More than £2.3 million of Government funding has been awarded to a partnership of Councils in Devon to deliver local regeneration schemes and economic recovery.

The Devon and Torbay One Public Estate Partnership (Devon County Council, Exeter City Council, Torbay Council and Torridge District Council) has received £330,000 of One Public Estate (OPE) funding and £2,017,568 from the Land Release Fund.

The OPE programme aims to support councils to deliver initiatives which create economic growth through unlocking land for new homes and jobs; providing new opportunities to save on running costs or generating income funding; or transforming services.

The projects to benefit from OPE funding are:

 Transforming Torbay has received £150,000 to cover feasibility studies, masterplanning and project management.
The project funding will support:
• the ongoing transformation of Torquay Town Centre, improving the environment and opportunities for Torquay residents;
• understanding new ways in which primary care and other health services can be delivered in Torbay, identifying assets that can be released for housing or employment uses. This includes developing a business case for solar farms to generate energy, reducing costs to the health services and driving forward Torbay Council’s Climate Change strategy.

The Marsh Barton Delivery Framework has received £150,000 for feasibility studies, masterplanning and the development of a delivery framework.
The work will consider how to unlock the redevelopment of this part of the city to deliver a new mixed-use city quarter. Redeveloping Marsh Barton in this way will contribute to the success and realisation of the Liveable Exeter programme as well as helping the city achieve its 2040 Vision and Net Zero ambitions.

The Land Release Fund supports small-scale infrastructure works to improve quality of life and to overcome barriers which would otherwise make land unusable for development. Land Release Funding has been awarded to:

Brunswick Wharf, Torridge, has been awarded £797,000 for stabilisation and remedial works to the historic harbour wall as part of the site enabling works and flood defence scheme, opening the way for an estimated £22.6 million investment to create:
– 85 homes;
– 5 Design Studios with potential for live/work opportunities;
– 7 retail units;
– Signature restaurant and separate café;
– New public realm, including a riverside walk and public art, generating vibrancy and acting as a springboard for further investment into surrounding riverfront sites;
– 64 FTE jobs created in addition to 240 FTE construction jobs generated during the construction phase;
– An ambition to create a Net Zero development with a net gain in biodiversity.

– Clifton Hill, Exeter, will receive £425,000 for demolition and enabling works. The site will be redeveloped by Exeter City Living (Exeter City Council’s wholly owned development company) to provide 42 new “Passivhaus”, low carbon, climate resilient homes as part of the Council’s 2040 Vision with a focus on “placemaking” – which moulds the places where we live, into neighbourhoods. The development, which has been designed in accordance with Building Biology Principles, has been awarded a Building with Nature Design Award, and is targeted to start on site early next year.

 Vaughan Road, Exeter, has been awarded just over £795,000 for demolition, site clearance and enabling works. The site will be redeveloped by Exeter City Living to provide 92 new Passivhaus, low carbon, climate resilient apartments of which 60 will be Affordable for the Councils own Housing Revenue Account. This site is again designed in accordance with Building Biology Principles and is also part of the Council’s 2040 Vision with focus on placemaking. The project is scheduled to start on site later this year.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “There was high demand for both of these funding pots so I’m pleased that these projects have made successful bids to help deliver the objectives of the programmes. It demonstrates what we can achieve in the county through working closely with our partner authorities.”

Councillor Laura Wright, Deputy Leader of Exeter City Council, said: “This is more great news for Exeter, with both funding for the progression of the Liveable Exeter programme and Land Release funding which will help us to progress our plans for much-needed housing.”

Councillor Swithin Long, Torbay Council Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, said: “We are delighted to receive a share of this funding. Working in partnership is at the heart of our approach and addressing our long-standing town centre regeneration challenges is fundamentally important. This funding will complement the investment that government has committed through Torquay’s Town Deal and support work across public sector partners to accelerate positive changes in the community.

“Torbay Together is a strategic partnership bringing together community, private and public sector so that Torbay offers an unrivalled quality of life, is better connected and creates opportunities for everyone who lives, works and enjoys being here. We will continue to work hard on our community plans to enable Torbay to thrive.”

Councillor Bob Hicks, Torridge District Council Lead Member for Economic Regeneration, said: “The Government funding awarded to this key regeneration project at Brunswick Wharf in Bideford is very welcome and reflects the complex challenges in redeveloping an historical industrial quayside location. The work the money will be used for will ensure the sustainability of the site for future generations in stabilising the quayside retaining wall and flood defence enhancements. We look forward to working with the developer, Red Earth, to bringing this project to fruition and the important economic regeneration benefits this will deliver for the town and the Torridge area as a whole. It’s really great news for everyone involved.”

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