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City of Exeter

Exeter is a cathedral city in England with a population of 125,000 people. It lies within the county of Devon, of which it is the county town. The city is on the River Exe about 37 miles (60 km) northeast of Plymouth, 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Bristol and 180 miles west of London.

The Met Office, one of the most significant weather forecasting organisations in the world, relocated to Exeter in early 2004. It is one of the largest employers in the area (together with the University of Exeter, Local Government and the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust).

Around 35,000 people commute into Exeter on a daily basis, from nearby surrounding towns and villages. Exeter provides services, employment and shopping for local residents within the city limits and also from nearby towns in Teignbridge, Mid Devon and East Devon, together sometimes known as the Exeter & Heart of Devon area (EHOD). Exeter therefore provides for the EHOD area population of 457,400 people. Exeter has been identified among the top ten most profitable locations for a business to be based and is one of the most rapidly growing cities in the UK.

Exeter City Council

The City Council provides a range of services within the city including housing, planning, economic development, refuse collections and recycling, tourism, leisure and arts facilities and activities. The Council also provides housing and council tax benefits as well as collecting the council tax on behalf of the city council, county council, police and fire services. The City Council also has responsibility for the RAMM – a major museum with an internationally significant ethnographic collection.



University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is a top 10 UK Research Intensive University with a tradition of providing education of the highest quality. Although global in outlook, the University is rooted in place. Its strategy recognises that as a vibrant knowledge hub, it has an important role to play, and as a large employer and contributor it can help support local growth, building on the region’s strengths and potential. In Exeter, it is committed to accelerating knowledge-intensive employment within an economy that is already generating large numbers of professional and highly skilled jobs. The University is working with partners to forge strategies that deliver competitive advantage by building on key assets and local distinctiveness. It is also committed to delivering growth in a sustainable and inclusive manner, ensuring that economic growth is pursued within environmental limits and that its benefits are shared across the communities we serve.

Regional Priorities – Innovation Exeter

The University of Exeter and Exeter City Council are working together to deliver Innovation Exeter. This seeks to establish the Exeter City Region as one of the UK`s leading knowledge economies, attracting significant investment, creating sustainable high quality employment, raising both skills and income levels for the benefit of its residents and businesses.
Innovation Exeter seeks to build on the area`s strengths including the knowledge economy in environment, data science and health and education/training creating a culture where skills development and application is core. Innovation Exeter will also aim to improve the working and living environment to support transformational growth and raise productivity. With the support of business, investors and Government, the resulting benefits can be accelerated and have a wider impacts.
It is often presumed that urban environments are best suited for investment in innovation. However, the Greater Exeter region provides an interesting testing ground as it is formed by a strong rural economy with a strong city centre.

Key Innovation Exeter initiatives already in development include:

  • The Exeter Centre for Data Science – a central hub for development and application of data analytics within the University.
  • Impact Lab, facilitating access to environmental data, particularly via open source software / share tools
  • The development and implementation of a series of sectoral Skills Escalators to meet the current and future needs of business.
  • Institute of Technology to drive academic and VET courses in technology, data and entrepreneurship
  • Science Park Grow-on Space to accommodate new and existing knowledge and research based businesses.

Exeter also has a thriving cultural scene with the RAMM, three theatres and an Arts centre. There are two festivals each year, which include all of the arts but with a particular concentration of musical events.

City of Exeter  University of Exeter
Growth & Enterprise
Civic Centre
Paris Street
Innovation, Impact and Business
Rennes Drive
Contact person:
Victoria Hatfield
Economy & Enterprise Manager
Contact person:
Dr Andrew Dean
Senior Impact and Partnership Development Manager
+44 (0) 1392 265104
+44 (0)1392 724925
Website (City):
Website (University):