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North Devon and Torridge councils are the first rural authorities to launch a Digital Strategy

Digital Strategy

North Devon and Torridge Councils are the first rural authorities in the UK to publish a digital strategy.

The joint document, produced with input from a range of public and private stakeholders, recognises the challenges in northern Devon in terms of digital connectivity and seeks solutions to make the area better connected, to drive economic prosperity, opportunity and enhance social inclusion.

The Digital Northern Devon Strategy aims to help address important issues in the way local authorities and public bodies deliver and improve services, the way local employers do business, how people live, work, learn and play, and by improving the way we protect human health and the natural environment.

Lead Member for the Economy at Torridge Council, Councillor Bob Hicks, said: "It's great that this strategy brings a focus to an important area for potential economic growth in the region, not only for existing businesses but also helping to encourage and support the next generation of digital entrepreneurs. We look forward to working with our partners to deliver practical solutions that will have a tangible impact on improving the areas competitiveness and to harness the benefits of digital platforms and technology."

Executive Member for Economic Development, Councillor Pat Barker, said: "We're really excited to launch our Digital Strategy, which is the first step on a journey to understanding the opportunities that digital technology can present for our region. We launched the strategy at a breakfast briefing last week and it was warmly welcomed by local businesses and partners. Our next challenge will be delivering some of the solutions we've identified and translating the strategy into an action plan that is achievable. Hopefully this will translate into increasing productivity and harnessing the power of the future today. Watch this space!"

The strategy focuses on three priorities, essential to unlocking the benefits of a Digital Northern Devon:

  • Getting people digital: supporting businesses and communities to make the transition and invest in digital and embedding a digital first culture
  • The right kind of economic growth: balance quality of life and protecting the natural environment with increasing efficiency and productivity, investing in digital skills to 'grow our own talent'
  • Unlocking potential through collaboration: sharing data and information to transform service delivery in planning, health, social care, housing and day to day services, supporting local supply chains and encouraging local spending.

The Northern Devon Digital Strategy is published on the councils' websites www.northdevon.gov.uk/digitalstrategy or www.torridge.gov.uk/digitalstrategy.

30 November 2018