Taunton Deane Borough Council and Somerset County Council wanted to gain a better understanding of the potential for the digital economy in Taunton, the contribution it can make to achieving growth aspirations, and the infrastructure and investment environment needed to support it. HJA was appointed to undertake a scoping study which would answer these questions as well as recommend how to proceed.
Our approach was firstly to establish the existing state of the digital and data economy in Taunton by characterising its local specialisms, its growth potential, and the contribution it could make to achieving local, regional, and national growth aspirations. This was followed by a series of stakeholder consultations, which informed a proposition around how the Councils can deliver support which will achieve the desired growth potential. This proposition was then tested, refined, and eventually used to identify a series of steps to improve the support environment.
Our recommendations are being taken forward by a steering group, with steps being taken to grow Taunton’s digital business community. The scoping study has also informed the Growth Prospectus for Taunton, which has played a significant role in helping the borough to achieve Garden Town status.