NEIL Parish MP has hosted an event in the House of Commons to showcase Devon companies and to encourage businesses to come to Devon as part of the “Devon Delivers” inward investment campaign.

The event, which took place in the House of Commons on Monday 31st March, showcased 12 prime companies from the digital, creative and ICT sectors to demonstrate the exceptional calibre of Devon businesses, sharing how we are already competing in a global market. This included COSMIC, a social enterprise that delivers ICT services based in Honiton.

Also in attendance were Members of Parliament from across the County and political spectrum as well as representatives from Devon County Council, the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, the Business Secretary Vince Cable MP and Culture Secretary Maria Miller MP.

Members of Parliament attending the event were called upon by Devon County Council to become ambassadors, encouraging new companies to join us here in Devon.

Welcoming people to the event Neil Parish, the MP for Tiverton and Honiton, said: “Today is about innovation and it is lovely to see so many innovative Devon companies here today, to whom the rollout to superfast broadband will be a huge bonus. However, there are villages in the Blackdown Hills and places like Rousdon that are difficult to reach with fibre optic broadband and I hope that we can move to a solution especially now that the Department for Communities, Media and Sport have recently announced an additional £22.75 million for rural broadband in Devon & Somerset.

“When we can combine broadband with a secure railway network and an A303 that is fully dualled as a second strategic route into the West Country then I believe that Devon will not only be open for business but an ideal place for companies to relocate to.”

Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, Cabinet Member for Economy, Growth and Cabinet, Devon County Council, who said: “Devon is unique. We have two coastlines, two moors, the English Riviera and the Jurassic Coast. Devon is a beautiful place to live but more than that it is a great place to work or study.”

Neil Parish then introduced the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, The Rt Hon Maria Miller MP, who said: “The Connecting Devon and Somerset project has already made 360,000 more premises have access to superfast broadband and by the end of July this would have gone up even further and will be available to an additional 70,000 premises as well. The very first superfast broadband cabinet that I had the honour of unveiling was in Devon.

“The first of 17 out of a total of 32 superfast broadband cabinets in Neil’s constituency will be going live in the next few weeks covering over 6,000 premises. Devon and Somerset really are a success story.”