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Is Devon the happiest place for business leaders?

By April 24, 2018January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates

Business leaders in Devon are ‘off the scale’ when it comes to happiness, according to a new survey.


Employers of leading Devon-based brands have rated living and working in the county at 9.3 out of 10 on the happiness scale used by the Office for National Statistics, citing the ‘great work life balance’ as a key factor.


More than a third, at 38 per cent, marked the county 10 out of 10. Remarkably, no one ranked it below 8 out of 10.


The survey, which was carried out in March by Devon Delivers, Devon County Council’s Inward Investment team, is part of the council’s new ‘Choose Devon’ campaign, encouraging firms to relocate or launch in the county.


A high number of employers were impressed by the commitment of their workforce, with 46 per cent scoring 10 out of 10 in the survey. Again the average was high, at 9.3.


And when it came to the overall experience of working in Devon, 31 per cent of respondents gave it a resounding 10 out of 10, with the average at 8.6.


Exeter Chamber Members can get involved in the campaign via @DCCEconomy on Twitter using the hashtags #DevonDelivers and #ChooseDevon. There will be opportunities to highlight Devon brands and for business leaders to say why they love living and working in Devon.


Companies interested in contributing should email [email protected]


Jamie Evans, Relocation Manager for Devon Delivers, said: “The findings reinforce our view that this is a great part of the world to do business. What we find most encouraging is the growing network of businesses who are not only working hard to be a success but are also committed to being part of the Devon business community, helping other companies establish themselves and thrive.”


The survey targeted Devon Delivers’ Ambassador companies including Applegate, Dartington Crystal, The Met Office, Moo Free Chocolates, Salcombe Distilling Company, Stephens Scown LLP and TT Electronics, to gain insight into running a business in Devon.


It also asked what are the best reasons for being based in the county. The most popular responses were:

·      Incredible business community to work with

·      Easy access to the rest of the country including a great regional airport

·      Beautiful, natural environment

·      Work life balance

·      A place to be proud to have as a brand association

·      A friendly and easy going place to live.


As part of the campaign, sponsored posts on LinkedIn highlighting Devon brands including Moo Free Chocolates, Salcombe Distillery Company and Crowdcube are targeting owners of micro businesses and SMEs in London and the South East.


Andrea Jessop founded Moo Free Chocolates with husband Mike in Reading, but moved to Devon to take advantage of the county’s food and drink sector expertise in 2016.


“We’ve only been here two years and we’ve already had to build another factory,” said Andrea, whose dairy free chocolates, made at their headquarters in Holsworthy, are now sold in supermarkets nationwide and overseas.


“It was expensive to run a business in Reading. Here in Devon it’s brilliant. People have said we must have a good sense of humour, moving a non-dairy business to Devon, but we have absolutely no regrets.


“We are growing so quickly and here we are able to employ people who bring the right skills and knowledge. It’s a very affordable place to run a business, our broadband connection is faster and the staff are exceptional.”


Luke Lang is co-founder of the UK’s biggest crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube. Based in Exeter, the 60-strong company has just moved from the University of Exeter’s Innovation Centre, to the heart of the city’s professional services district, Southernhay.


Luke said: “Devon is in our DNA. Devon has helped shape the company, the people we employ, our values and our brand. We've proven that you can attract top people from renowned businesses like eBay and Google, nurture exceptional local talent and disrupt national and international markets from the South West.”


Devon County Council’s Jamie Evans added: “Choose Devon is letting businesses know why people love living and working in Devon. If we can help attract more companies, be they start-ups or established firms, that’s a boost to the local economy, with more investment, jobs and spending locally.” for more information.