East Devon employment site plans aims to create hundreds of new jobs in Seaton and Axminster

Plans to create hundreds of new jobs in two East Devon towns have been announced by the district council regardless of its failed bid to secure £11million government funding.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has revealed its ‘disappointment’ at a failed funding bid for Levelling Up cash for the Axe Valley, but vowed to forge ahead with some of its smaller plans to build new employment sites in Seaton and Axminster.

Later this year the council will report on the ‘viability’ of three new work sites in Colyford Road and Harepath Road, in Seaton, and Cloakham Lawns, Axminster, with the aim of developing around 3,000 square metres of employment space, creating up to 140 jobs for the local community and district.

In the summer EDDC will decide if the council will sell the sites, or if the authority will control running the workspaces.

EDDC said the Levelling Up funding hit has prompted the council to review its phase one plans of the £7million Seaton Seafront Enhancement project, in a bid to reduce costs.

It said it could not commit to working on the project in the next financial year.

An EDDC spokesperson said: “The first phase of the Seaton Seafront Enhancement project was set to cost nearly £7million.

“This included plans to create a bigger, better and more attractive outdoor space, including cafes, which can be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike near the roundabout close to Fisherman’s Gap.

“The council hopes to review phase one, and how the cost can be reduced although cannot commit to working on this in the next financial year.”

They added: “Following cabinet approval, EDDC is also now in the process of selecting a marketing agent for the Seaton Moridunum site, the Esplanade.

“This is the former toilet block with ramps either side and viewing platform above.

“There is an opportunity for the site to be transformed into a café or other leisure related facility.”

EDDC said it was waiting to receive feedback from the Government Department of Levelling Up Homes and Communities on its failed bid, to help with future applications.

Councillor Paul Hayward, EDDC portfolio holder for economy and assets, said: “Despite the disappointing outcome of the Levelling Up Fund, which was announced in January, we are still keen to make progress with some of the projects included.

He added: “While the council will progress with the marketing of the Seaton Moridunum site on the seafront, unfortunately, without the assistance of Government funding, the council is limited in what it can do at this time with the Seaton Seafront Enhancement project as a whole and a further review of this project is necessary.”

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