Riviera Renaissance was a £1.4m Coastal Communities funded programme of activity which enabled Torbay to capitalise on its business, community and natural assets, promoting sustainable economic growth, creating jobs and diversifying our economy. Working in partnership with Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust,  Torbay Community Development Trust, South Devon College, Brixham YES (Youth Enquiry Service), Future Shores and Outset Torbay the programme delivered:

  • 277 jobs
  • 64 apprenticeships
  • Two high quality workhubs for home based businesses
  • A new Geopark cycle trail and hub
  • Nearly 6,000 volunteer hours

A brief summary of the projects which made up the programme are below:

Community Assets

Neighbourhood Revitalisation – an asset based community development (ABCD) approach to reaching marginalised residents in their own communities; unlocking latent talent and mobilising individual and community gifts, skills and assets. 

Using an ABCD approach, a model of proven practice, Neighbourhood Revitalisation aims to reach marginalised residents in their own communities; unlocking latent talent and mobilising individual and community gifts, skills and assets. It will connect people through  social and informal learning opportunities to change mindsets, develop transferable skills, share project ideas and grow enterprising ventures, together. Nurturing innate talents, developing skills and fostering a vision of people-powered change, our project will equip those furthest from the labour market to become job ready.

Agatha’s Closet, Future Shores – an innovative idea using Torbay’s links to Agatha Christie to inspire young women using fashion to develop skills and raise aspirations, giving them the confidence they need to enter and succeed in the labour market.

Agatha’s Closet is a new fashion industry project for young women aged 14 – 24 who are alienated from the labour market.  It provides a platform to find an innovative response to the needs of young women. It gives them the space and support they need to challenge the issues and stigma’s they face and learn the skills they want to find their own aspirational futures either through education, employment or enterprise.

Apprenticeship Support, South Devon College – creating new jobs for 16-24 year olds who are currently not in work or training, and developing a higher level of capacity and skills to develop apprenticeships within Torbay’s dominant SME economy.

Employers have identified a number of barriers to apprenticeships which this project will address. It will create new jobs for 16-24 year olds who are currently not in work or training, and develop a higher level of capacity and skills with a focus on small businesses in Torbay in order to stimulate sustainable economic growth in the coastal community of Torbay. The programme offers a 12 week skills development and sector induction for 60 prospective apprentices who will undertake training two days a week alongside a voluntary work placement 2-3 days per week with their prospective employer. This training will be carried out before the contact of employment commences and will include:

Economic Assets

Business Support – We will build on the work currently being carried out by Outset Torbay offering support to businesses through Enterprise Coaching and Intensive Start up Support. Other elements of the programme will feed into the business support enabling access to it for the hardest to reach in our communities.  

The business support programme is designed to stimulate self employment in Torbay, with a particular focus in our most deprived areas. Together two strands, Enterprise Coaching and Intensive Start up Support provide intensive support looking at barriers to self-employment and how to overcome them as well as a structured training programme on how to develop the business idea. Once the business plan has been developed, these new businesses have access to start up finance to help get the idea off the ground. The support doesn’t end there as ongoing support is on hand to help maximise business survival.

Workhubs – workhubs are flexible, easy in/easy out space for home-based businesses who are not yet ready or do not want to locate in traditional office space. Acting as a local hub for otherwise isolated home workers enabling them to network with other businesses and grow.

The workhubs project will create flexible, easy in/easy out space for home-based businesses who are not yet ready or do not want to locate in traditional office space. Workhubs act as ‘business gyms’, membership organisation which form a local hub for otherwise isolated home workers to use as and when they need. They reduce isolation, enabling home-based businesses to network, access training and use equipment they cannot afford/find space for at home. They can also provide space to complement otherwise limited home working premises, such as meeting rooms, which provide a professional environment when needed. There is evidence that providing these spaces and networking opportunities enables these micro businesses to grow – creating employment.

Natural Assets

Geopark Cycle Trail – building on Torbay’s natural assets and status as a geopark the trail will connect a number of key tourism sites within the Bay, creating a network of recreational cycle routes for both local people and visitors to enjoy and providing the opportunity to develop social enterprise and sustainable tourism. 

This project will take some of Torbay’s key natural assets and status as a UNESCO Global Geopark and utilise them to create a cycle trail that will support economic growth and jobs in the tourism sector as well as contributing to health and well-being. 

Client: Torbay Council

Torbay Council