Councils Supporting Business in South West Devon The South West

It was a busy 2018 in the South West with key investment for the local business community provided by South Hams District and West Devon Borough Councils.

The provision of new industrial units across the area has supported local businesses and the creation of local jobs for local people. All the while creating important revenue for the councils by filling a gap in central government funding.

In the South Hams alone, the SHDC made a £600k investment to develop Admiral Court in Dartmouth. The development at Admiral Court was the fourth phase of the site and resulted in seven new starter units being built for local businesses. The creation of these units alone provided the District Council with a rental income of £36,800 a year.

The benefits of putting solar panels on rooftops are numerous. They are sustainable and renewable and therefore the supply will never run out. It is also a natural source of power and the production of solar energy requires little maintenance once it is installed.

Cllr Bastone continued: “The solar panel system will add to the increasing number of solar systems on South Hams District Council buildings. Follaton House, the head office of South Hams District Council in Totnes, also has a solar array on its roof. We’re always looking for innovative ways to save money, help tenants and produce greener energy where we can and this was the perfect opportunity to do so.”

In West Devon, activity within the property market has been strong during 2018 with tenancy demand across all sectors outstripping supply. The industrial sector has been particularly active with full occupancy achieved within Crelake Industrial Estate, Tavistock with the last two units of 1485 sq. ft. let in the latter part of the year to expanding local businesses Worth Electrical, and The Carpet Centre.

Admiral Court Phase 2

Cllr Hilary Bastone, Executive Portfolio Holder for Customer First, said: “There was a strong need for these units and tenants were very keen to take advantage of the new office space available to them.

“This investment is in line with our corporate aspirations to create places for enterprise to thrive and businesses to grow. Also to find new ways to generate an income and safeguard our financial security in the long term.”

Totnes, a local and individual market town in the South Hams has seen the District Council make a £590k investment for the creation of five purpose built units. These units have been leased to tenants for a six year term and are generating a rental income of £30,000 a year. Additionally, reroofing was carried out on six industrial units on Burke and Wills Roads. As part of this improvement work, they installed 120 solar panels on the new roof in a bid to go green.

Crelake Units

Kilworthy Park, the home of West Devon Borough Council, has also had a number of office lettings completed within its building.

Cllr Robert Oxborough, West Devon Borough Council’s Lead Member for Economy, commented: “Kilworthy Park provides occupiers with high quality offices within a prestigious building, with ample parking and it is only a short walk from Tavistock town centre, a beautiful World Heritage Site, so it’s a popular place to live and work. It is really important to us to create strong communities who feel empowered. Providing space for businesses to grow and succeed is an essential element.”

Tavistock Business Centre Burke Road

The Council took the opportunity to install a 37.5kW solar pv system on the new roof of the units which were rented out to tenants. The solar system generates about 36,000 kWh per year. With an average family home using around 4000 kW hours a year, this would supply nine homes with electricity every year. This will not only benefit the environment and the tenants directly who get to use the free electricity, the power supplied from the panels helps tenants keep their costs down as the Council then sells the electricity at a competitive rate back to the grid at a Feed In Tariff rate.

The Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) scheme is a Government scheme designed to encourage small renewable and low-carbon electricity generation.


Okehampton Business Centre

Further afield, Okehampton Business Centre has also seen a number of lettings during the year and is now trading at full occupancy. Tenants have been attracted to the quality of accommodation, and its location close to the A30, a major road in the South West, providing rapid access to the Cornwall Peninsula, Exeter and beyond.


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