Torbay Council, through its economic development company Torbay Development Agency (TDA), is leading a collaborative bid to the Government's new £23m Coastal Communities Fund. TDA, along with partners Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust, Community & Voluntary Action Torbay, and South Devon College, have formed an innovative partnership to bid for significant investment from the Fund.
The money will be used to encourage job creation through a mixed programme of capital and revenue activity, specifically designed to harness the enterprising nature of the local community and capitalise on Torbay's assets and unique geographical position.
It's expected that the programme will create job opportunities by supporting business growth, specifically through supporting home-based and start up business with the provision of two new Workhubs, alongside engaging the hardest to reach in our society into training and apprenticeships schemes through Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). ABCD is a process whereby, community organisations, when equipped with the right skills, practical tools and small, catalytic amounts of money; can galvanise communities to work together to create innovative responses to local priorities, particularly in neighbourhoods with low levels of social capital.
The programme will also include funding for a new cycle route, linking Cockington Court to Occombe Farm, which will further open up the green space around Torbay for residents to enjoy, and provide visitors another reason to holiday on the Riviera.
Torbay's bid has pledged to make the best use of local assets, building community capacity, create new start-up business workspaces and support the growth of local training provision availability to the community.
TDA will submit an expression of interest next week, and if successful, will be invited to submit a more detailed application by May 21 2012, with funding being awarded in December 2012.
The TDA is co-ordinating the programme and working with the partners to ensure delivery is wholly inclusive of the separate strengths that all of the partners will bring, offering the best chance of success.
The programme is designed to be entirely sustainable once the funding has been spent to ensure a lasting legacy of sustainable growth for the community and business in the Bay.
Mayor of Torbay, Gordon Oliver said: 'This encouraging cross-sector partnership demonstrates the strong support we have for getting more business and jobs in the Bay.
'As part of my election promises, I pledged to encourage community involvement to ensure local people are involved in the future of Torbay, and this bid, if successful, will give our community groups much more say in the outcomes of future projects.'
Liam McGrath, Chief Executive of Community & Voluntary Action Torbay said: 'A new way of working - proper partnership! This partnership bid could mark a significant milestone in the development of Torbay for the future. Hitherto separate groups, now working in partnership to establish shared purpose, common themes and a comprehensive, innovative and successful bid to the Coastal Communities Fund. It does not stop here though; this is the beginning of new ways of working together to benefit Torbay.'
The Government introduced the new £23m Coastal Communities Fund to support economic development projects in coastal areas across the UK. The Coastal Communities Fund is designed to support the economic development of coastal communities by promoting sustainable economic growth and jobs, so that people are better able to respond to the changing economic needs and opportunities of their area. Grants in excess of £50,000 are available for a wide range of applicant organisations and projects which benefit coastal communities.