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Torbay is the hero

15th February 2017

Categories: Latest News

Anyone who knows me won’t be surprised to hear that I believe I’m lucky and proud to do the job I do. I was born and grew up in Torquay, went away to study and came back, like many of my peers, so being able to promote Torbay for inward investment is a great feeling.  It isn’t easy and is highly competitive, but it’s never the same and certainly not dull and TDA with the Council works hard to make sure we compete.

Whenever I visit or bump into business contacts, it doesn’t matter who there are, whether I know them or not, I am very often asked the same question: “...what are the enquiries like Jason?”

The enquiries I handle, and this has been largely consistent in the past 6 years I’ve been in the job, are always a healthy mix of large and small, from other parts of the UK or beyond, or local expansion and re-investment.  You might be surprised to hear that currently we are handling, as a snapshot of some of the larger ones, enquiries that stack up to over ¼ million sq ft of mainly industrial space, equivalent to four full size football pitches. Better still, the majority of these are from manufacturers, companies making innovative products that are exported all over the globe to some of the biggest companies in the World. And we shouldn’t be surprised at this interest and vote of confidence as we have a great deal to offer these international manufacturers.

We have fantastic education in our schools and colleges, exciting employment land developments, leading edge research & development, an internationally important photonics & electronics sector, a wonderful natural marine environment and a fantastic tourism offer. Torbay is the hero in all of this, not any one person, product or company and if we are all consistent with our story when outside Torbay boundaries, it helps to create the basis to attract even more investment.

Leaving the EU is of course going to bring challenges to Torbay businesses, many of which are unknown and Brexit has already impacted upon investment decisions across the UK. But I know we will all make sure that investors know that Torbay offers great opportunities for investment, whatever those challenges may be.

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