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What is the Vision Group for Sidmouth all about? 

  • by JW


“Fundamentally, the VGS is there to support and nurture positive and effective ventures in the Sid Valley.” 


From planning the Valley to getting visionary:

It was back in 2005 when the Vision Group for Sidmouth was founded as a joint initiative by the Town Council and Sid Vale Association – with its primary focus being to influence the Local Plan and look to a Town/Neighbourhood Plan.

Beyond planning issues, however, the VGS is what it says on the tin – namely, about providing some ‘visionary’ thinking for the Sid Valley. A report came out in 2006 to put flesh on that vision. And what’s striking is that in 2022 the VGS, its members and its partners, are still pretty much interested in the same things.

Transitioning to a sustainable future:

Clearly, though, looking to the future means looking to the health of the planet – and in 2008 the VGS became a ‘Transition Town’ and adopted the Sustainable Sidmouth brand – which is all about transitioning to a low-carbon future.

Stimulating ideas and supporting projects:

Since then, the VGS has helped to bring about the Science Festival, the Farmers’ Market and the SidEnergy community energy group – and has incubated other projects over almost two decades.

As its strap-line makes clear, it seeks to “stimulate ideas and support projects” – which have included things as diverse as cycling initiatives, input for the Beach Management Plan and fostering local banking. 

Currently its active projects are on show at the Sustainable Sidmouth Champions Awards, the Friends of Glen Goyle, the River Sid and Sidmouth Solar Punk.

Getting informed, getting involved:

The VGS also puts together a regular newsletter to share ideas and projects – and it’s very straightforward to join the mailing list or to become more active.

At the SeaFest on the Ham, the VGS was able to showcase its projects and, more importantly, to properly engage with folk – with a ‘report and feedback from the SeaFest’ here.

And as a follow-up to those who had signed up for the newsletter said: “If you have something which fits within our values and would like to get it going, we are more than happy to support you” – whether with a public discussion forum, an information campaign, a free website or any other resources to help with a new initiative.

The Vision Group for Sidmouth would love to hear from you.

As the the chair said recently, “There has been considerable activity from incomers – with fresh talent and ideas; eager to make new friends and network with like-minded folk. It would be great to reach out to these.”

“Fundamentally, the VGS is there to support and nurture positive and effective ventures in the Sid Valley.”