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Business leaders hear councils’ plans for local economy

PUBLISHED: 16:45 27 February 2014 | UPDATED: 16:45 27 February 2014

LEP chief executive Chris Garcia spoke to a packed room at the Civic Centre on Wednesday

LEP chief executive Chris Garcia spoke to a packed room at the Civic Centre on Wednesday

Archant

North Devon and Torridge District Councils host business breakfast event

BUSINESS leaders in North Devon and Torridge were given the chance this week to hear what is being planning to boost the area’s economy.

Around 35 people attended a local business and economy breakfast event at the Civic Centre in Barnstaple on Wednesday, organised by North Devon and Torridge District Councils.

As well as a consultation on business rates, there was also a presentation from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.

Chief Executive of the Heart of the South West LEP, Chris Garcia, said: “It was an opportunity to highlight our proposed vision - more jobs, better jobs and greater prosperity - and we hope our draft Strategic Economic Plan, which was also discussed, accurately reflects the needs of our area, for existing and potential new businesses.”

The event also saw the councils launch their joint Northern Devon Economic Strategy.

Torridge District Council Leader, Philip Collins, said: “This was another good example of joint working with North Devon Council on the economy of northern Devon.

“Both councils want to support economic growth and will try to encourage businesses to the area.”

North Devon Council’s Executive Member for Economic Regeneration Malcolm Prowse agreed, saying: “Just this week, we have heard details of which rural areas in North Devon are to get superfast broadband by the end of July. This is great news for local businesses, visitors and residents.

“However, we also need better road infrastructure to address the growing traffic count, which in turn will make North Devon an even more attractive option for developers and investors.”

To find out more about the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, visit www.heartofswlep.co.uk/strategic-economic-plan before Friday, March 7.

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