The LEP brings together nineteen local authorities, three clinical commissioning groups, two national parks, ten colleges, two universities and the private sector to work collaboratively to promote growth and prosperity in the region.

Applegate is headquartered near the surfing beaches of North Devon in Barnstaple, with an additional office even nearer the sea in Plymouth. Both are located in government-defined “Assisted Areas”, where a decline in traditional employment has created economic challenges – and opportunities. As an Internet business, Applegate is location-independent; being based where we are provides a great quality of life for the team and an efficient cost base. Cramped, high-cost city offices are no longer essential for business growth: from a rural locale Applegate recently became the only UK company to form a Strategic Partnership with the US Department of Commerce International Trade Administration.

Encouraging more Internet businesses, and those who found them, of the virtues of living near the beach may form one part of the south west’s future economic development.