Report predicts ‘economic shock’ for South West rural economy

New research published today identifies £883 million is predicted to be lost from the rural economy up to 2027 across Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

Farmers and other land managers are coming to terms with the move away from Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) support, but the transition is proving difficult, and the replacement Sustainable Farming Initiative (SFI) has had an uncertain start in the region.

The report , undertaken by the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) at the University of Gloucestershire with support from the...

CDS calls for flexible Government approach for hard to reach areas

Authored by News Desk
Posted: Fri, 07/02/2021 - 2:00pm

Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) is calling for a flexible approach from Government to improve broadband connectivity in very hard to reach areas in order to avoid the risk of communities “being left behind”.

In its response to the Government’s consultation on the issue, CDS states that a mix of large contractual delivery, in parallel with support for community solutions through voucher schemes, is needed to tackle the challenges of delivering broadband to the most rural communities.

Matt Warman MP, the Minster for Digital Infrastructure, issued a call for evidence to...

Gigaclear and Carillion Telent contract set to bring full fibre broadband to rural SW

Authored by News Desk
Posted: Tue, 10/24/2017 - 4:50pm

Rural broadband specialist Gigaclear has awarded Carillion telent a contract to bring ultrafast full fibre broadband to more than 80,000 properties in some of the most rural parts of South West England. The work will start immediately, with the first customers coming on stream early in 2018 and the full roll out complete by the end of 2019. Gigaclear’s network will give homes and businesses in the area access to speeds of up to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps), where previously they have struggled with speeds as low as 1Mbps. Carillion telent will be implementing Gigaclear’s network using narrow...

Support still available for rural businesses

Authored by News Desk
Posted: Thu, 12/22/2016 - 10:54am

Rural businesses in Mid and East Devon are being reminded that they can still apply for funding through a special support programme.

Devon County Council is overseeing the £1.2 million LEADER REAL Devon grant which aims to support the rural economy and create jobs. The programme is EU funded, but the County Council is reassuring businesses that the funding is still available over the next two years.

Among those to have successfully received funding so far is Planet Play SW Ltd, a new children’s soft play centre and café in Crediton, which opened recently having received £18...

£3.5m funding programmes open for South Devon projects

Authored by News Desk
Posted: Wed, 11/30/2016 - 9:01am

Two programmes offering funds for rural and small business projects is now open.

The South Devon Coastal Local Action Group (SDC LAG) and the Greater Dartmoor Local Economic Action Fund (GD LEAF) have been awarded a total of £3.5 million to allocate to business projects which encourage and promote business growth, productivity and create jobs.

Both were originally set up in 2008 to invest in economic, environmental and community based projects to encourage innovation and promote the prosperity of the South Devon area.

The area covered by the programmes covers...

Bob Spencer: Farming communities 'abandoned' by police

Authored by News Desk
Posted: Mon, 04/18/2016 - 8:40am

Farming families and much of Devon and Cornwall’s rural communities have been abandoned by the police.

That was the view of retired senior police officer Bob Spencer after he visited communities on Dartmoor during his campaign to become the next police and crime commissioner for the region.

Cuts to funding have meant the closure of police stations and reductions in the number of officers which is leaving vast swathes of countryside without police cover.

Margaret and Mike Rogers, who keep 200 sheep near Widdecome on Dartmoor, say they no longer bother to report...

Introduction to Stonemasonry - workshop

Event Date: 
07/05/2016 - 10:00am to 08/05/2016 - 5:00pm
Castle Drogo, Drewsteignton EX6 6PB

A Dartmoor Arts project 2-day weekend course: Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May 2016. At Castle Drogo, Drewsteignton EX6 6PB. 10am - 5pm, £60/£50

This is a comprehensive introduction to the skills, techniques, tools and purposes of stonemasonry with 2 experienced tutors, Trevor Clarke and Ben Martin. You will learn how to use and maintain tools, practice masonry and letter carving techniques and can work on a project of your own, carve an inscription or a 3D piece, or both. All materials and tools are provided. The course will include a tour of Castle Drogo, currently undergoing...

Landed gentry could help solve housing crisis

Authored by News Desk
Posted: Thu, 12/31/2015 - 7:14am

Landowners behind England’s 5,000 largest rural estates should be called upon to release land for affordable housing, according to The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The RICS Rural Policy Paper, published today, sets out a number of recommendations as to how central and local Government could better manage rural land and support countryside communities, including offering measures to encourage large landowners to release space on their estates for eight or more affordable houses. This might include partial inheritance tax exemptions, allowing heirs to avoid paying...

£1.2m for rural economy in Mid and East Devon

The rural economy in Mid and East Devon will be bolstered with £1.2 million of funding support, Devon County Council has announced.

The County Council is overseeing the EU funded LEADER grants programme, which aims to create jobs and help to develop rural businesses. It is working with key partners, including Mid and East Devon District Councils, to ensure applicants receive the necessary support to access the funding.

Devon County Council is the accountable body for two of the five Local Action Groups across Devon – Making it Local and REAL Devon.

The REAL Devon...

Rural roads in Devon the deadliest in Britain

Authored by News Desk
Posted: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 9:37am

Figures from the Department for Transport reveal that out of all the highways in the county, rural roads carry the highest number of fatalities - with 83 per cent of the 23 deaths in 2014 occurring on Devon's rural network.

Last year there were 1,668 casualties on Devon’s rural roads - 19 of who lost their lives.

A rural road could be any class of road away from main areas of population that may join towns and villages – but often not the road that runs through them.

Although rural roads include the county's extensive network of narrow country lanes, most rural road...