Community discusses vision for Ilfracombe

Joseph Bulmer

Future growth and prosperity of the town is the topic of special ‘visioning’ workshop

MORE than 30 community representatives have come together to discuss how Ilfracombe should develop and grow in the future, as well as indicating how that could be achieved.

The special ‘visioning’ workshop was organised by North Devon Council and was held on Friday, July 29 at the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe.

The purpose was to bring all previous studies, views and visions for the town together to create a single shared vision. This will then be fed into the council’s core strategy, which indicates how the district could be shaped over the next 20 years.

Councillor Mike Edmunds, Executive Member for Strategic Planning, said: “We’re pleased with the turn-out at the event and that the feedback we’ve received has been very positive. We had good participation in the workshop sessions and we hope this will now feed into the officers’ work on the core strategy, to help with the regeneration of Ilfracombe.”

The event was attended by representatives from a variety of authorities, groups and businesses, including TDK-Lambda, whose finance director, Wyn Davies, said: “We are very interested in the development of Ilfracombe as it’s also key to our own success. So events like this are crucial, not only to allow us to give our input, but to also find out what else is going on.”

Chairman of governors at Ilfracombe Arts College, Robert Harris, also attended. He said: “I think there’s a real commitment to developing Ilfracombe and creating a positive way forward.

“I’ve known Ilfracombe all my life and in the last 10 to 15 years or so, there has been a new spirit in the place and that’s growing all the time. People are looking at opportunities and possibilities, rather than just the problems.”

Ilfracombe West ward members, Councillors Philip Webb and Geoff Fowler, added: “Regeneration through growth is key to Ilfracombe’s future as a vibrant community and it is good that the town’s elected representatives are able to contribute at this early stage to the future shape of Ilfracombe.”

The feedback that has been gathered from the workshop will now be considered by North Devon Council officers in updating the core strategy, and showing how future growth in the town could help to deliver identified community aspirations.