• design sketch
    What we need is a more dynamic conversation about the direction in which both public and private sectors can act with vision to co-invest in the challenges of the future, share both risks and rewards and in so doing co-create new markets for the economy of tomorrow.
    - Marianna Mazzucato, Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose
  • local retail
    Drawing a strict line between economic and social policy is increasingly counterproductive. We need a national strategy for inclusive growth, agreed and supported by the centre but devised and implemented by local actors with a keen sense of place.
    - Stephanie Flanders, RSA Inclusive Growth Commission
  • wind turbines
    As our population continues to grow, so does the pressure on our finite and fragile resources. Yet that threat can be turned into an opportunity ... to tackle climate change and reduce our environmental footprint while boosting economic growth, employment and development.
    - Erik Solheim, United Nations

Greater Exeter

People & place

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.

Briefings & opinion

Productivity & Prosperity

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.

3 minute read

Indie Exeter I

Independent Shops in Exeter

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?

Spatial strategy

3 minute read

Contested Geographies I

A Short History of SW Regional Governance

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.

Spatial strategy

3 minute read

Indie Exeter II

Independent Food & Drink in Exeter

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?

Spatial strategy

3 minute read

Contested Geographies II

A Short History of SW Regional Strategy

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.

Spatial strategy

3 minute read

Contested Geographies III

A Short History of SW Regional Branding

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.

Spatial strategy

3 minute read

In Focus
code editor
Knowledge Economy

A series of articles assessing Exeter's capacity for significant knowledge economy growth

Greater Exeter


Sustainable inclusive prosperity


Think local, act global


Challenges & opportunities


Insight, Vision, Impact


Research & advocacy


Single issues, complex systems

In Focus
high-density eco-housing
Spatial Strategy

A series of articles considering Exeter's strategic spatial options


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