Banging the drum for high-tech Torbay

Torbay Weekly

Building a Greater Torbay is in the interests of everyone in Our Naturally Inspiring Bay and the local business community is gathering behind a campaign to spearhead a bright future for our home.

The pandemic has taken us to a crossroads in Torbay and the opportunity to grasp a positive new era with confidence, innovation and aspiration. Torbay can be more than just a beautiful holiday location; it can also be a new home for high-tech business to flourish.

Inter-Line Building Supplies is a second-generation family business that has been trading in Torbay since 1976.

Initially in Torquay, we expanded into Brixham and Paignton in the 1990s and now have a presence in the South Hams, Teignbridge and Exeter. In the last ten years we are very proud to have won three national builders’ merchant sector awards.

We distribute building materials and employ 90 people, the vast majority of which are either employed or live in Torbay and we are therefore very passionate about the future prosperity of our wonderful borough that we call home.

We are indebted to the local community; to the loyal developers, builders and DIYers who have helped in our success and we are pleased that the wealth generated is being largely pumped back into the local economy.

We have also recognized the plight of the charities sector and have supported many local charities, caring for local people over the years but particularly since the onset of the pandemic. We are proud of our charitable efforts but this could not have been done without the support of the community and we’re absolutely delighted to have given something back.

The Bay is undergoing positive transformation with large investments seeing the redevelopment of areas across Brixham, Paignton and Torquay. This will have a positive effect on the tourism and leisure sectors for sure but we must ensure that the recent trend of shops closing is reversed, get shoppers back in the towns and away from the convenient out of town stores.

We firmly believe that we should all support local businesses where possible and it pains us to see the growth of online businesses across the UK, who have benefitted from the surge in online trading since the onset of the pandemic. There needs to be a culture change with support for local businesses and we all need to bang the drum!

These are exciting times but we need to be mindful of our infrastructure; is it sufficient to cater for the needs of our growing population and is the road network able to handle the volume of traffic?  

We need to ensure these fulfil the needs of the community and don’t detract from the incredible standard of living we all enjoy.  We also need to careful that the Bay does not become over-reliant on tourism and leisure; we need to attract more light industry and high-tech companies.

Heavy industry will never play a large part in the local economy due to geographical constraints but, if we can attract more high-tech businesses, we will see more business professionals working and living in the area, helping to make it more affluent for all. This is a huge challenge.

Some business acquaintances around the country have referred to Torbay as a stunning place with a failing economy and lack of investment but we have turned the corner and the future is looking really bright.

We have a great chance to improve momentum and really put ourselves on the map because, at the moment, potential businesses don’t tend to look any further West than Exeter but now is the time to change perception and enjoy the fruits of success that are sure to follow.

Neil Robinson
Inter-Line Building Supplies