecast decline in electronics intervention and support required This is demonstrated over the next 20 years and an expected growth in business below by looking at Barnstaple, Bideford, Exeter and Newton services, distribution, health and education. Whilst Abbot. This information has been researched by Roger Tym employment is forecast to grow quickly, productivity levels are Partners on behalf of the SWRDA. not. Growth is anticipated in the urban area, rather than in the travel to work area. Barnstaple Employment growth has been poor between 1991-2001, and Exeter is below the regional average. Key sectors of employment are Characterised by significant growth, mainly in the services distribution and manufacturing, and a specialist niche of sector, Exeter has above the national average GVA. Issues pharmaceuticals. Specific issues influencing the economic influencing the economic potential are pressures for new Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 4
  5. 5. residential and employment development, facilities to support Global the expansion of high growth SMEs and incubation units. The World economy has recently experienced a minor slow There are wards with high deprivation within the city and down, but long-term inflation risks have started to rise mainly average income levels are below the national average making due to higher energy costs and increased resource demand affordable housing a key issue. The social economy is also from Asia. Inflation levels to date have remained low partly as weak. GVA and employment growth are forecast to increase a result of low labour costs for manufacturing goods in with the regional trend, with business services being the most developing countries. The recycling of higher oil revenues will significant sector. Addressing a lack of knowledge-based, high be an important influence on global developments over the value added sector employment is a key challenge for Exeter, next few years, in addition to different nations’ ability to along with providing business support for innovation, including diversify their energy sources. the provision of incubator units. Skills levels need to improved, with particular attention placed on deprived wards and National providing cultural, leisure and sporting facilities to help retain The UK Economy is currently performing well in business and graduates. financial services, but rather poorly in many parts of the retail and manufacturing sectors. UK economic performance is still Newton Abbot constrained by sluggish European growth, although in terms Employment declined between 1991-2001 and the town of GDP the UK economy is still growing. The rate of growth retains the profile of an industrial destination, with mineral during 2005 slowed, with output per worker, per job and per extraction being a key employer, along with distribution and hour only growing by 0.5%, 0.5% and 0.3% respectively in the transport equipment. Reliance on traditional industries and a second quarter of 2005. The European economy is significant decline in manufacturing are going to present significant for the South West as the bulk of the region’s exports are challenges for Newton Abbot. GVA and employment are destined for Europe and other European nations form a key forecast to grow at a slower rate than the regional average competitor. with miscellaneous services and distribution representing the highest growth. There is little activity within the identified Regional regional priority sectors. Improved skills and image are seen Sectors dependent on household spending such as retail, as immediate issues to be addressed. housing and tourism remain static, whereas business-to- business activity remains relatively buoyant. Manufacturing businesses supplying globally competitive sectors are Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 5
  6. 6. performing well however those supplying consumer-orientated o a varied economic base and no over-dependence on businesses are feeling the squeeze. one sector.. Rising energy costs are affecting, and will continue to affect Key weaknesses: the whole regional economy. As both comparative costs and o low overall productivity environmental opportunity costs rise, consumers and o low earnings producers will be encouraged to look for more environmentally o a net outflow of young adults sound activities, products and processes. Adopting o under-employment and sustainable development at the core of the county’s business o perceived as being physical peripheral. growth strategy will improve Devon’s productivity – maximising efficiency and competitiveness, helping to reduce Key opportunities: leakage from the economy and capitalising on the potential of o a large and increasing population base, utilising the county’s outstanding natural environment, which should untapped skills and entrepreneurial spirit. help to assist an improvement in Devon’s prosperity in both o opportunity for building on and strengthening marine, the medium and long term. creative, environmental technologies and food and drink sectors – opportunity to develop more Summary knowledge-intensive employment options. The economic context and issues affecting the growth of the o growing year-round season of tourism and consumer Devon economy are summarised below: interest in the environment. o full access to broadband infrastructure by 2007 Key strengths: assisting business competitiveness. o a high environmental quality - providing an excellent o two universities offering research and development, quality of life for residents and a key message for technology transfer and business development attracting additional investment and visitors into the support. county. o a tradition of entrepreneurship and above the national Key threats: average educational attainment - again key messages o dependence on the public sector for nearly 30% of the in encouraging both indigenous growth and attracting county’s employment. inward investment. o any environmental degradation is a threat to the main drivers of Devon’s economy. Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 6
  7. 7. o lack of hi-tech manufacturing and financial services. o increasing cost of housing and lower than national average earnings. o increased competition for EU Structural funding. o lack of skills development – constraint to future growth. Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 7
  8. 8. o Supporting the growth of businesses in targeted 2. Aims and Objectives sectors and through access to technology o Helping Devon’s work force develop the skills employers need. The County Council’s Strategic Plan has identified five priorities: To achieve the above objective’s, the Council’s Strategic Plan o Giving Devon’s children and young people the best outlines the following strategies: possible start in life o Work with business support organisations and o Strengthening Devon’s economy universities to encourage enterprise, innovation and o Celebrating Devon’s culture collaboration. o Improving Devon’s environment o Improve the quality of the tourism experience. o Promoting independence and choice for Devon’s adults o Equip young people with the knowledge and skills to fully participate in Devon’s economy. The Strategic Plan has an over-arching theme of making o Improve levels of confidence and self reliance within Devon England’s greenest county. This Strategy seeks to disadvantaged communities. grow Devon’s economy within social and environmental limits o Secure external funding to strengthen Devon’s and contributes to achieving this ambition. economy and targeting funding where it will have the most impact. The work of the Economy Service will support each of the five strategic priorities. The Business Growth Strategy has a These are built upon in this strategy under the Strategic particular focus on the priority of strengthening the Devon Priorities and actions section on page 9. economy. To strengthen the Devon economy the following four 3. Strategic Approach objectives have been identified: o Promoting a strong positive image for Devon as a Productivity Drivers dynamic and sustainable place to live, work and visit. Nine productivity drivers have been identified that need to be o Unlocking the economic potential of disadvantaged addressed to grow Devon’s economy: communities Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 8
  9. 9. o Skills – human capital is important in promoting growth Priority Sectors both as input to production and to encourage Five key sectors have been identified that have potential to technological change. grow the Devon economy, in a way that will increase o Innovation – greater research and development is knowledge based employment and enhance the county’s associated with higher growth. natural environment and support our priority communities. o Enterprise – increasing growth through o Food and Drink entrepreneurship, new business start-ups, access to o Marine Technologies valued support and advice. o Environmental Technologies o Finance – access to finance is a catalyst for growth and o Tourism supports innovation. o Creative Industries o Social cohesion – increasing workforce participation rates through job creation to ensure economic benefits These sectors can contribute to growing the county’s GVA as flow to all sectors of society and the overall growth of indicated in Appendix 3, and complement those selected by Devon’s economy. the SW Regional Development Agency. o Globalisation – exporting goods and services supports the growth of businesses and engenders competition – There are a number of issues and opportunities facing these a key component of growth, through raising standards priority sectors. Some are common to more than one sector. and encouraging innovation. These are summarised in Appendix 4. o Environment – sustainable development can meanreducing costs for Devon’s businesses, increase The County Council is currently engaged in a number of competitiveness and gain marketing advantages whilst projects that support the identified priority sectors. These also reducing the county’s carbon footprint and sustaining contribute to the productivity drivers. Examples include future growth. Renewable Energy 4 Devon, Devon Artsculture and RAFAEl. o Infrastructure – investment in premises, ICT, transport and image is an important determinant of growth. o Regulation – awareness and compliance means regulation does not prevent growth. These drivers are used as the basis of this strategy and its strategic priorities outlined on pages 11-19. Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 9
  10. 10. Cross cutting themes and training are themes running throughout the priority actions The following cross-cutting themes have been identified for in this strategy. this Strategy and work towards achieving a greener, competitive and more productive economy for Devon: Character areas Joint character areas and priority communities have been o Knowledge Economy identified which provide a geographic context and focus for The number of people working in knowledge intensive the strategy. These are; Blackdowns, Devon Redlands, The industries in Devon is below both the national and regional Culm, South Devon, Lundy, Exmoor and Dartmoor National average. This is typical of many rural areas in the UK which Parks. Priority communities have also been identified, in two also demonstrate low productivity. Priority actions outlined in phases, and are listed in Appendix 2. this strategy seek to encourage greater knowledge-based employment opportunities, contributing to a growth in Devon’s Monitoring and Evaluation productivity. The monitoring and evaluation of the strategy will happen through the work of the Local Area Agreement, and through o Sustainability the County Council’s Performance Management System Priority actions outlined in this strategy support the County The County Council currently collects a range of Council’s aim to make Devon England’s greenest county. economic regeneration performance indicators from various These actions focus on maximising the economic potential sources and updates and monitors these on a regular basis from the environment in a way that supports local through the system. The system automatically communities and maintains Devon’s high quality of life, reminds those responsible for data collection at the correct landscape and biodiversity. time. The majority of data are collected annually, although certain skills and website based indicators is collected on a o Information Communication Technology quarterly basis. Investment in ICT is critical to improving the competitiveness of Devon’s businesses. ICT can bring businesses in touch with global markets, make it easier for businesses to respond to changing market and competitor activity, and can reduce communication and overhead costs. Providing access to ICT Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 10
  11. 11. 4. Strategic Priorities delivery. Appendix five illustrates the current level and number of agencies delivering skills across Devon. Strategic Priorities - Skills A key challenge for Productive Skills for Devon Programme is National Government has identified the level of local skills as marrying up available external funding regimes with identified a key indicator of productivity. There is an evident skills need skills needs, offering training that is flexible, adaptable and within our priority sectors, as identified in appendix 4 some valued training options. Support for the 14-19 age group are shared needs and some are sector specific. There is a offering work-related training, career advice, promoting role for the County Council to work with partners to deliver careers within our priority sectors and engaging young people relevant and flexible training options to reduce the skills gaps in delivering Devon’s skills agenda also need to be that exist across the priority sectors. There is also a role for addressed. Another challenge is identifying possible future the County Council to influence the wider skills agenda, skills gaps and making provision to overcome such shortages. issues surrounding life long learning, career development and A case in point is to help grow the capacity within the working with employers to take a longer-term strategic view of renewable energy sector in anticipation of a growing demand the county’s skills needs. Taking steps now to ensure Devon from households and businesses for renewables prompted by has the right skills base in 5 or 10 years time is fundamental increasing energy bills and greater consumer awareness of to achieving a sustainable competitive economy for the climate change. county. A partnership of training providers and funders, employer Strategic Priorities - Innovation forums and local authorities is working with the County Innovation can lead to the creation of new businesses and Council to deliver a Productive Skills for Devon Programme also supports existing businesses in responding to market under the LAA 4th Block for Economic Development and changes and advances in new technology. Devon has a Enterprise and Local Public Service Agreement 2 (LPSA2). A culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, with a high consultant’s report identified 10 key skills priorities and number of self-employed and micro businesses thriving here. recommended a series of actions to address skill shortages There is a role for the County Council to support and lead and and support the growth of our priority sectors and support facilitate on a range of initiatives that are working towards priority communities. Adopting a Devon-wide approach is maintaining and enhancing Devon’s reputation as an helping to harmonise skills provision and the Productive Skills innovative and forward-looking business destination. for Devon programme recognises the importance of local Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 11
  12. 12. The Broadband4Devon project has succeeded in connecting and encourage further collaboration between businesses and a significant number of SMEs across Devon to Broadband research and development agencies. Working with the Devon and has encouraged businesses onto the e-adoption ladder, Economic Partnership to engender this culture is priority thus providing opportunities for more innovative and efficient action for the County Council, together with supporting the ways of doing business. Moving businesses along the e- SWRDA roll out its intra-regional image campaign. business adoption ladder towards full integration of ICT in their business planning is a priority for Devon. Developing e- Strategic Priorities - Enterprise procurement and flexible work space are two priorities, aiding Devon has a high number of self-employed businesses in the greater access to employment for rural communities and county and demonstrates an entrepreneurial spirit. This needs SMEs. There are opportunities to develop, online to be encouraged and reinforced as part of the county’s accommodation booking in the tourism sector, an on-line culture, within schools, within image raising and marketing ordering process for local food direct from producers and activity and through business support and advice structures. options to provide new routes to market for the creative There is a role for the County Council to work with partners to industries sector. support new business start-ups and the growth and diversification of existing businesses. Developing and One of the SWRDA’s delivery actions expressed in the supporting leadership programmes, with others, such as the Regional Spatial Strategy, is to provide a supply of Centre for Leadership Studies, to develop tomorrow’s sustainable and flexible land and premises for innovation. The business leaders is another strategic priority for the County development and promotion of the University of Exeter Council. Science Park and Skypark, to the East of Exeter will support this aim, providing work space and an innovation business The County Council currently sign posts the various business cluster. Working with the University of Exeter and partner local support and advice agencies through its website. authorities to implement this development is a key priority Complementing this is a dedicated business enquiry service, action for the County Council. providing information on vacant sites and premises, statistical information and advice on possible grants and access to Maintaining the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship finance. In addition, the County Council financially contributes that currently exists in Devon is significant in growing the to two of the counties Enterprise Agencies and is delivering economy and supporting our priority sectors compete in the Devon Artsculture and Renewable Energy 4 Devon, two global market place. Identifying business champions and business support programmes aimed at supporting the sharing examples of innovation will help reinforce this culture Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 12
  13. 13. creative industries and environmental technology sectors such as the package offered by the University of Exeter are specifically. These projects are proving to be successful in tackling this issue. raising rural business productivity. Securing funding, both capital and revenue, will be critical in Understanding business requirements and how they wish to achieving economic growth for Devon. With the pending end access support is vital. There are a number of agencies of the current structural funding opportunities available to the delivering business support and advice across Devon and the county, an immediate strategic priority for the County Council County Council supportng the ongoing regional business to is, with support from the Devon Economic Partnership, to support simplification process. Listed in Appendix 6 is an inform the current debate over a replacement funding indication of the current agencies involved in business support programme. Ensuring that issues facing Devon are included and advice in Devon. as ‘hooks’ within any replacement funding regime is vital, along with influencing the criteria used to determine access to this funding in Devon’s favour. Strategic Priorities - Finance A common business support issue raised across all priority Maximising other funding sources such as DEFRA, Big sectors is accessing finance. In a recent Devon Business Lottery Funding and private sector investment is equally as Survey undertaken in 2006, businesses indicated that important and continuing to provide a corporate match funding financial advice was the main type of support they would resource is essential to achieving this. Continuing to work in require over the next three years. The type of support defined partnership with organisations such as SWIG – South West is from basic awareness of funding sources and signposting, Investment Group will be helpful in achieving business growth through to support in preparing applications and business for our priority sectors and communities. plans. Supporting diversification in the farming sector has been Strategic Priorities - Social Cohesion strongly emphasised and initiatives such as the redundant Social enterprise has been identified by the SWRDA as an buildings grant available under Devon Renaissance essential part of the regional economy. Balancing economic, represents an important funding source. Business start-ups social and environmental needs and aspirations will be and funding for technology development have also been important to retain the high quality of life enjoyed in Devon, a highlighted as strong needs. Innovation support packages, key factor in attracting new businesses and visitors to the Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 13
  14. 14. county. As highlighted in the Regeneration Role and Action innovating and operating more efficiently. Exposure to Programme, social enterprise can contribute to this, engaging international and global markets through trade helps create communities and the voluntary sector in business growth this competitive environment. This can only be realised where initiatives and in managing community assets. Devon’s businesses feel connected to the UK and international business hubs. Similarly, this is a key A strategic priority for the County Council is developing social requirement to attract foreign investment. enterprise, both directly and through support for other initiatives. These include the Pathways to Employment project Current levels of international trade are low in the South West led by the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative and the and in Devon. Transport connections are also lacking – air mentoring programmes for community leaders run by routes in and out of Devon need to be improved, as do road Business in the Community. Developing social enterprise and rail links. Improving business and language skills within needs to be supported through sharing best practice and our priority sectors, will give Devon businesses an opportunity training and this is another area in which the County Council to develop international trade opportunities. SWRDA, through can support. This can be achieved through existing projects its International Trade Strategy, leads on developing export such as Devon Reinvestment Service and in delivering opportunities and the County Council can support this. elements of the Economic Development and Enterprise block of the LAA. Exploring international links through supporting European initiatives gives opportunities to stimulate greater European Social enterprises rely on public sector input and access to business collaboration. This can include participation in spatial funding, through grants and loans. The County Council can programmes such as the Atlantic Arc Commission and in assist this process through continuing to support Community supranational affiliations such as the Assembly of European Development Finance Institutions such as the South West Regions. These associations give rise to Devon’s participation Investment Group and Wessex Reinvestment Trust. in projects such as Eurodyssee; a pan-European exchange program for young professionals to undertake industrial placements. The County Council supports the South West UK Strategic Priorities - Globalisation Brussels Office and this again, maintains a tangible link Keeping up with competitors is often the spark needed for a between the county and Europe. business to become more productive – investing in staff, new equipment, raising quality standards, seeking new markets, Promoting e-business across our priority sectors, allows businesses to access the global market place. Projects such Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 14
  15. 15. as Broadband4Devon are enabling businesses to take role in promoting and supporting these awards, where they advantage of ICT developments. Connecting SW is a regional work towards achieving our strategic objectives. business animation programme and is active across all regional priority sectors. A strategic priority for the County Currently, there is no quality scheme to promote local food Council is to support the SWRDA in delivering these and drink, highlighting businesses that source and serve local, programmes of training and business support within Devon, fresh produce. Developing a scheme that supports local encouraging greater use of e-business and raising the sourcing would raise the profile of the quality of the county’s county’s competitiveness regionally and nationally. produce locally and to visitors and is a priority for the County Council. Establishing a local food quality mark would assist Raising quality standards across the priority sectors is another the branding of the county as a business and visitor a strategic priority for the County Council. Driving up quality destination. will raise the profile of Devon externally as a place to do business and as a visitor destination, allowing Devon to Becoming more competitive through rationalising current compete on the word-stage. It will also support raising local delivery methods is another approach to improving the pride and encouraging organic growth. There are national and County’s competitive position. This is particularly relevant to internationally recognised quality standards that the County the tourism sector, where, as has been indicated in Appendix Council and its partners can encourage and promote. These 4, there is a high degree of duplication and overlap amongst include IS0 9000 Quality Management standards and for the various support and delivery agencies. A strategic priority environmental quality standards the BS8555 British standard for the County Council is to take a lead role, with the support for SMEs. As well as schemes available to all businesses of SW Tourism, to develop and implement a new approach to there are also schemes aimed at specific sectors such as the delivering tourism across Devon, through the creation of a National Quality Assurance Scheme and Green Tourism strategic destination management organisation. This body Business Scheme for hospitality businesses. would deliver a range of services where a county-wide approach provides economies of scale and give a single Supporting and operating local award schemes is also a way strong voice for the sector. Examples of services delivered at to raise quality standards and reward businesses who are the county level include access to a single business support investing in quality. These schemes include the Devon service, training provision and applying for external funding. Environmental Business Initiative Awards and the Made in Lessons learnt from the rationalisation of tourism support Devon Authentication scheme. The County Council can play a structures can be shared with other sectors, where there are Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 15
  16. 16. multiple agencies undertaking activity, such as in the Creative Industries and Food and Drink sectors. Developing sustainable tourism business practices is another strategic priority for the County Council. The award-winning Strategic Priorities - Environment Discover Devon Naturally sustainable tourism project is Growing Devon’s economy does not have to cost the Earth. creating closer links and co-operation between the local food Implementing environmental business practices is simply and drink and hospitality sectors and is delivering real implementing good business practice. A reduction in energy economic, social and environmental benefits. Sharing this consumption, waste minimisation and supporting local supply success with others and ensuring that the emerging Devon chains can deliver significant cost savings and marketing Destination Management Organisation has sustainability at its advantages, improving the competitiveness of a business. core will help to maintain this success and work towards achieving the Council’s goal of making Devon England’s Delivering the LAA is a strategic priority for the County Greenest County. Council. It includes actions to mainstream the environment as an economic driver. These include aligning funding for Conserving Devon’s quality environment through adopting environmental initiatives and economic development projects, greener business practices, will contribute to the image and supporting environmental business advisory services, such as awareness of Devon as a business and visitor destination, Envision, implementing the Renewable Energy 4 Devon demonstrating a link between all our priority sectors. project and supporting the Devon Sustainable Buildings Initiative. In addition, the Council can also reinforce this Strategic Priorities - Infrastructure priority through its external funding policy, its own purchasing To improve the productivity of existing businesses in the of services and encouraging greater use of ICT. county and to attract additional inward investment it is essential that the County Council and its partners improves Developing collaboration and business networks within and infrastructure - investment in sites, premises, transport, ICT across our identified priority sectors, presents a number of and raising the image and profile of Devon as a place to do potential growth opportunities for Devon’s economy. Projects business. such as RAFAEL are removing barriers to key sectors such as schools and social services procuring more local food and The current strategy for sites and premises for the County is drink. It also fosters collaboration and sharing of learning being informed by the SWRDA’s Spatial Strategy (RSS). across other rural European regions. Progressing a strategy for Devon is a high priority for the Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 16
  17. 17. County Council, focusing on delivering accessible premises undertaking any new development. This clearly demonstrates and work space which supports business start-ups and the County Council’s commitment to a greener Devon. encourages knowledge based industry. Developing the concept of Community Land Trusts holds Identifying the area East of Exeter as a Growth Point and potential for supporting the regeneration and economic developing a Master Plan or vision for the region, including development of priority communities in Devon. This form of the new community, Cranbrook and the sale and possible funding draws together the public sector, communities and expansion of Exeter Airport, holds great potential for commercial developers to support affordable housing, developing Devon’s knowledge economy and improving air community facilities and provision of work space. The connections. Developing this area as an exemplar of high concept, whilst not new, has recently been backed by quality sustainable development would raise and the national Government as a means for communities to acquire assets profile of Devon as a quality business location, and to develop these in the interests of local people. The concept of Community Land Trusts is very relevant to Devon. Skypark and the University of Exeter Science Park are two Supporting community asset development is another strategic strategic development projects within the East of Exeter area priority for the County Council. that the County Council is committed to playing a major part in delivering. Each has the opportunity to provide valuable Devon’s future economic growth and performance will rely on premises and work space to attract knowledge-based good transport links and connections. A direct flight companies and create new employment opportunities for local connection to the UK business hubs in the SE and Midlands people. Developing these sites as high quality, resource and into Europe will assist businesses compete more efficient business locations would support establishing Devon effectively and lead to new market opportunities. The sale of as a modern and dynamic place to work and live. Langage Exeter Airport by the County Council should work towards Energy Park, to the East of Plymouth also represents an achieving this. Similarly improvements to the rail and road opportunity to provide valuable business premises. connections within the county and to other business regions will support this. The County Council can support the SWRDA Other strategic infrastructure priorities for the County Council to lobby national Government to achieve improved transport are providing land and premises in Barnstaple and Bideford, links. and the creation of a new community at Sherford, to the East of Plymouth. There is an opportunity to promote the use of The County Council has a good track record of working with sustainable construction techniques and materials in bus and train operators. Maintaining these relationships can Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 17
  18. 18. develop improved access to employment for rural round tourism expenditure and employment opportunities, communities, supporting some of the counties economically there is still a need to invest further in raising the profile of disadvantaged areas. Developing green travel plans with key Devon as a vibrant, active year-round destination. businesses across Devon will help businesses gain planning permission for new expansion, save commuting time, Engaging businesses, public sector partners, the voluntary reducing the length of a working day for employees and offer sector and residents in developing and implementing a employers tax savings, as well as supporting the County recognised Devon Brand is essential if all stakeholders are to Council’s objective to enhance Devon’s natural environment. adopt it. Defining the county’s attributes and then effectively conveying these through visual and written communication, The Broadband4Devon project has provided support to 5,500 whether in press releases, literature or on websites will businesses across Devon, both in the Objective Two and Non support the County Council’s ambition to grow the economy, Objective Two areas. Investing in ICT infrastructure is vital to by encouraging inward investment, organic business growth improve the competitiveness of Devon’s economy. Continuing and year-round high spending visitors to Devon. Linking the to invest in ICT infrastructure will support businesses along image and corporate communication objectives of the County the e-business adoption ladder. Council to this work will promote the authority locally as a community and business leader. Investing in the image and profile of Devon as the place to live, work and visit, in the UK and Europe, will support the Investing in iconic projects, such as the development of visitor County Council’s overall strategic objective to grow the Devon centres for the Jurassic Coast at Exmouth and Seaton, economy. Devon has a reputation for a high quality natural University of Exeter Science Park and Skypark and other environment, and this needs to be capitalised on to encourage projects such as an Arts Park in Dartington, will support and sustainable growth and development across the identified strengthen the image and profile of Devon and improve our priority sectors. There is recognition that the county also public realm. These developments need to be undertaken in a possesses high quality food and drink, an entrepreneurial way that physically represents the county’s attributes, once spirit, a small but growing cluster of innovative environmental defined, as part of the branding exercise. technologies and a strong commitment to a greener Devon. These qualities are not effectively promoted, in a way that Strategic Priorities – Regulation should attract new business start-ups and inward investment. Legislation and regulations are constantly changing and can It is also fair to say that whilst projects such as Discover have a major impact on the growth of all businesses. Devon Naturally are having an impact on increasing year- Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 18
  19. 19. Examples are the Age Discrimination Act and potential impact on recruitment policies and strategies and the growing volume of environmental legislation in respect to the disposal of chemicals, cars and electrical items, to name but a few. Planning for regulations, and operating within these are necessary to ensure businesses can adapt and grow. There is a role for the County Council and its business support partners to advise businesses of new legislation and seek feedback and input into any consultations undertaken. Working with the SWRDA, to influence the removal and introduction of regulations is another key role for the Council and gathering facts and information to support this. Devon Trading Standards are in contact with a number of businesses across Devon and enforce regulations. Ensuring a closer working relationship between DTS and the Economy Unit will assist in providing timely advice to businesses. As a planning regulator, there is also a key role for the County Council in carrying out these duties to support the sustainable growth of the Devon economy. Regular meetings between Economy and Planning and Transportation already happen. This should continue with regular updates and contact between staff across both teams encouraged. Joint representation on key infrastructure projects is very beneficial and should also continue. Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 19
  20. 20. Business Growth Strategy Action Plan 2007/08 1. Skills Actions Target / expected Partners Resources outcomes 1.1 Implement the Productive Skills for Devon Improve skills levels LSC, RDA, local £30,000 2007/08 programme across Devon. authorities, (LSC / LPSA / Staff time) training providers. 1.2 Work with existing agencies to improve the profile Develop Chefs Club, Devon Tourism Staff time and career opportunities for the identified priority attend career fairs Skills Network £100,000 LSC sectors (TSN) / Marine South West. 1.3 Support the development of sector specific Develop one new skills LSC / TSN / Staff time training programmes, including accessing external collaboration project. Training funding and developing partnerships. providers. 1.4 Influence funding agencies to provide flexible Achieve relevant funding RDA/ Training Staff time skills development packages that meet business streams for skills providers needs. development. 1.4 Deliver training projects for the tourism, creative Add targets from TACSS LSC / TSN £225,000 (2007/08 – industries and environmental technologies Identify training needs and LSC) sectors. provision for the renewable energy sector 2. Innovation 2.1 Support the development and promotion of the Purchase of land through University / EDDC Science Park – University of Exeter Science Park to create an RDA. / ECC / RDA Committee approval innovation business cluster to the East of Exeter. Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 20
  21. 21. 2. Innovation Actions Target / expected Partners Resources outcomes 2.2 Work with RDA, Business Link, Connecting SW Develop a Wi-FI project in EDDC / RDA / To be confirmed. and other partners to support businesses along e- East Devon B4D partners adoption ladder improving business competitiveness. 2.3 Work in partnership with Devon Economic Innovation included as a DEP / RDA £10,500 Partnership and SWRDA to maintain and enhance core value in the Devon Devon's culture of innovation and enterprise Brand project. 3. Enterprise 3.1 Support the delivery and promotion of an Improved access to Business Link / Staff time integrated and valued business support service to business support advice Enterprise all types and sizes of businesses, including for businesses Agencies providing an integrated web based sign-posting service for businesses. 3.2 Grow priority sectors through supporting sector- Improve performance of Business Link, £63,352 specific business development and support our priority sectors. Taste of the (ERDF / DCC / Partners) programmes/agencies, including Renewable West, Global Energy for Devon, Devon Destination Action Plan, local Management Organisation, Discover Devon authorities, Naturally, Devon Artsculture and RAFAEL. Dartington Arts and Beaford Arts. 3.3 Foster business collaboration and sharing of best Improve competitiveness Business Link / Project Funding / Staff practice through networks to improve business through adopting a SW Food & Drink time - £205,000 competitiveness, including establishing a cultural partnership working / SW Arts / Devon tourism network and a food and hospitality approach. DMO / DEP / network. Protected landscapes Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 21
  22. 22. 4. Finance Actions Target / expected Partners Resources outcomes 4.1 Through the Devon Economic Partnership inform Devon priorities are within SW Cohesion Staff time the cohesion funding debate to ensure Devon is future funding criteria. Group well placed to access any future funding programmes. 4.2 To offer guidance and advice to priority sectors on Improve awareness of GOSW / RDA / Staff time sources of finance through Grant Finder and funding opportunities Devon Funding News within our priority Renaissance communities and sectors. 4.3 To influence and guide regional funding and Secure funding RDA / Devon Staff time investment programmes, through contributing to opportunities for DCC Economic regional policy consultations and forging good priority actions. partnership working relationships with the RDA, including the rural renaissance programme. 4.4 Where appropriate to apply and secure additional Levering external funding. Devon Economic Staff Time external funding, actions accountable body to Partnership, (Match funding reserve) deliver projects to meet the Council's strategic Devon DMO, priorities RDA, Business Link, Devon Tourism Skills Network. 4.5 Continue to work with the South West Investment Through Board SWIG partners Staff time Group (SWIG) to provide finance to support representation continue to identified priority sector and communities. influence the availability of appropriate finance options. Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 22
  23. 23. 5. Social Actions Target / expected Partners Resources Cohesion outcomes 5.1 Support the concept of social enterprise to grow Increase work space Devon Economic Staff time priority sectors and support priority communities, availability in priority Partnership / including developing work space and community communities. Devon Towns assets. Forum / Business in the Community. 5.2 Work with partners to deliver the social inclusion Deliver social enterprise Devon Economic element of the Local Area Agreement programmes Partnership / Devon Towns Forum / Business in the Community. 6. Globalisation 6. 1 Support SWERDA's implementation of its internal Develop greater trade Devon Economic Staff time Trade Strategy links for Devon Partnership / RDA businesses 6.2 Support the SW UK Brussels Office and Greater business Devon Economic Staff time undertake active involvement in relevant collaboration with Europe. Partnership European programmes that support international business collaboration 6.3 Develop with partners a programme of ICT Improve competitiveness Business Link / Staff time animation and e-business within our priority within priority sectors. RDA / DEP / BT sectors. 6.4 Raise quality standards across priority sectors Improve competitiveness Envision / Staff time through working in partnership with business and within priority sectors. Business Link / support agencies local authorities Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 23
  24. 24. 6. Globalisation Actions Target / expected Partners Resources outcomes 6.5 Develop and implement a Devon Destination Improve performance of Devon DMO £19000 Management Organisation structure to deliver the tourism sector Partners / tourism in Devon. protected landscapes/ tourism businesses, RDA and SW Tourism 7. Environment 7.1 Support environmental business advice and Integrate sustainability as Global Action Envision - £50k energy efficiency programmes, including Envision. good business practice Plan / and support Making Groundwork / Devon Greener agenda. RDA 7.2 Integrate sustainability across all County Council Reduce economic leakage Devon Economic led and supported business growth initiatives, out of county and support Partnership including local procurement. making Devon greener agenda 7.3 Continue the Renewable Energy 4 Devon pilot RE4D Partners £63k RE4D project and develop in partnership a longer-term plan for the delivery of sustainable energy in Devon. 7.4 Work with partners to integrate sustainability at DDMO Sustainability Plan DMO partners / £400,000 (External the core of tourism delivery within the Devon local authorities / funding) Destination Management Organisation and deliver tourism and develop the sustainable tourism project businesses Discover Devon Naturally Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 24
  25. 25. 7. Environment Actions Target / expected Partners Resources outcomes 7.5 Continue to support the Devon Sustainable Contribute to the RDA Staff time Buildings Initiative and engage this project across sustainable development the development of infrastructure projects such as of the Devon economy. Cranbrook and Science Park. 7.6 Support SW Forest and carbon off-setting Increased planting of Cornwall County £ projects. woodland and income Council, DRN, generation from forestry. Forestry Commission DEFRA 7.7 Develop and where appropriate implement the RAFAEL Partners RAFAEL - £32k developing Food and Drink Action Plan to promote / Soil Association the greater use of local food and drink / SW Food and Drink / RDA 8. Infrastructure 8.1 Develop and implement in partnership through the Strategy developed DEP / RDA Staff time LAA a Sites and Premises / work space strategy Local Authority for Devon and a complementing flexible working partners strategy. Business Associations 8.2 Develop east of Exeter as a growth point and a Master Plan produced GOSW Staff time Master plan for the overall development of the EDDC area working to deliver the development of the ECC area as an exemplar of sustainable development. EHOD Economic Partnership DEP Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 25
  26. 26. 8. Infrastructure Actions Target / expected Partners Resources outcomes 8.3 Deliver the University of Exeter Science Park and Land secured for Science EDDC, ECC, Staff time Skypark projects. Park and Options strategy RDA, University for Skypark development of Exeter, private produced and sector implemented. 8.4 Support rural communities and employment Improved transport for Transport Staff time through maintaining rural bus and train services rural communities and operators Devon and support the provision of green travel plans to access to employment. Towns Forum businesses across Devon. 8.5 Continue to encourage investment in ICT Improve ICT connectivity RDA £100,000 (match funding developments and connectivity across all sectors. across Devon and Connecting SW reserve) business competitiveness. Business Link 8.6 Support and implement the concept of community Imbed the concept of Devon Towns Staff time land trusts and community assets development to CLTs into development Forum deliver affordable housing and community work opportunities of DCC space. owned assets. 8.7 Develop and implement in partnership a Devon Create a new Devon Devon DMO £30,000 brand that captures the key strengths of Devon as brand that is owned and Partners a business and visitor destination and can support adopted by the wider RDA/SWT sub brands across the county. business community. DCBC 8.8 Develop and implement a Devon Ambassadors Create and launch a DCDB / DEP / £30,000 programme to raise the profile and awareness of Devon Ambassador Devon DMO / Devon locally, nationally and internationally as a Scheme Universities. business destination, Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 26
  27. 27. 8. Infrastructure Actions Target / expected Partners Resources outcomes 8.9 To facilitate and participate in the Devon Effective Economic DCBC / Local Staff time Economic Partnership, and use the group as a partnership established. Authorities / LSC / sounding board and delivery partnership for Business Link / business growth actions and priorities, including Business the Local Area Agreement. community. 8.10 Support the development of iconic projects in the Iconic infrastructure RDA / local Staff time County that can physically demonstrate the projects developed authorities / County's identified strengths and qualities, Culture SW / including the feasibility of an Arts Park, Jurassic WHS partners / Coast Visitor Centres, Orientation Centre for the DEP. Tamar Valley and Cornwall WHS and a new major tourist attraction. 9 Regulation 9.1 In partnership with business support agencies Regular updates issued Business Link / Staff time develop effective communications of new Enterprise legislation. Agencies 9.2 Support SWERDA and others to influence policies Contribution to polices RDA / DCDB Staff time affecting the growth of priority sectors. 9.3 Develop closer links between Devon Trading Regular meetings held. DTS Staff time Standards and Economy to ensure sharing of knowledge of Regulations affecting the growth of priority sectors. 9.4 Regular meetings between Economy and Regular meetings held. Planning and Staff time Planning and Transportation to continue and Transport Team develop strong working relationship between the two teams. Joint representation on key projects. Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 27
  28. 28. Business Growth Strategy for Devon 2007-2009 28