Plan for hi-tech park to create 175 jobs in Torbay
- Credit: AHR 2019
Torbay Council's Cabinet has given their support to create the first phase of a new Electronics and Photonics Production Park at Torbay Business Park in Paignton.
The proposal supports the council's ambition for a thriving economy, with the creation of 175 jobs and generating an additional £18m a year extra to the local economy when the park is fully developed.
The first phase, purpose-built 2,040m2 production centre would also unlock 1.2 hectares of land, enabling the development of 3,700m2 of much-needed manufacturing and production space – creating 100 high-value jobs.
The move is a further boost for Torbay’s hi-tech business sector and would build upon the successful delivery of the Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre (EPIC) by the council and TDA.
Delivery of the production park is dependent on whether the recent application to the Levelling Up Fund is successful or not.
In June 2021, a bid was submitted to secure £20m from the Levelling Up Fund to accelerate economic growth locally.
Under the proposals submitted to Cabinet, the council would need to acquire the land and build out the first unit for the anchor tenant EFFECT which will be subsequently leased to them.
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Torbay is at the centre of the electronics and photonics sectors in Devon and Somerset and is recognised by the Local Enterprise Partnership and the Department for International Trade as having an internationally competitive reputation.
Rapid growth of the electronics and photonics sector has created additional demand for skilled workers.
South Devon College, with support from TDA and Hi-Tech Cluster, is developing a new training programme to aid those who want to access jobs in the sector.
This initiative will help to ensure there are suitably skilled local people available to fill the new jobs created.
Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet member for economic regeneration, tourism and housing, said: “This project represents another step in our ambition to show that Torbay can be a natural home for hi-tech industries.
"The park will provide specialist production facilities, deepening innovation, enabling the growth of key businesses in the sector and attracting further inward investment.
"This will be a great boost to our local economy and see the creation of new skilled, high-value jobs.”
The outcome of the Levelling Up Fund application is expected in the autumn.