Levelling Up Partnership
Torbay being recognised in the first round of the Levelling Up Partnerships is extremely welcome news, allowing the area to benefit from specific place-based regeneration thanks to the power of Government. Whether resident or visitor, you cannot miss seeing the need to rejuvenate and tidy up the English Riviera.
This funding and support will help to identify the necessary projects that will improve the aesthetics of Torbay while also driving up growth, opportunities and wages. The work is already underway, with the Torbay Place Leadership Board detailing the strengths and weaknesses of the Bay to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Torbay Place Leadership Board includes representatives from educational establishments, chambers of commerce, local businesses, healthcare providers and major stakeholders from across the Bay, all of whom want to see the area flourish over the coming years. At the most recent meeting, it was welcome to see the joined-up approach that was being taken to ensure that Brixham, Paignton and Torquay were equally weighted when it comes to future designs.
Of course, as representative of Brixham and parts of Paignton, I am keen to see that the west of the Bay receive its fair share and for real work to be done to improve Brixham’s town centre as well as to increase business opportunities across the area.
The Levelling Up Partnership remains separate from the Levelling Up Fund, but as Parliament returns, I am looking forward to seeing Torbay Authority apply for the third tranche of this fund to secure much need investment for Brixham. In the meantime, it is very pleasing to see the South West and in particular South Devon receive the attention it deserves.
Last week I hosted the second Post-18 Futures Fair at South Devon College, the purpose of which was to promote local businesses within the area to students considering their future careers options. Students from across the South Hams and Torbay attended, and the positive atmosphere was apparent for all to see.
However, while speaking with local businesses and students, I was made all the more aware of the huge challenge we have in promoting South Devon as a place and space to pursue a lifelong career. For so many students, the desire to leave the region after completing Further Education is palpable, with reasons including the unaffordability of housing, lack of interesting jobs or concerns about salaries.
These legitimate concerns are ones that I have been working on for the past four years. The perception of South Devon must change. It is for this reason I have introduced new measures to tackle second homes and to hold developers to account when building affordable housing, as well as promoting the wide range of businesses that are based in South Devon. This Careers Fair is as much about increasing the opportunities for young people as it is about trying to shift false perceptions and ensure that we talk up our local economy.
If you would like to come and see me to discuss and local or national issues, you can contact me on 01803 868378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.