With events heralding the start of the Festive season, December sees the start of the Shop Local campaign.  Spending locally makes an enormous difference to the Torridge economy where 63p of every £ spent local, stays local, supporting local jobs and families. It’s good for the planet and kinder to the environment too, with locally sourced and delivered products significantly reducing our carbon footprints.

The Shop Local campaign is supported by our local Councils and Sean Kearney, Head of Communities and Place at Torridge District Council said:

“Shopping locally will be a key part to helping Torridge businesses recover financially from the pandemic. Supporting local jobs for local people has the feel-good factor we can all tap into. You’ll also get a high level of service that’s goes hand in hand with locally owned and managed businesses and the chance to find a gift that’s a little bit different and stands out. Our local food retailers will also be showcasing all the local produce our farmers in the region are renowned for.”

Late Night Shopping dates in Bideford:

Bideford Pannier Market            Thursday 2nd December 

Bideford Mill Street                       Thursdays 9th, 16th and 23rd December

Members Update November 2021

Members Update November 2021

Dear Members,

Firstly, thank you to those of you who came along to the AGM last month – it was a great turnout and so good to see you. 

At the AGM, Jane Maynard who was our President decided to stand down due to work commitments – she did this with a heavy heart as the Chamber has been dear to her for many years.  Also, our Treasurer stood down.  Luckily, we have two Vice Presidents and one of them, John Puddy has kindly stepped in as Acting President for the time being.  But currently, we are without a Treasurer, so do bear with us while we get our “ducks in order”. 

We are rapidly approaching the festive period and see that a lot of businesses have already started decorating their windows in readiness.  Before long the Christmas Lights will be on and we will be in full swing with the Town buzzing with shoppers. 

The Executive Committee is meeting and looking at the future role of the Chamber and what it can deliver, and it would seem from your responses to surveys that networking, social media presence, advice and information are the key factors.  This is what the Chamber will strive to do, now that life is returning to some sort of normality.  There will always be the need for caution though, so venues for events will need to be carefully sourced.  The Pandemic has hit Chamber quite hard, being that it is very much an in-person organisation, but we hope to bounce back and be the support should you need us.

Some good news just in – there are several free parking days in the Town Centre leading up to Christmas, these will be in Bridge Street, The Quay, The Manor and the Pill (unless otherwise indicated).

Saturday 27th November 10 am – 6pm – Sponsored by Bideford Town Council

Saturday 4th December           All Day – Small Business Day sponsored by Torridge District Council

Sunday 5th December             10am – 6pm –  Bridge Street, The Pill – Sponsored by Bideford Town Council.  This is Christmas Lights Switch On and road closures will be in place.

Saturday 11th December         10am – 6pm  –  Sponsored by Bideford Town Council

Saturday 18th December         10am – 6pm   – Sponsored by Bideford Town Council

Until the next time –

Made in Devon

Made in Devon

Want to see your business grow?

Made in Devon is a new ‘buy-local’ business support scheme from Devon County Council and is looking to help 125 businesses a year with free scheme membership. Benefits include Trading Standards advice and being part of major promotional campaigns that will make the most of new consumer trends to support local, independent businesses and artisans.

To qualify you need to be a Devon-based business that takes pride in supporting other local companies and goes out of your way to use materials and ingredients produced in Devon.

To find out more visit

Made in Devon is part of the well-established Trading Standards Buy with Confidence scheme.

Does your business need a post Covid helping hand?

Does your business need a post Covid helping hand?

North Devon and Torridge District Councils have joined forces once again with their economic partners at North Devon+ to offer a brand new comprehensive package of business support. The initiative is aimed at all businesses in the area that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new programme will support the “Restart” phase of the “Northern Devon Road to Recovery” strategy by focusing on help and support designed to have an immediate impact in addressing the negative fallout caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The premise is to support the northern Devon economy as it emerges from lockdown, whether this is around reopening and reorienting businesses; supporting displaced employees; or providing initial assistance for places to reopen.

The package will provide businesses with free one to one business support tailored to the needs of their business, to help them to recover and thrive, and will include:

  • Support to new entrepreneurs – Assisting individuals to explore self-employment and business start-up as a positive choice.
  • Support business transformation and innovation – Supporting businesses to explore opportunities, innovate and transform themselves in line with changed markets and environment – for survival, safe operating, and growth.
  • Small grants for business support and development – As part of the support package businesses will be able to work alongside a business adviser to apply for a Small Business Support Grant.

Torridge District Councillor Bob Hicks – Lead Member for the Economy said:

“The aim of the programme is to target the hardest-hit sectors of our local economy and help small businesses not just to survive, but to take the next step to thrive within a changing operating environment. To achieve this the support packages will be flexible and geared to the needs of individual businesses.”

North Devon District Councillor Malcolm Prowse – Lead Member for Economic Development and Strategic Planning Policy added:

“With our economic partners at North Devon+ the programme will be shaped to be inclusive and relevant to all businesses – a true ‘levelling up’ approach. It will help contribute directly to the recovery of the area across Northern Devon in helping to create new jobs, new businesses, and support existing businesses to develop new skills and ways of working and collaboration.”

For more information on the programme and how to book your appointment businesses should contact [email protected] quoting Business Boost, with their name and contact details.

Torridge District Council provide £100K funding to larger towns to support recovery post Covid-19

Torridge District Council provide £100K funding to larger towns to support recovery post Covid-19

Torridge District Council provide £100K funding to larger towns to support recovery post Covid-19

Torridge Councillors have approved the transfer of over 62% of the £161K funding it received from central government under the “Welcome Back Funding” scheme to the Town Councils of Bideford, Great Torrington, Holsworthy and Northam. The money will be used to support the Towns respective reopening projects as the country begins to emerge from lockdown and restrictions.

The move recognises the important role Town Councils will have in helping high streets to reopen safely and help the economy “build back better” from the pandemic. Torridge Council will also be using the retained part of the funding to support coastal resorts and important tourism sector as they prepare for a surge in summer visitors this summer. This will include additional Street Marshals in Bideford supporting the night-time economy and increased public toilet provision and waste and cleansing services in resort hot-spots. Other projects have already been implemented such as the painting of the Sea Wall in Westward Ho! to create a more appealing entrance to this important Blue Flag resort. The District Council will work with the Towns through delivery partnership arrangements but the expectation is that Towns will also manage their own opportunities and priorities, decided at a more local level.

The formula for allocating the funding was based on an allocation of 70% based on the number of properties in each area and 30% on the geographical area of each Town Council. Under these arrangements Bideford will receive around £40K, Northam £34K, Great Torrington £18K and Holsworthy £8K. Accountability for the money spent will be managed by Torridge.

Torridge District Councillor Bob Hicks – Lead Member for the Economy said:
“We very much hope that the easing of restrictions on business operations will see a resurgence in their fortunes and the funding will go some way to ensuring that this return to normality can be achieved safely. Giving Towns some autonomy over the spending will allow them to focus on local priorities with support from the District Council in the mix as well.”