Celebrating East Devon
Living in this part of the world presents myriad benefits. Some of the best food and drink producers in the country…check. Miles and miles of coastline, beaches and cliff walks…check. Excellent education, from primary to Higher and Further education…check. A better work/life balance than some of the larger cities in the country…check. A vibrant and growing economy…check.
You’d be excused as a Devonian if you walked around feeling and looking a little smug, on account of the above (and the many other reasons why living in Devon rocks).
As Grow, for want of a better word, grows, we are starting to intentionally dedicate time and attention to key areas within our readership area. We are doing so with the same vision, values and tone of voice that we have established for Grow Exeter. We are a relentlessly positive source of business-related news in a world which sometimes feels full of negativity. We centre our focus on people, their stories and the things that we can learn from them. We celebrate success, seek solutions to problems and create positive, meaningful connections for businesses. We champion the start-ups and celebrate the well-established firms.
So, starting from this month, the first area that we have chosen to give this intentional focus to is East Devon; namely Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, East Budleigh, Woodbury, Honiton, Axminster and Sidmouth amongst many others. Let me give you some idea as to why…
East Devon is truly one of the jewels in England’s crown. From its two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), to the historically significant Jurassic Coast (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), East Devon has some of the most visually stunning and breath-taking natural surroundings of anywhere in the country. Of course, it consequently has a spectacular array of wildlife to boast about to, from a treasure trove of sea creatures and agricultural livestock, both of which play an important role in our local economy.
Possibly in contrast to common opinion, East Devon also lays claim to a thriving creative industry; from traditional crafting techniques, woodwork and various physical art forms to a burgeoning design, music and film industry. And don’t even get me started on the food and drink. Whatever your palette, diet or preference, there is something for you in the culinary mixing pot of the local foodie scene in East Devon; from small distilleries, breweries and vineyards to bakehouses, delis and country pubs. From cream teas to some of the finest seafood you will find anywhere in the world.
With all of the above I mind, it is crystal clear why we should feel very lucky to live and work in this part of the country. Sometimes we become blind to that which is right in front of us and, hopefully, in the coming months we will start to tell stories of people, businesses and industries that justify why we live in the part of the country that people dream of taking their holidays in each summer.
Which leads me to a pertinent point. One of the best (and most challenging) parts of living in Devon is the tourism industry. It plays a huge role in the overall economy of the region and is part of our heritage and ongoing offering too. Of course, there are challenges in peak times of the year when our infrastructure, resources and, sometimes, patience are tested as we witness an exodus from some of England’s cities down the motorways and dual-carriageways and into our county. It would be easy to moan about those challenges, but it also represents a huge opportunity for us; to put our towns, villages, businesses and industries on show to the rest of the UK; proudly on display in the shop window that is destination tourism. Peak holiday season is also a time where, quite literally, our local economy has to ‘make hay whilst the sun shines’.
So, with all of that said, if you work for a business that you believe has a positive success story worth celebrating, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Alternatively, you might know someone who you want to recommend, or you might do business with someone truly amazing. Likewise, let me know about them.
Let’s see if, together, we can capture as many stories as possible that prove why East Devon is an area to celebrate. Together, we can help it to grow in the years to come.
Joff Alexander-Frye, Editor-in-Chief