Greater Exeter CIC is an independent, not-for-profit Community Interest Company dedicated to realising a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable future for all who live and work in and around Exeter.
Our aim is to enable the novel, cross-sector, multi-stakeholder approach that is needed to address the region’s social, economic and environmental challenges. We intend to:
explore interventions that have produced successful outcomes elsewhere
clarify their essential elements and translate their context to assess their potential to solve problems here
demonstrate their viability and strategic relevance with participatory action research pilots
leverage their adoption through effective advocacy and communications
complement and collaborate with other progressive initiatives across the region.
We are part of a global network of thinkers and doers who are developing new ways to create thriving economies which value and sustain human and natural resources, putting people and place at the heart of their vision.
Cars adversely affect economic output, air quality and wellbeing, take up valuable space when parked and discourage people from walking and cycling when driven. Reducing their use would enhance Exeter's retail and leisure offer, improve public health and attract needed workers to the city.
The Role of People and Place in Economic Development
Regional strategic thinking increasingly recognises the value of our natural capital, but it is only by also placing human resources at the centre of an inclusive vision for sustainable prosperity that we can compete across the UK and abroad.
Three options to help meet Exeter's human resource needs
Recent development patterns have failed to supply needed affordable private housing in central Exeter. We explore a low-cost strategy that combines a range of tenure models suited to answering this challenge.
Property development in Exeter city centre is routinely displacing independent shops, creating significant risk and cost for affected businesses. Recent casualties include The Real Food Store, Hyde+Seek and The Exeter Barber Shop, which will soon have to move for the second time in three years. Is Exeter a good place to start a small retail business?
The decades leading to the 2010 coalition government saw the UK become one of the most centralised democracies in the developed world. Unelected Local Enterprise Partnerships then replaced Labour's Regional Development Agencies, increasing the democratic deficit and leaving the low density South West at structural financial disadvantage.
Princesshay and Queen Street dining offer 21 food and drink outlets between them, all of them chains. A fortnight after further Guildhall development was recently announced, locally-owned Urban Burger was offered for sale at less than £100,000 after twelve years of trading. Would the city's culinary culture benefit from more independent restaurants?
The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership that emerged from the 2010 scramble to replace the Regional Development Agency has struggled for strategic relevance. Sub-regional authorities have since formed more appropriate ad hoc development strategy groupings that coincide with functional market areas.
Stalled South West devolution has allowed organisations to propose arbitrary spatial frames that suit their competing regional leadership agendas. The resulting confusion of brands has in turn allowed policy-makers to outline super-regional strategies that overlook distinct place-based development needs without improving public funding prospects.