DEVON'S GROWTH STORY
Committed workers, a great location and the feel good factor - these are three of the best reasons to run a business in Devon, according to a new survey.
Employers have rated the county 9.3 out of 10 on the happiness scale and cite the work life balance as a key factor.
Meanwhile business owners who have recently relocated to Devon are urging other companies across the UK to join them. They support the survey findings and also point to the good transport links and broadband connection as two key factors.
Carried out in March 2018, when asked to rate their happiness when it came to living and working in Devon, 38 per cent of employers marked the county 10 out of 10, with an average of 9.3 out of 10. Remarkably, no one ranked below 8 out of 10.
An even higher number were impressed by the commitment of their workforce, with 46 per cent scoring 10 out of 10. Again the average was high, at 93 per cent.
When it came to the overall experience of working in Devon, 31 per cent of respondents gave it a resounding 10 out of 10, with the average at 8.6 out of 10.
The survey, which was carried out by Devon Delivers, Devon County Council’s inward investment team, also asked what the three best attributes of working in the county were.
Among the replies were:
· A thriving region filled with opportunity
· An incredible business community to work with
· Easy access to the rest of the country including a great regional airport
· The beautiful, natural environment
· A place to be proud to have as a brand association
· A friendly and easy going place to live.
Devon is also home to one of the UK’s fastest growing cities, according to a recent economic report.
Strengths in ICT, professional services and real estate sectors are keeping Exeter flying high with utilities and renewables also key growth drivers over the next three years.
The city is ranked at number five in the whole of the country with Gross Value Added (GVA) of 2.3%. According to EY’s UK Regional Economic Forecast, Exeter is expected to grow faster than London’s 2.2% and the UK average of 1.8%.
Jamie Evans, Relocation Manager for Devon Delivers, Devon County Council’s inward investment and relocation team, said: “The survey and other feedback we regularly receive validates our view that this is a great part of the world to do business.
“What we find most encouraging is the growing network of businesses who are not only working hard to be a success but also putting a huge amount of effort into helping other companies establish themselves and thrive.
“We think that is something very Devon and something we are keen to encourage and build upon.”
Exeter and East Devon Growth Point, east of the M5 near Exeter Airport, is implementing a growth programme worth more than £2bn, including over £90m in public funding packages.
There are six new sustainable developments all with planning permission and key infrastructure works underway.
They include the development of 1.2 million sq ft of logistics and distribution space at the Exeter Gateway site. Phase two of the scheme is next to the site of Lidl UK's new regional distribution hub.
The planned strategic projects have the potential to create 26,600 jobs over the next 15 - 20 years.