Our economy

Torbay has a growing cluster of key business sectors that are thriving here.

The hi-tech industries such as advanced electronics, medical and marine research are benefitting from the right conditions for prosperity and growth that are available in English Riviera Global Geopark, due to the competitive advantages and skills relevant skills. Call centres can benefit from the high quality premises and pool of trained staff generated by the buoyant hospitality industry, and the healthcare and research continue to strengthen in Torbay.

As an award winning provider of business and property services, and a major partner in delivering GGN2016, the TDA makes a real difference to the lives of people living and working in the South West delivering innovative and practical programmes in areas including job and business creation.

Year on year we are successfully delivering high quality economic development, property and business services to a growing customer base across the South West.

Healthcare research and technology

tda-hi-tech-forum-2Torbay is at the heart of a strong sub-regional health research corridor running from Exeter through Torbay to Plymouth. The corridor includes University research and the Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.

The South Devon health community (South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Torbay Care Trust and NHS Devon) has a track record in service innovation.


The Horizon Centre for innovation, education and research in healthcare, is the hub of activity. The centre includes space for simulation and there is a growing faculty with a wide range of interests.

Click here for more information and latest news about the Horizon Centre

South Devon Export Network

Organised by Torbay Development Agency with support from UK Trade & Investment, the South Devon Export Network is a platform for local, like minded business people to meet four times a year to exchange information and knowledge about trading internationally. Click here for latest news and upcoming events

Advanced Electronics

Torbay has a lasting legacy of excellent knowledge based companies having previously established in the Bay, particularly within the advanced electronics sector.  

Torbay benefits from the growing cluster of Electronics, Photonics, Semiconductor and Wireless Technology businesses that exists here in Torbay and the wider South Devon area.


Torbay is  home to foreign investor companies such as Silicon Valley headquartered Spirent and Oclaro tapping into the existing skills pool.  

Local home grown firms include Gooch & Housego, Elektron Technology, Flexiguide, Alpha Contract Engineering, and nearby companies such as Cambium Networks, Eltek Semiconductors, Sub10 systems, Plessey Semiconductors, Moortec, Fairford Electronics, Amulet Hotkey, PD Devices.  

Click here to find out more about our leading companies in the sector, and how we support them.


Support for Business

The TDA is focused on supporting businesses whether they are looking to start up, develop or grow.

The business journey can be challenging and most successful businesses receive support at sometime during that journey. Click here for more information about how TDA can help. 

Environmental Science and Marine Technology

tda-laboratoryThe Bay itself is a unique asset for Torbay – it is deeply indented into the coastline and is very well sheltered – which makes it ideal for marine leisure and marine research and technology industries.

Marine life and environmental research is an important growing sector in South Devon.

plymouth marineBoth Plymouth and Exeter are encouraging further growth, building on the high quality of research at the two Universities and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, so there are great opportunities for a sub regional network and a great knowledge based & research backdrop to the whole area.

Click here to contact us for more information. 

Innovative Projects

EPIC White Rock Image 1(1)What do surgical instruments, high-speed computer communications, low-energy Christmas tree lights, pollution measurements and improved education in the developing world all have in common? They all either rely upon or could be improved by advanced forms of light.

The photonics industry did not exist 30 years ago. Today it is worth £10.5bn to the UK economy, supporting more than 1,500 SMEs and employing more than 70,000 people. 

Just one example of the innovative projects being delivered in Torbay. Click here to find out about more projects in our area. 

Marine Industries

MarineThere are a range of marine related industries  based in Torbay. A number of marine engineering businesses support the local fishing and leisure craft and as a result there is a good local skills base. The local sector is populated by smaller businesses delivering a range of marine related products and services.

RushHour(1)The unique deeply indented Bay that exists in Torbay, which is also very well sheltered from prevailing winds, offers opportunities for investors in the Marine Leisure industry wanting to develop water based experiences.

Torbay Hi Tech Forum

tda-hi-tech-forum-1Home to leading figures across tech and advanced manufacturing, the Hi Tech Forum is a membership group dedicated to industry-led development, collaboration and promotion of the sector.

"Creating a World Class environment for innovative, collaborative and technology-driven businesses in Torbay & South Devon - where advanced skills growth, research & engineering shape our future economy."

This innovative and technology-driven cluster of businesses is one of Torbay’s main assets, with world-leading companies such as Spirent Communications and Gooch & Housego, as well as local talents Alpha Contract Engineering based in the area.

Call Centres Re-Shore

call centresCustomer support (or Business Process Outsourcing) continues to grow with UK-owned businesses beginning to bring operations back from offshore locations based on customer feedback. High quality customer service, in the era of powerful social media, is key for businesses in both the public and private sectors.

So why Torbay?

It’s already home to a number of customer contact centres, operating successfully in both public and private sectors. There is an excellent availability of staff, combined with low rates of employee turnover, significantly lower than traditional customer service operations like Bournemouth, Bristol, South Wales and the Midlands. Torbay based call centre operators like Sutton Seeds, Emcas and Brightside all experience 6%-8% staff attrition, extremely low for this sector.

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