Willmott Dixon to accelerate town centre growth across Torbay by regenerating several sites in Torquay and Paignton

Torbay Council has set up a Regeneration Partnership that will see it work with Willmott Dixon and Milligan to accelerate ambitious plans to stimulate town centre growth across Torbay by regenerating several sites in Torquay and Paignton.

The partnership allows the council to draw on both company’s development management, funding and construction skills to take forward projects that have already been awarded Government funding. Willmott Dixon and Milligan were procured using Pagabo’s Developer Led Framework, with each company bringing significant track records of working with local authorities to deliver regeneration projects across the UK.

The partnership’s purpose is to reshape town centres, improve public realm, increase town centre living, repurpose excess retail and vacant shops and improve the connectivity between towns. These developments will bring confidence, create jobs and homes, and improve the council’s ability to sustain its services.

Cllr David Thomas, Leader of Torbay Council, said:

“This is an exciting announcement that will see a step change in our ability to deliver these schemes. We are absolutely focused on accelerating the much-needed regeneration projects to ensure Torbay continues to thrive as a place to live, work and visit.
“There are major schemes already under way which show there is huge confidence in Torbay and a bright future for our towns. But we know there are challenges and a lot of work still to do, so the Partnership gives a clear signal to everyone that Torbay has an exciting future.
“We are looking forward to working closely with our partners at Willmott Dixon and Milligan to deliver the projects that we all want to see coming to life. Our partners understand our values and share our vision about what we want to achieve for our community by providing spaces for them to thrive.
“They recognise the vision that Torbay has developed through the Torbay Story and understand the social value objectives of the Council.

Jim Parker, chairman of the Torbay Place Leadership Board, a public and private sector partnership which has been instrumental in creating the Torbay Story programme to promote investment in Torbay, said: “The regeneration of the Bay has been a long time in the making but now we are at the crossroads to the dawning of a new future and more prosperous era for everybody.

"This partnership is absolutely key to that new journey and is a testament to the power of the Torbay Story - especially how it was used to promote the Bay at the UKREiiF investors event - and the unity and driving force of the Torbay Place Leadership Board. The moment has arrived - now is the time to grab it!”

Chris Wheeler, Regional Head of Land and Development at Willmott Dixon, said:

“Willmott Dixon, which recently was recognised by the King’s Awards for Enterprise in the category of Promoting Opportunity, already has a major presence in the region and is currently delivering the Harbour View Hotel in the heart of Torquay for Torbay Council and the four-star Corbyn Head Hotel on Torbay Road.
“Willmott Dixon is proud to be part of this significant partnership with Milligan and Torbay Council, and we are looking forward to working together to create a catalyst for change across the Bay, continuing and building upon the Council's inspired 'Torbay Story' corporate vision.
“Through this collaboration, we aim to help generate further economic growth, create new job opportunities, and encourage more inward investment into Torbay, so this development will make a lasting contribution to the region’s future prosperity.
“In addition to regeneration, it will also give us the opportunity to deliver important social value initiatives throughout the developments that bring tangible benefits to local people in Torbay. This also includes our focus on supporting the ‘local pound’ whenever possible.”

Stuart Harris, CEO for developer Milligan, said: “Our whole team is thrilled to be playing a leading role in Torbay’s regeneration story alongside Willmott Dixon. We frequently talk about how critical public and private sector collaboration is to regenerating town centres and big repurposing challenges.

“The partnership we’ve formed brings Torbay the best of the skillsets that are needed for a cohesive and effective regeneration strategy that can be delivered with pace. We’re confident that Milligan’s track record in repurposing excess retail space and curating and delivering complementary, mixed-use offers in an innovative and well-thought through way, will help bring the Torbay Story to life.”

The council’s appointment of appointed Willmott Dixon and Milligan as its Regeneration Partners will see them focus on the programmes in the Town Deal at Torquay (£21.9m) and Future High Streets at Paignton (£13.36m), which were awarded UK Government funding in 2020.