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Director's Take: 13/10/2020
Posted on: October 13th 2020


This week’s Directors Take from Laura McFadyen, Chamber board director and partner at Stephens Scown Solicitors:



How does Exeter become electric vehicle ready? 

This week, it is reported that one in 10 new cars sold across Europe this year will be electric or plug-in hybrid. This is triple last year’s sales levels after carmakers rolled out new models to meet emissions rules, according to projections from green policy group Transport & Environment.* 

With this anticipated surge in electric vehicle sales, there are many factors that need to be considered; whether that is where people will charge their cars or the impact it will have on motor dealers of which there are a vast number of in Exeter.

Joel Teague, CEO and Founder of Co Charger, commented: ‘The car industry is going through a period of rapid change as the reality of meeting electric car sales targets starts to bite. This forum promises to be a fascinating discussion around both the challenges and opportunities this brings and how solutions such as Co Charger can help accelerate the transition from petrol to electric.’

Laura said: "Those who are interested to hear more about Co Charger can do so by joining the virtual Marsh Barton Forum event on 22 October. Of course, with opportunities like this there also lies challenges and this online meeting aims to look at how electric vehicle oversight could cost motor dealers."
Free places on the event can be booked here: "

* - 


Exeter's safe, say business leaders

It was great to see Patrick Cunningham, our colleague at InExeter, the city’s business improvement district and Ben Bradshaw MP on Spotlight yesterday evening, encouraging people to continue supporting our city centre and independent businesses.

Laura said: “With businesses across Greater Exeter very much open and with huge efforts made to ensure they are Covid-secure, we’ll continue to support our community and encourage visitors to enjoy meals out, shopping and leisure activities while adhering to current guidelines.”

Watch the interview with Patrick and Ben here:


BCG vaccination trial

Scientists at the University of Exeter have begun testing the BCG vaccine to see if it can save lives from COVID-19. 

The vaccine was designed in 1921 to prevent tuberculosis, but there is some evidence it can protect against other infections as well.

Around 1,000 people are taking part in a clinical trial at the University of Exeter.

But while millions of people in the UK will have had the BCG jab as a child, it is thought they would need to be vaccinated again to benefit.

Vaccines are designed to train the immune system in a highly targeted way that leaves lasting protection against one particular infection.

But this process also causes wide-spread changes in the immune system. This seems to heighten the response to other infections and scientists hope it may even give our bodies an advantage against coronavirus.

Prof John Campbell, of the University of Exeter Medical School said: "This could be of major importance globally. Whilst we don't think it will be specific to COVID-19 it has the potential to buy several years of time for the COVID-19 vaccines to come through and perhaps other treatments to be developed."

Laura commented: "It is great to see the city's University being so proactive. Exeter is a hub for a wealth of STEMM skills and is proving itself with playing a key part in the country's effort to protect its healthcare workers." 



Cultural centres in Exeter receive a share of £257m arts funding

Exeter Northcott and Exeter Phoenix have been awarded shares of the Government's £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure these multi-arts venues have a sustainable future as part of Exeter’s creative landscape. 

Exeter Northcott is receiving £183,399 to help develop a new business model following the challenging time over the last 6 months. 

Exeter Phoenix has also been awarded £192,000. The arts centre has said that the grant will help protect Exeter Phoenix at this challenging time, ensuring the venue can continue bringing world class theatre, gigs, art, cinema and more to the city. This grant will also help protect Exeter Phoenix’s charitable activities, enabling the provision of support and opportunities for artists, free access to contemporary art exhibitions, free creative activity for young people in the region, and a commitment to providing access to the arts for all.

Laura said: "This is great news for Exeter's two main arts venues - the arts sector in Exeter plays a big role to the local economy and whatever can be done to future proof this is very important."


For more information on any of these stories email your query to and we will put you in touch with the relevant person / organisation.

We anticipate a huge amount of important information being released over the coming months and understanding it, and how it will impact on our businesses has never been more important. 

In these briefings we will give you our take on each story.  Sometimes these briefings will include a position or viewpoint that is personal, but we will always try to represent the voice of business across Greater Exeter.  We welcome your feedback on this, so we can understand the impact on your business and sector and better represent all businesses in Exeter and the surrounding region.

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