The South West region is the UK’s third largest visitor economy, with Devon playing a key role in attracting visitors who spend over £2.5BN per year.
- As a top UK tourist destination and a growing tourist economy, the scope for this sector to expand in Devon continues.
- Devon’s natural capital and rich environment plays a key role in making Devon a UK destination of choice.
- Sustainable and managed tourism is fast becoming a priority, introducing initiatives which enable high-value tourism while at the same time taking steps to reduce the impact of tourism on the natural capital, environment and heritage.
With the MET Office and the University of Exeter we have a globally significant concentration of climate and environmental scientists. The University of Exeter was amongst the first Universities in the UK to declare a Climate and Environment Emergency in 2019 and has hundreds of academics working in climate science and related disciplines as well as a new Institute dedicated to Global Systems. With extensive research and development, the resulting knowledge, talent, and innovation, is helping inform investment decisions.
The University of Exeter includes the UK’s 5 most influential climate scientists, the only UK climate scientists to secure places in in the global top 21 – according to a prestigious new list (Reuters Hot List) and Exeter staff are providing the technical lead for the Government’s 3rd UK Climate Change Risk Assessment. The University has assembled a team of over 500 researchers and professionals working across climate change and the environment and they include some of the world’s leading academics.
Explore Green Futures with Exeter University.
As business activity expands so does the professional sector that supports it, from financial services, accountancy and insurance through to legal and engineering services.
A collaboration of expertise across this sector are driving change, innovation and technological solutions in traditional agriculture and helping to develop new markets like Aquaculture to the coastline of the South West.
Agri-tech research is driven by the Food Security and Land Research Alliance, comprising Exeter University, Devon’s Rothamsted North Wyke Farm Platform Rothamsted Research | Global Science, Bath and Bristol Universities and Duchy College. The Alliance makes ground-breaking discoveries in global food security, crop, soil and land management, animal health and marine science, attracting business partners from across the world.
The University of Plymouth is also a global leader in robot crop picking technology.
SW AgriTech South West AgriTech – a strong network of over 200 agritech companies, led by LEP funding, is a dynamic agri-food grouping with scientific research, engineering, manufacturing and high-tech industries at its core.
SWAN – SWAN South West Aquaculture Network provide key development and collaboration opportunities in this new sector.
The Trade & Agriculture Commission report will lead to further enhancement of the Agri/food sector. Trade and Agriculture Commission Report
A key priority for the region and embraced by Devon. Specialised manufacturing is fast becoming a trademark of Devon. Traditionally in Mid-Devon and Teignbridge this sector is now very present across Devon.
Health and care
Transformative Healthcare throughout Devon has begun to grow and anticipated to continue, recently contributing around £1BN annually to the Devon economy, having been included in the recent ‘Build Back Better’ Plan.
With a passion for the outdoors, many fashion and lifestyle brands have been inspired to start, or set-up in Devon including:
- Jack Wills – Heritage fashion and lifestyle brand
- Bird Sunglasses – Fashionable ethical brand of sunglasses
- Shoes – Rainbow Club Rainbow Clube shoes (a royal favourite)
- Crew – British lifestyle brand for classic style with a coastal twist
- Saltrock – Fashionable clothing, with surf inspired designs
- Quba – Nautical inspired clothing and accessories
- Lazy Jacks – Sailing inspired clothing and accessories
- Dewerstone – Outdoor lifestyle clothing from the heart of Dartmoor
- Sancho’s – Sustainable and ethical fashion
- Diamond Beach – Coastal clothes and beach accessories
- Rudd Wellies – Riding wellies, clothes and accessories
- A key component of the ‘Build Back Better’ Plan HOTSW-Build Back Better
- The South West is set to become a nuclear hub in the next two decades, with projects worth £50 billion to our economy.
- Key focus is Hinkley Point in Somerset, but the need for supply chain businesses will benefit the whole South West region.
- For more info, see Nuclear South West