‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’: North Devon Council has lodged funding bids asking for tens of millions of pounds

A bid for a multi-million-pound ‘wish list’ that would provide a huge boost to the region’s economy has been submitted by North Devon Council.

The council has lodged six bids to the Government’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), including proposals for £15million towards a new northern breakwater for Ilfracombe Harbour.

Leader Des Brailey said the bids were just aspirations at this stage, but added: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

They include a £2.5m bid for an innovation centre next to Petroc in Barnstaple as part of the new Larkbear development.

Others included a ‘maritime employment campus’ at Yelland, plus highways work at Pathfield in South Molton.

There is also a bid towards feasibility work on a tidal demonstration zone at Lynmouth.

The proposed Barnstaple flood regeneration work to protect homes in the town is also the subject of another bid (see page two).

Mr Brailey said the Ilfracombe bid sought money for feasibility work plus capital to help towards the estimated £35m project.

He said it would boost the economy, rejuvenate the area, increase safety for craft and have many spin-offs such as more employment.

“I am trying to help Ilfracombe the best way I can but I do realise we would be very, very lucky to get money, but if you don’t ask you don’t get it,” he said.

“In my view, most of the money is being offered to Hinckley Point and the Exeter growth area, including Cranbrook. It would be better if the LEP helped more authorities with smaller amounts, such as ourselves and Torridge.

“I will keep fighting our corner and get the LEP down here to discuss it.”