Working with the community across all age groups is key to Bay's future

Joseph Bulmer

Our communities are at the heart of everything we do and by working together we can achieve so much. Since being elected in 2019 the Liberal Democrat and Independent Partnership administration has been committed to working closely with our community and voluntary sector partners and giving power back to them.

Torbay Council have significantly less funding from central government to support local groups to contribute towards the valuable work they do, so we’ve had to find new ways of supporting our communities.

One way we have done this is by working closely with businesses, the voluntary and community sector, schools and local groups as we continue on our journey to make Torbay Child Friendly. Our ambition is to put children at the heart of all we do, to ensure they have the best start in life possible and for Torbay to be a great place for them to grow up in. This will have lasting benefits for the whole community.

Local businesses including the Dartmouth Steam Railway, Splashdown and operators of the English Riviera Wheel and others across the bay, have all supported our foster carers and their families, offering them experiences they will never forget.

The most recent development in this strategy is that Great Western Railway have donated £45,000 as part of its Communities and Education Programme so up to 50 young people in Torbay can benefit from work experience.

We are delighted to receive this generous grant from GWR. The funding will be put to excellent use to help secure the futures of vulnerable young people and enhance our pool of young, local talent.

It will benefit care experienced children and young people who have been defined as being on ‘the edge of care’ and are in part-time education or are currently not in education, employment, or training. Through work experience initiatives, this project will aim to raise the aspirations of young people and bridge the gap between school or further education and employment.

It’s not just future generations we need to consider. In Torbay we have a growing ageing population with care and support needs.

As part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to provide more affordable housing in the Bay, the Council and TorVista Homes are planning to build 72 new Extra Care assisted living homes at Torre Marine in Torquay.

The scheme will be staffed 24/7 giving peace of mind to residents that someone is on hand in the event of a fall or some other need. It will have a range of facilities including a café/restaurant that will be open to the public.

We want to know what you think about these plans through our consultation You can find out more and tell us what you think at

We want to carry on embedding our partnership and co-operative principles into everything we do by working with communities across Torbay to make it a better place to live, work in and visit.

We have also been supporting our communities through the Council’s Torbay Lottery. We now want Gatherwell Limited to continue to manage the lottery on our behalf for up to another six years. Our local good causes provide invaluable support within the community for the community. By continuing the lottery, we can empower them to continue to raise vital funds in a fun way free of charge.

It’s been another tough year for our communities but owing to the support shown through the Torbay Lottery we’re able to help more community groups. Between April 2017 and December 2021, the weekly draw sold 266,106 tickets and raised £159,664 for local good causes. The top five organisations are PATH Torbay, Friends of the Vigilance Brixham, Torbay National Coastwatch Institution, Visual Eyes and Tissues and Issues.

The Small Grants Fund is open until 14 March 2022, where local good causes can apply for a one-off grant of up to £2,000.  For more information, please visit