Latest News - Exeter and East Devon Growth Point

Growth Partnership Shortlisted for Local Government Award

The Exeter and East Devon Growth Point has been selected as a finalist in the Public/Private Partnership category for the 2014 Local Government Chronicle Awards, to be held at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on 12 March 2014.

The Exeter and East Devon Growth Point is a partnership between the four local authorities of Exeter City, East Devon District, Teignbridge District and Devon County Councils. Together with a wide range of private sector partners the local authorities have collaborated through a Board structure to deliver an ambitious growth programme, expected to create around 20,000 new homes and over 25,000 jobs in the period up to 2026. 

This innovative way of working, which brings the public and private sector together to drive forward the schemes has been recognised nationally and shortlisted for a Local Government Chronicle (LGC) 2014 Award.  The Exeter and Heart of Devon Growth Board provides a forum for working across local authority boundaries and with the private sector to address barriers to growth and is a mechanism for collaboration, knowledge and resource sharing. This will help to ensure the ongoing success of the Exeter area and ensure that the benefits of growth are shared across a wide area. 

The growth programme has a number of strategic housing and employment developments.  This includes the new low carbon community of Cranbrook together with three major urban extensions to Exeter, a Science Park, strategic business park, and a rail freight terminal as well as the ongoing regeneration of the City Centre.

Cllr Pete Edwards, Leader of Exeter City Council and the new Chair of the Growth Board said: “This is a great start to 2014 for the Growth Point Partners, to be shortlisted for an LGC Award is recognition that together we are stronger and can be very effective in getting things done. Working in this way we are able to bring real benefits for local people, not just in years to come but right now.”

Cllr Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council said: “As we have some of the most expensive housing for local people in the country, coupled with a shortage of skilled employment opportunities, we knew that ordinary measures would not be adequate. We realised that our ambitions to deliver sustainable economic growth in line with Government policy would only be achieved by serious collaboration with other Local Authority and private sector partners, coupled with crucial Central Government support.”

Cllr Jeremy Christophers, Leader of Teignbridge District Council added: “Working with our neighbouring local authorities, we are driving forward growth with jobs and housing being created for hardworking local people. The partnership is seeing real results and it is good to see our approach to planning for the future recognised on a national stage.”

Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth said: “One of the key elements of the Growth Point has been delivering the infrastructure-led approach to support the ambitions of the Partnership. The major transport and education investments that we have made to date are already paying dividends.”  

Other partners on the Growth Board include the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), local business groups, such as the Exeter Chamber of Commerce, as well as representation from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.  The University of Exeter and Exeter International Airport are also represented alongside the developers behind the main projects, including St. Modwen, Eagle One and the Church Commissioners. 

Mike Owen on behalf of the consortium of developers at Cranbrook added: “This nomination is testament to the close working relationship between the public and private sectors in the area.  Cranbrook is developing rapidly including a start being made on phase 2 of the new community. Without such an effective and proactive arrangement we certainly would have not achieved the significant milestones at this stage in the programme.”

Derek Phillips, Vice President of the Exeter Chamber said: “For the Growth Point to be shortlisted for this LGC Award confirms what we in the area already know, that by bringing the private and public sectors together and really focusing on the issues, you can create an environment attractive for businesses to start,  grow, collaborate and ultimately prosper.” 

A record breaking 640 entries were submitted for this year’s awards, which demonstrates local government’s enthusiasm to share innovation and reward their teams and individuals who make change happen. There are over 80 organisations in the final, which means that there is fierce competition for the coveted award.

With budgets at the forefront of priorities, it is even more important this year to highlight the organisations who demonstrate best practice and to shine a spotlight on their achievements.

Winners will be announced on 12 March 2013 at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. Over 600 of the industry elite will join together for a night of recognition, rewarding and networking.

The full list of finalists can be found at www.lgcawards.co.uk 

Issued: 13 January 2014