Economy & Enterprise
Exeter City Council government borrowing 2014-2022 bar chart

ANALYSIS

Council borrowing nearly triples in three years as property acquisitions and development loans mount

Freedom of information request reveals five paragraph "outline business plan" for £55 million Guildhall shopping centre investment.

Exeter 2020 net internal migration by age group bar chart

ANALYSIS

Exeter beset by unaffordable housing, low graduate retention and economically inactive over 50's

Exeter City Council executive ignores key challenges flagged in major council-commissioned employment and skills research report.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    How to inflate housing costs and influence people

    Despite Exeter’s rapidly worsening housing crisis, the council has continued its relentless promotion of the city as a destination to potential incomers by commissioning a coterie of Instagram influencers to flog the place to their followers after spending a May weekend here...

    ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

  • Shops to let on Exeter High Street

    ANALYSIS

    Do Exeter Labour election campaign claims stand up to scrutiny? Part II: Economy & city centre

    The second in our 2022 local elections series examines Exeter Labour claims about the city centre and Exeter's wider economy, including its misrepresentation of content marketing materials as authoritative sources of information about the city.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Nice work if you can get it

    Any Exeter-based readers who fancy £144,000 a year to help the government deliver its “Levelling Up” agenda (still only a white paper) in the South West need look no further...

    ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Keep it in the family

    Earlier this year the University of Exeter drew attention to the South West’s significant social mobility issues, which it described as “blighting young lives”, when it launched a research project hoping to better understand the region’s challenges...

    ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Public sector pay pals?

    Instead of announcing the biggest council funding rise for over a decade, Exeter City Council’s press team marked budget day by celebrating Exeter’s latest quarterly YouGov popularity rating. The Paris Street PR machine forgot to mention that those surveyed need never have visited the city...

    ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    It's grim down South West

    Recent synthesis of economic data by Devon County Council doesn’t make for very cheerful reading...

    ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

  • Job Centre Plus entrance

    NEWS

    Exeter workers to be among hardest hit by £20 cut in universal credit

    Analysis shows proportion of benefit claimants in Exeter in work is among highest in country.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Partnership agreement of the week

    In a hotly-contested field, this week’s winner must surely be the new Exeter Civic University Agreement, which found its way onto last night’s city council Executive agenda...

    ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    On the beach

    The Heart Of The South West Local Enterprise Partnership has confirmed that its bid to house the UK Atomic Energy Authority STEP fusion test reactor in Bridgewater Bay passed the first stage of the competitive site nominations process...

    ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Buzzword bingo!

    Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership has published its contribution to the increasingly popular genre of “Build Back Better” plans...

    ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

  • Centre for Cities Exeter City Monitor graphic

    COMMENT

    Selective use of statistics presents an unbalanced account of Exeter's economic & environmental status

    Exeter City Council's Chief Executive uses statistics to show the city in a good light, but in doing so presents a picture which omits important information about the city's true position.

    Illustration showing how the new building will look when completed

    NEWS

    Exeter Science Park STEMM "grow-out building" construction begins

    A new specialist centre for fast-growth Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths & Medicine businesses will be completed by November 2021.

    Small retail businesses on Paris Street, Exeter

    NEWS

    Half of COVID-19 support grants unclaimed by Exeter businesses

    Exeter City Council in bottom third of local authorities as only 45% of eligible local businesses claim government coronavirus support money.

    Heart of the South West Local Industrial Strategy branding

    ANALYSIS

    Will a new South West industrial strategy deliver what it promises?

    Our business-led Local Enterprise Partnership appears committed to a new approach to driving growth which its CEO describes as "game-changing".


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    Transport & Mobility

    GALLERY

    Kidical Mass returns to Exeter's streets

    Hundreds of people took part in Exeter's third Kidical Mass family bike ride on Saturday as part of a global campaign for safe cycling routes for children, young people and families.

    E3 cycle route Chard Road modal filter

    COMMENT

    Exeter cycling & walking strategy five years late and counting

    County council soft-pedalling on infrastructure plan which city council says will not form part of new Exeter Local Plan despite Department for Transport guidance.

    Stagecoach app showing Exeter bus service delays and cancellations

    ANALYSIS

    Bus back better? Exeter services expected to remain unfit for purpose without needed changes

    Government underfunding and bus sector challenges limit scope for improvement but county council failure to upgrade routes and policy ambitions plus high housing costs make Exeter difficulties acute, undermining net zero aspirations.

    Planning & Place
    The Gorge co-living block classic studio room floorplan

    NEWS

    First Exeter "co-living" block comes on stream with rooms at £946pcm+

    Even "affordable" rooms in six storey 133-unit Gladstone Road block would leave many local key workers living below minimum income threshold.

    Summerland Street co-living block redevelopment site

    NEWS

    Council paves way for 186-bed "co-living" block in Summerland Street

    Freedom of information request reveals intended scale of development after executive committee takes decision behind closed doors.

    Exeter City Futures Exeter Development Fund presentation slide

    COMMENT

    Exeter Development Fund: rent extraction, unaffordable housing and gentrification, but not net zero

    Exeter City Futures' private debt-driven Liveable Exeter property development financing scheme is under fire from councillors who say it is based on insufficiently-evidenced assumptions and won't meet Exeter's housing needs.

    Arts & Culture
  • THURSDAY 13 OCTOBER 2022

    Spork! open mic night

    Headlinder Charice Bharwaj will lead an evening of spoken word entertainment.

    LITTLE DROP OF POISON

  • FRIDAY 30 SEPTEMBER & SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER 2022

    Pop-up curiosity shop

    Agile Rabbit is hosting a two day science and culture-themed event featuring music, live art, interactive exhibits and games, talks and workshops.

    MAKETANK

  • WEDNESDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2022

    Mother Tongue

    Mothers Who Make and Spork! present a lunchtime spoken word event for mother artists and audiences with caring roles.

    MAKETANK

  • Climate & Environment
    Extinction Rebellion UK tour bus outside Exeter City Council's Paris Street offices

    COMMENT

    World car free day ignored in Exeter as Extinction Rebellion challenges council climate inaction

    Protestors gathered outside council offices as CEO Karime Hassan posed for photo with construction company development manager at Princesshay promotion.

    Exeter City Futures website - vision & mission summary

    ANALYSIS

    University emissions study confirms Net Zero Exeter plan redundancy

    Council retains Exeter City Futures' services despite history of delivery failures and lack of capacity to support defined decarbonisation targets.

    Rob Hannaford and Karime Hassan at Exeter City Council's June 2022 strategic scrutiny committee meeting

    COMMENT

    Net Zero Exeter accountability under scrutiny

    Exeter City Council's response to the climate crisis has so far been characterised by numerous failings. Unfortunately its attitude towards accountability for its actions in this area is also cause for concern.

    Democracy & Governance
  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Race in pole position

    Exeter Labour looks set to pick Steve Race as the party’s parliamentary candidate at the next general election after retiring incumbent Ben Bradshaw anointed his former assistant as his heir apparent in what has been a fairly safe Labour seat since the 1997 landslide...

    DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Bundling boards

    The third in a series of city council scrutiny meetings intended to satisfy councillors that Exeter Development Fund is a way to put Exeter on the map rather than the council’s financial viability at risk took place last week...

    DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

  • Exeter City Council 2022 annual meeting 17 May 2022

    ANALYSIS

    Labour councillors appointed to all fourteen city council committee chairs at annual meeting

    Council leader falsely claims "overwhelming majority" voted Labour in Exeter local elections while circumvention of council decision-making scrutiny continues.

    Community & Society
  • THURSDAY 13 OCTOBER 2022

    Sourdough bread-making by night

    St. Sidwell's Community Centre is running autumn evening sourdough pizza and pitta-making courses.

    SIDWELL STREET BAKEHOUSE

  • SUNDAY 2 OCTOBER 2022

    Herbal history, folklore & medicine

    Exeter Seed Bank is holding a workshop exploring common local herbs and plants with medical herbalist Ile Ashcroft.

    EXETER PHOENIX

  • SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2022

    Kidical Mass is back

    Kidical Mass Exeter is holding its third family bike ride and picnic as part of an ongoing campaign for safe cycling routes for children, young people and families.

    NORTHERNHAY GARDENS