Exmouth Chamber of Commerce has a new chair after its current leader, who had held the role for nine years, stepped down.
Ian MacQueen, who will be moving to Tavistock for family reasons, said it is also ‘high time to pass the baton’ to new chairman Laura Woodward-Drake.
During his time as chairman, Mr MacQueen has overseen the chamber’s involvement in discussions over the regeneration of the seafront and the development of Exmouth’s neighbourhood plan.
He said: “Looking back over the past nine years it has been pleasing to reflect on the progress that the town and the chamber have made in bringing about some stand out changes and activities.
“Looking forward the town has got some really good opportunities ahead once the pandemic is under control and the various development plans come to fruition allowing Exmouth to take its place as one of the top seaside towns in the UK and capitalise on its marvellous position at the head of the River Exe together with its world class beach.”
Over the last nine years, the chamber has been involved in the development of Ocean, Exmouth Pavilion and the Premier Inn on the seafront.
The chamber has also organised the annual free Christmas parking in the London Inn Car Park as well as partnering with the Journal to launch the Exmouth Business Awards.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the chamber established a Love Local online database of help available for deliveries of food and services for those in self isolation.
Laura Woodward-Drake was appointed as the new chairman after the chamber’s executive voted unanimously in her favour.
She said: “ I have had the pleasure of working alongside Ian for a few years now, as both secretary of the group and one of the business awards co-ordinators, and it’s been a great experience to work with such a knowledgeable and ambitious person.
“Having run a business in Exmouth for the last decade, I know how important collaboration between local companies/partners is, especially during these difficult times. I plan to reach out to all members to see how we can help and generally support community initiatives that allow Exmouth to continue to flourish.”