Torbay MP, Adrian Sanders and representatives from the TDA, Torbay Council and the Torbay business community were pleased to welcome the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable last week. Dr Cable was visiting Torbay to tour the TDA’s successful Innovation Centre at Lymington Road, which has been a leading example of business incubation, helping to generate enterprise and create jobs in Torbay.
The visit was arranged by MP Adrian Sanders to enable the minister to look at small business growth and explore the opportunities in Torbay.
Dr. Cable was impressed by the Innovation Centre, he met and spoke to a number of tenants, and was keen to see the demonstrations by local companies Syntech and Hymid illustrating the work they do and the contribution this important sector makes to the economy of the Bay.
The Innovation Centre tenants talked about issues they are addressing such as taking on apprentices, the cost of export and energy use. As well as Mayor Gordon Oliver and Councillor Steve Darling, Dr Cable met Helen Harman of Outset Torbay who talked about the intensive start up support packages available to new start ups, and representatives of the Torbay Development Agency who talked to the minister about the main issues and opportunities in Torbay’s economy and the need for focused Government support to help business growth.
Steve Parrock, Chief Executive of the TDA, said: “We warmly welcomed the Secretary of State and appreciate the opportunity to discuss with Dr Cable the main issues facing the economy of the Bay. Whilst I’m sure he will see the enormous potential of Torbay as great place to invest, it is important to recognise the significant pressures we face in what might be perceived from the outside to be an affluent area. Torbay has the lowest productivity levels in the region and the 4th lowest in England, extremely low wages and poor infrastructure links. I hope that the Secretary of State’s visit will help to put Torbay on the map when it comes to key decision making that will help to reverse the decline, helping us to reposition Torbay as a destination of choice to live, work, visit and invest in.”