Economic Regeneration

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Great Torrington Futures Group - November 2016

There are shared challenges to small towns across Europe and North America as industries have died, factories have closed and - for better or worse - countries have to compete in a globalised market.  We are researching other towns’ responses to these changes to see what we can learn from their experience.  

In 1995 a substantial study - ‘Torrington’s Great Future’ - was produced by the Civic Trust Regeneration Unit.  It led to the founding of the Community Development Trust, obtaining funding for the Pannier Market and 1646 which still benefit the town today.  In 2003 a Community Action Plan was compiled by the Town Council.  And in 2008 the Great Torrington Town Plan was produced by The Market & Coastal Towns Initiative.

In reviewing these projects, we note that concerns and proposals have been repeated over the years e.g. the Creamery site, affordable housing and community transport.  We propose to collate the concerns and proposals that still apply to Torrington with a view to building on the good work that has been done.  

We are consulting with people who are involved in community activities and organisations on how best to progress with this work.  Torridge District Council has offered a Project Officer as our link into whatever advice, support and contacts can be provided by that Council.  In due course, our proposals for specific tasks or projects will be discussed with the Town Council for their approval and further recommendations.

We are looking for a couple for people to join our core group which meets monthly to review progress and discuss next steps. If you are interested, or know someone who might be interested, please email us at the address below.

We are keen to hear from people who have a view on this project and how it is conducted, whether or not you wish to be regularly involved.


Great Torrington Futures Group:  Cllrs . A.Williams, C.Miller D.Davey ;  P.Topham.

Great Torrington Futures Group - October 2016

A new group has been formed under the Town Council to explore ways of helping Great Torrington develop over the coming years in terms of its economic and social well-being. Could you help us to make the town an even better place to live, work and visit? 

By the time you read this the final public consultation on the Neighbourhood Plan will be over, but it will be at least another year before the Plan comes into effect. Taking this document as its foundation the Great Torrington Futures Group is starting work now to understand the issues in relation to:

•how to bring more, well-rewarded employment to the town

•where the town’s strengths lie for future development

•what financial and human resources can be tapped into in order to help the town prosper well into the future

We believe that this must be a long term, collaborative project. We are starting by talking to people about their vision of the future: employers, organisations, schools and colleges, local and regional councils; also to people previously involved in economic development in the town, to see what lessons can be learned and what might still be useful. We shall be looking at studies of similar towns, in this country and abroad, to understand how they are dealing with the challenges that Torrington faces. Our research so far indicates that a surprising number of other places are engaging in similar projects and it is encouraging to see the results they are achieving.

Our initial aims will be to provide: an outline of current economic activity in Great Torrington (manufacturing, retail, tourism, etc.), a review of what we have learned from other towns’ endeavours and a summary of the views and proposals you have given us in public consultation. Residents and decision-makers should then be better informed about how, in changing times, prospects may be improved for all who live and work in the town and for those who visit us.

We have set up a core group to conduct research, to organise public consultation and to make use of specialist knowledge as required. If you feel that you could contribute, particularly if you would be interested in joining the core group, then we would be pleased to hear from you. You can contact us at

Great Torrington Futures Group: Cllrs A Williams, D Davey, C Miller; P Topham

The role of the Economic Regeneration Team at Torridge is to help develop the local economy and provide strategic input to local and regional economic policy making. The Council is committed to attracting new jobs to the area through it's inward investment programme and works in partnership with other agencies.

The Economic Regeneration Team works throughout the region to promote the interests of Torridge District, its businesses and communities.

More information can be found on the main Torridge Council Website HERE

Further useful information can be found on the Devon Delivers Website HERE


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