Economic development strategy needed, say rural businesses

The Wiveliscombe & 10 Parishes Business Group are discussing with Taunton Deane Borough Council how to create a strategy for economic development that’s tailored for this rural part of the county.

In a recent survey that I was commissioned for, we found that having no clear strategy relating to Wiveliscombe and its hinterland was not helping existing businesses to plan or to attract new ones to the area. The focus of the Local Plan is very much on Taunton & Wellington, and no clear or recent ED Strategy exists for the wider area since the ‘Grow & Green’ strategy of 2010.

The lack of business support was another key issue, along with a lack of knowledge about the training and apprenticeship options available to employers.

Poor quality communications (broadband, mobile phone coverage and road resilience to bad weather) was also an important issue for many.

The survey contacted 39 of the larger businesses in the area, the vast majority of which were light industrial.

The Business Group, which has had a positive relationship with TDBC Economic Development to date, hope to ensure that high quality business units are brought forward, and that a ‘one-stop-shop’ for quality business advice and support is developed.

Many of the issues raised can be addressed by the Business Group, such as better networking and communication between local businesses.

You can view all of the issues captured here; Business Survey results

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