New building projects to create thousands of jobs in South Devon – another pitch to Government

New building projects to kick-start South Devon’s economy and create thousands of new jobs are on a ‘wish-list’ being sent to the Government this week.

East Devon Watch reported earlier in the year previous pitches to Government, the first to  Sajid Javid just a few days before he resigned, followed in March by a pitch to Boris Johnson.

This looks like a repeat of the same tired message.

Guy Henderson

As the Prime Minister heralded an ambitious nationwide ‘New Deal’ worth billions of pounds to kick-start the economy after the coronavirus lockdown, the South West’s biggest business organisation submitted a £121 million bid to fund a package of ‘shovel ready’ projects which include developments on the outskirts of Torquay, a new road at Newton Abbot and investments in South Devon College.

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Project (LEP) says the projects could be started quickly and would provide an immediate stimulus to the economy, unlocking at least another £171m of investment and creating more than 3,000 jobs. They say the schemes would deliver the most benefit, give value for money and could be completed in a short time. Many already have planning permission, and are just waiting for investment.

Karl Tucker, who chairs the LEP, said: “Our bid will help the national campaign to build back better. We’ve selected our list based on how much these projects can deliver in economic, social and environmental benefits in the short and long term.

“We’ve put forward a strong case, and we await what we hope to be a positive decision. The LEP has a track record of delivering its projects on budget and on time.

“This is just the start, and we call on the Government to back this and back the Great South West.”


[Karl Tucker, executive chairman of Yeo Valley Production Ltd takes over from Steve Hindley, the chair of the Midas Group construction company, who announced in July 2017 he would be stepping down after six years. (The transfer was announced in December 2019.) Steve Hindley then popped up as the Chairman of the, unaccountable, unelected pressure group which seem to be an LEP for LEPs  “The Great south West”

Mr Tucker has been with Yeo Valley since 1996, having joined from the quarrying industry and before that having served in the British Army.

As well as his role at Yeo Valley, Mt Tucker sits on the SW CBI Council, is chair of the SW CBI’s Food and Drink Council and a member of the Somerset Growth Board.] – Owl


Projects on the wish-list include 2,000 sq m of office and industrial space at the ‘Torquay Gateway’ site at Edginswell, a development which it says will act as a ‘catalyst’ for the building of around 400 homes and will link in with the proposed new Edginswell railway station and a multi-million-pound Torbay Hospital improvement programme.

The Jetty Marsh Two link road between Newton Abbot town centre and the A382 is also on the list.

The LEP says it ‘represents an essential missing link that overcomes a significant bottleneck and supports around 4,000 allocated and future homes. It introduces a walking/cycling corridor where there is no existing or alternative provision, and is an important component of a new strategic bus route. It already has planning permission.

The list bids for new equipment at the EPIC and South Devon College Hi Tech Centre in Paignton to support the development of new talent for the growing hi-tech sector in Torbay.

A second phase of the Torbay Business Centre in Torquay’s Lymington Road is also on the list. The LEP says it will provide modern fit-for-purpose employment space in Torquay town centre and regenerate an area of deprivation.

At Cockington Court there is a plan to create a permanent Sculpture Park, building on the success of the sculpture trail project of the past two years. New commercial units and a harbour depot at Batson Creek in Salcombe complete South Devon’s section of the wish-list.