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Exeter recognised for ambition and vision to create a great place for the future

By March 13, 2019January 26th, 2021Local Authority News, Member News & Updates

The Greater Exeter area has been recognised as one of five places in England that has the vision and ambition to create great places for the future.

Greater Exeter was today (Wednesday 13 March) named as part of the Future Place programme.  This initiative is intended to unlock placemaking potential through quality in design, future thinking and knowledge sharing. 

The area will receive training and expert advice in helping to develop the Liveable Exeter Vision, which will see 12,000 new homes built within the city between 2020 and 2040, as well as supporting the wider programme of development across the Greater Exeter area.

The prestigious initiative is run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), Local Government Association (LGA) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

The capacity building programme is based on three pillars: promotion, expert advice and training.  The initiative will support the Greater Exeter partnership – made up of Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council, Mid Devon District Council and Teignbridge District Council, supported by Devon County Council – in helping to develop the vision for the future development of the area.  .

As a joined up area, Greater Exeter has a population of 480,000 people. By 2040 it wants to be recognised as a global leader in sustainable living and one of the most active, healthy and accessible cities in England.

In its announcement, RIBA said: “All five Future Places are determined to deliver meaningful change which will enhance people’s lives, improve community wellbeing and create sustainable environments. While each place is very different, they all work in collaboration with public, private or voluntary sector partners to develop and advance innovative placemaking strategies.”



The five ‘Future Places’ selected are: 

  • Bradford
  • Greater Exeter
  • Great Yarmouth
  • Gateshead
  • North Northamptonshire

Exeter City Council Leader Pete Edwards said: “This is great news for Exeter and the Greater Exeter area and will help us raise the standard of design quality and deliver a transformational housing programme across the city.”

Cllr Jeremy Christophers, Leader of Teignbridge District Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Teignbridge and its partners within the Greater Exeter area. We have a strong track record of working together for the good of our area by providing the homes they need so communities remain sustainable in the future.”

Cllr Ian Thomas, Leader of East Devon District Council said: “This is great news both for East Devon and for our partners in the Greater Exeter area.  The support available through the Future Places  programme will help us not only to develop our ambitious vision for the future but also ensure that this is delivered on the ground, helping to create the high quality places that all our residents can enjoy in the future.’’

Tristan Peat, Forward Planning Team Leader, Mid Devon District Council, said: “This announcement is fantastic news and will help the Exeter, Teignbridge, Mid Devon and East Devon councils work together to help achieve better outcomes for everyone across the Greater Exeter area.”

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “This is good timing as we have just come to the end of our consultation on the Exeter Transport Strategy, which has ‘greater places for people’ as one of its three key themes. This means thinking about how walking, cycling and attractive urban public transport will support the vitality of the city and enable people to lead more healthy and fulfilling lives. I’m sure this programme will help us develop these ideas further in the context of growth for the city.”

RIBA President Ben Derbyshire, said: “Local Authorities play a vital role in creating happy, healthy and sustainable communities, and I am pleased to support their initiative, investing in public engagement and collaborative planning to design the best possible environments. The commitment, despite financial and political barriers, is highly commendable, and I look forward to working with all five over the next phase of the programme, learning the lessons as they develop their vision to and celebrating their success.”

The RIBA is allocating a RIBA Client Adviser (all of them RIBA Chartered Architects) to help each selected area develop their vision.