Torbay’s winter months could be a game-changer
So it’s for another year. It’s almost time to put away the shorts and sunscreen as summer winds down and we have the fall and winter to look forward to.
I almost included hanging up the cricket whites as well, but they haven’t been needed for several weeks now after dislocating and fracturing my shoulder and tearing tendons and muscles. The lesson here? Don’t dive after a cricket ball (which I stopped) when I was 64.
When I played soccer I loved the winter months and there was no better feeling than sliding in the drizzle. But those days are long gone and now I have to admit I’m not a fan of dark mornings and nights and cold wet weather. What further complicates the task is the impossibility of jumping abroad for a little break thanks to our friend Covid.
But this winter could be special for the Bay. There are so many good things on the way that really should manifest in the coming months to totally transform our fortunes.
I know in reality this is not the case, but it seems that in the summer and during the holidays the pace of progress slows down and everything calms down especially with the meetings
But now my agenda is starting to fill up, the Torbay Business Forum has met in person for breakfast for the first time in 18 months, and the focus is once again on the future.
Plans to regenerate Torquay and Paignton town centers with government funding of Â£ 40million between them are expected to go ahead.
We should have a clearer picture of the future of Pavilion, Oldway, and dare I say Living Coasts. We will see new hotels on the Paignton seafront and at the Terrace car park in Torquay. The current hotels are on line for renovation and improvement projects that number in the millions, a new train station is expected to take shape in Edginswell and last but not least, we will have the massive regeneration of the Torbay Hospital site. Who knows, we might have sorted Crossways as well!
As you can see, there is a lot going on. But one question is how we locals benefit from all of this. One of the answers lies in an initiative just announced by Torbay City Council.
He is testing a system that aims to see more consulting contracts going to companies in the English Rivera.
The pilot program that will roll out this month and run until next March will help increase local spending, ensure fair inclusion of suppliers and reduce carbon emissions through local sourcing.
A ‘SupplyDevon’ hub will be used as a go-to-market channel for external expenses between Â£ 5,000 and Â£ 50,000.
SupplyDevon is a free online platform that uses artificial intelligence to identify suppliers from within local authority boundaries (or wider Devon if no Torbay-based supplier is available) who are invited. to bid for the job.
Last year, out of 77 contracts awarded worth less than Â£ 50,000, only 16 were awarded to local suppliers. By using SupplyDevon, the board can ensure that more of its spending stays in the local supply chain, helping to generate economic growth, especially as businesses seek to recover from the pandemic.
All registered suppliers will have access to their own sourcing platform, allowing them to view and respond to quote requests, as well as having direct communication with the buyer. As soon as companies register as a supplier, SupplyDevon will begin sending out relevant requests for quotes from local buyers, all completely free of charge.
Cllr Darren Cowell, Deputy Chief and Cabinet Member for Finance, said; âWe want Torbay residents and businesses to thrive. Using SupplyDevon will not only ensure that more of our spending stays in Torbay, but we will also fuel the broader community wealth building agenda. By sourcing locally, we don’t just boost the local economy, we also reduce carbon emissions, which supports our commitment to tackle climate change.
Suppliers from Torbay, Devon and Plymouth can register for free at www.supplydevon.org
There is enormous potential here. All that remains is to get started and brighten up my winter!
# nowisthetime2 #onlyintorbay