A bid to boost high-quality jobs, investment and skills in the region has bagged a top national award for Devon
The Exeter and Heart of Devon (EHOD) council partnership has been named ‘Most Innovative Strategy’ in a national awards programme run by the Institute of Economic Development (IED).
It recognises the 2017-2020 Shared Economic Strategy launched last year by Exeter City, East Devon, Mid Devon and Teignbridge councils.
Cllr Rachel Sutton, Lead Councillor for Economy at Exeter City Council, said: “We’re striving to put the region on the map as a centre for excellence that is home to world-class research facilities, leading educational establishments and innovative, fast-growth businesses. We have ambitious plans for EHOD’s future, but plans we believe are entirely attainable if we work together as authorities and with the business community.”
Each local authority has taken ownership of one of four common economic initiatives: business support and transformation (led by Mid Devon); inward investment (led by Exeter City); strategic planning (led by East Devon); and employment and skills (led by Teignbridge).
The strategy established targets around increasing high-quality jobs, attracting and retaining investment, enabling development, as well as improving productivity, skills, qualifications and employability.
It is estimated that the authorities are around 30% more efficient by working collaboratively.
Councillor Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council, which submitted the IED award nomination of behalf of the project partners said: “Our strategy sets out a shared vision and framework to steer the economic interventions of the councils and partner organisations. We cannot create jobs and wealth in isolation, but we can create the right environment for businesses to ultimately grow and flourish.”
The IED is the UK’s leading independent professional body representing economic development and regeneration practitioners.
IED Chairman Bev Hurley commended the EHOD strategy. She said: “The approach was striking as an innovative piece of work because the area of activity of the partnership and type of work carried out was entirely in response to business and was different to what had gone before spatially and in terms of scope. Its disregard for political boundaries and building a partnership from the bottom up is a major challenge and can be seen as an exemplar for others facing similar situations.”
Source: Devon live