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An optician in Exmouth has launched a community campaign appeal for donations in a bid to boost the town’s food bank. Staff at Specsavers Exmouth, in Exeter Road, are appealing for donations of tinned goods and other non-perishable items to help people in need. Donations of pasta, rice, tinned food, coffee, tea and other long-life food items can be dropped off at the store until August 15, ahead of distribution locally. Kim Swinbourne, dispensing optician at the optician, said: “The Exmouth Food Bank is a wonderful charity doing amazing work, and we felt that we had to help them now…

A family-run Axminster business is celebrating half-a-century of trading. Axminster Tools was started by brothers Ian and Bernie Styles with their father when they opened a High Street shop 50 years ago. Before long the business outgrew the premises and moved distribution and administration to a large warehouse on the outskirts of the East Devon town. Today, 219 of Axminster Tools’ 267 employees work at the company HQ on the north side of Axminster. A move to mail order has seen has been hailed as a huge factor in the company’s national and global success. Its eight stores around the…

Affordable homes being built at an eco-friendly development in East Devon will have solar panels and air source heat pumps. Burrington Estates recently secured planning permission to build 34 ‘sustainable’ new homes at Winslade Park, in Clyst St Mary, East Devon, including four affordable two and three-bedroom properties. The developer said the new homes – including the affordable properties – will have air source heat pumps for hot water, underfloor heating, and solar panels ‘as standard’. Eco-friendly additions across the development include electric car charging points, bee bricks, bat boxes and bird boxes. And ten trees for each new home…

An auction house in Honiton will next week feature on the popular BBC1 television show Bargain Hunt. The TV production team and presenter Natasha Raskin Sharp recently filmed at the Chilcotts Auctioneers Dolphin Saleroom, charting the highs and lows of the Bargain Hunt contestants’ lots. The first show featuring the winners and losers at Honiton is due to air on Friday, July 8 – but until then, the auction house team is remaining tight-lipped about the outcome. Further shows filmed on the day at the Honiton High Street auction house will be broadcast at a later date. Liz Chilcott, saleroom…

A pair of llamas were the guests of honour at a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee fete held at a care home in Honiton. Residents living at dementia-friendly care home Hill House, Dunkeswell Road, Honiton, welcomed llamas Harry and Golly, from Peak Hill Farm, at Sidford, to their recent jubilee celebrations and fete. Care home residents and their families were invited to pet and brush the animals a part of a day of events and activities held over the extended Bank Holiday weekend. Nic Trueman, Hill House activities and wellbeing manager, who organised the event, said: “I wanted to have a fete…

Railway stations in East Devon have been given a facelift as part of a UK-wide multi-million pound repainting project. Stations in Axminster, Honiton, Feniton and Whimple have been redecorated as part of South Western Railway’s (SWR) £1.5million repainting programme. The redecoration by SWR began in 2021 and has benefitted 57 railway stations, internally and externally, from Devon to London. The improvements are set to continue – an additional 40 stations across the SWR network are due to be ‘refreshed’ later this year. Christian Neill, South Western Railway’s director of customer experience, said the aim of the improvements was to boost…

Residents and traders in Sidbury have been thanked for their patience while weeks of work took place to replace gas pipes. Wales & West Utilities on Friday (May 27) announced the end of the £45,000 work – which started in early April to upgrade gas pipes in the Furzehill and Higher Greenhead areas of Sidbury. Jake Sami, who managied the Wales & West Utilities gas pipe upgrade work, said the planned upgrade finished on time. He said: “We’re happy to have finished this upgrade work on time and want to thank everyone who lives and works in the area for bearing…

A man and woman from Honiton were arrested on suspicion of burglary after reports of a break-in at a business on the Heathpark Industrial Estate on Friday morning (May 20). Police were called at around 6.30am after a business on the industrial estate was targeted earlier that morning. It is believed roofing materials were among the haul stolen at the time of the raid. Police said a 35-year-old woman and 37-year-old man – both from Honiton – were arrested on suspicion of burglary and released on police bail. Investigating officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have information about…

Developers of a proposed solar farm totalling the equivalent size of 55 football pitches near villages in East Devon are gearing up to outline their plans to residents. Ford Oaks Solar and Green Infrastructure says its proposed ‘facility’, near the hamlet of Westcott and Marsh Green village, made up of 45 hectares of ‘green infrastructure improvements’, could power up to 18,500 homes across East Devon and Exeter. The project manager of charity Devon Communities Together, leading the community consultation process which began in autumn 2021, will attend the Aylesbeare Annual Parish Meeting on Wednesday, May 25. The Taiyo Power and…

A road closure and diversion of more than a fortnight are in the pipeline for Sidbury as work to upgrade gas pipes continues. Wales & West Utilities is starting further work to upgrade gas pipes in in Furzehill and Higher Greenhead, Sidbury, which will begin on April 11 and finish by the end of May. As part of the £45,000 work, Higher Greenhead will be closed between Monday, April 25 and Friday, May 13, and a diversion route set up. The utilities company said the upgrade would make the network ready to transport green, zero-carbon fuel, and renewable natural gas.…

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