A forward-thinking and ambitious plan has been revealed for Torquay town centre.

Upton Park, Torquay. Photo: Derek Harper - geograph.org.uk/p/2423868Upton Park, Torquay. Photo: Derek Harper - geograph.org.uk/p/2423868

Developed following Government’s inclusion of Torquay as an eligible place for the Stronger Towns programme, the Town Investment Plan focuses on delivering a more vibrant town centre.

It addresses challenges at key locations, including Torquay Pavilion, and improving transport connections by supporting the Edginswell rail station.

The total development cost of the projects in the Town Investment Plan is an estimated £135 million.

The Torquay Town Deal Board has asked for £25 million from the Government’s Towns Fund to support economic recovery and build a prosperous future for the town.

The fund provides a great opportunity to bring transformational investment into Torquay capitalising on naturally inspiring cultural and heritage assets and strengths in the health, hi-tech and tourism sectors.

One of the projects that would benefit from investment is the Torquay harbour public realm, which would improve the area through investment into the paving, seating and lighting.

The projects within the investment plan will drive forward a better mix of uses, creating an improved experience and greater footfall in the town centre, support growth in public transport and are expected to attract additional private sector investment into the town.

Other projects include a new rail station at Edginswell, mixed use regeneration at key locations in the town centre and improving Torquay Pavilion.

Investment is also proposed for Upton Park, Rock Walk and Princess Gardens.

The plans and proposals build on the lobbying work by Torbay Together and have been heavily informed by the Neighbourhood Plan.

The Town Investment Plan is crucial to bringing in funding and investment to Torbay, and with the impact of Covid-19 the need for this is now critical.

Swithin Long, Cabinet member for housing, regeneration and tourism, said: “With partners across Torbay, Torbay Council and TDA are preparing plans to not only support the recovery of our towns but their long-term future.

“We have identified many opportunities for investment and redevelopment in key locations which will drive future growth.

“We are working hard to accelerate delivery of these projects for the community.

“We believe that these ambitious plans can be delivered to bring vitality and economic opportunities to Torquay.

“By connecting the growth and opportunity areas in the town we aim to create inclusive economic opportunities for all parts of the community, allowing Torquay to build back better.”

Vince Flower, chairman of TDA, said: “Torquay has challenges that we are looking to address quickly. By securing funding from the Town Deal and capitalising on recent private investment we can really make a difference.

“The projects in the plan have been chosen for their impact in the short and medium term and ability to be brought forward at pace.

“I’m also grateful to the Town Board for their enthusiastic commitment and engagement that has led the development of the plan.”

The plan also identifies that culture and heritage led tourism presents growth opportunities throughout the town.

With significant private sector investment in hotels taking place, this is an area for progression and momentum.

There are complementary proposals for investment in tourism and cultural projects to improve the quality of Torquay’s offer, investment in delivering employment sites and improvements to connectivity.

The timing of the Towns Fund, and complementary Future High Street Fund for Paignton, provides Torbay with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a significant partnership with Government and bring about significant change.

To find out more about the Torquay Towns Fund, log on to www.torbay.gov.uk/torquay-towns-fund