Devon County Council has welcomed the boost for the local economy being provided by Network Rail’s £80m sea wall development at Dawlish.
Network Rail recently announced that it has spent around £3m with local businesses in the area over the past year while undertaking construction. Network Rail and its main contractor, BAM Nuttall, says it’s expecting to increase that amount to almost £5m by the time the first section of the new wall is completed later this summer.
The spending has been invested in local labour, materials, accommodation and shops.
Cllr Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Development, said: ‘With so much economic uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, it’s encouraging to see Network Rail’s commitment to investing in the local economy and supporting local jobs.
‘They should be applauded for ensuring that money is spent locally while they carry out this project and I’m sure many local businesses will welcome this news.
‘This is an added bonus on top of the benefits that the new sea wall itself will bring the local community when the scheme is complete.’
It is estimated that a further £5 million will be spent locally when the planned second section of the sea wall is constructed.
Stuart Calvert, Network Rail’s capital delivery director for Wales & Western, said: ‘I am delighted that we’ve spent nearly £5m with local suppliers and businesses in the Dawlish and Teignbridge area as a result of the first section of the new sea wall. We are committed to continuing to support the local economy, particularly in these difficult times.
‘The proposed second section, which would continue the new sea wall north-eastwards adjacent to the station, is likely to bring in another £5m to be spent locally with contractors, suppliers and accommodation providers. I know how vital this will be for many businesses struggling to cope with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.’
The new £80m sea wall will help protect the railway and town from rising sea levels and extreme weather for generations to come.