Confidence, Investment, Delivery
These three words – confidence; investment; delivery – are so important for the successful regeneration of Torbay.
There is so much to be positive about in Torbay, from air shows to photonics businesses; from beach awards to partners working together to lobby Government. But there is also a lot to do to build on these positives and transform Torbay.
It’s a little over a year since the Council published its strategy to transform Torbay’s town centres. It’s a strategy that sets out to deliver what residents, business and visitors say they want to see happen. Critical to delivery is to secure the confidence and action by investors.
No one who attended the Mayor’s Forum on 26 July can fail to have been impressed by the evidence of increasing confidence, investment and delivery in Torbay.
We now know that delivery of the £32M mixed use development on Torwood Street, including the game changing Hampton by Hilton, will start in September this year – with major financial support from Torbay Council. That will drive footfall and spend in Torquay town centre, as well as attract more overseas and overnight visitors.
We heard confirmation from Derek Elliott about the circa £100M investment from the Singaporean owned Fragrance Group, in hotels in Torquay and Paignton. Planning applications are due in shortly and we know the Fragrance Group want to ‘get on with it.’ Redevelopment of the Park Hotel in Paignton will be amazing and will bring confidence to other parts of Paignton town centre.
We know Fairtree Capital, a South African owned company, is also investing (an estimated £25m) in three hotels in Paignton and Torquay.
A TDA spokesperson shared details of a range of projects, totalling around £34M, to provide new and improved employment space, and skills development, that are being or are about to be delivered to support key sectors in Torbay.
Kevin Mowat, Torbay Council’s Executive Head for Assets & Business Services, set out plans for improvements to The Strand, Torquay, which will in total cost £3.3M. Plans for public realm improvements, costing £1.2M, around Paignton Station Square are also in place. Investors have told us that these sorts of improvements will trigger further investment in town centres, as well as produce great places for people to spend time.
The Council is investing in, designing and building a 120 bed hotel, for a national operator, at Harbour View (part of Terrace Car Park). It is expected that work will start on site in Spring 2019, subject to planning permission. That too will generate footfall and spend in the town centre.
There is ongoing investment in other projects, large and small – the Old Toll House, Torquay; major improvements to the Western Corridor to improve travel times between Torquay, Paignton and Brixham; redevelopment of the former Nortel site, Paignton… the list goes on.
This amounts to over £200M worth of projects that are being delivered now or will be delivered in the next 12 – 24 months.
That level of confidence, investment and delivery continues to gain momentum; it is unlocking, encouraging and generating more interest, more business enquiries, more investment, and more development to deliver successful and sustainable growth in Torbay as a place, including its town centres.
If you want more regular updates on town centre regeneration in Torbay, please visit the Invest in Torbay website – www.investintorbay.com/town-centres-regeneration/
Regeneration Programme Director, TDA