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Exeter businessman nominated for Freedom of the City

Published: 24 August 2020

Richard Jacobs Richard Jacobs

Exeter businessman Richard Jacobs looks set to be given the Freedom of the City.

Jacobs has been nominated in recognition of his ‘outstanding service to the City of Exeter as a local businessman and entrepreneur.

The nomination will go before Exeter City Council’s Executive on 1 September.

Jacobs may not be a household name but his hard work and drive in Exeter has made the city a better place and improved the lives of many of its citizens.

He is the director and major shareholder in EIC Group and Southwest Metal Finishing Ltd., a family owned company specialising in the metal finishing of aerospace components and employing 190 people, 120 of them in Exeter.

Founder Chair of the Marsh Barton Forum and founder and chair of the Exeter Business Forum, Jacobs has worked closely with the City Council and supported the city centre over the years, having been involved in projects such as the introduction of a CCTV network, Princesshay and the relocation of the Met Office to the city.

A magistrate in the city for 23 years and chairman of the youth panel for 9 years, he has been instrumental in enabling Devon Magistrates’ court to become the third best in the country for dealing with troubled young people.

He has encouraged the business community to support Exeter Cathedral and is the founder trustee of the Ted Wragg Trust.The Trust is responsible for all secondary schools in Exeter except St Peters,along with three primary schools. All the secondary schools were taken over in a very poor state either in need of improvement or in special measures. Most are now in either good or close to good and St James is close to outstanding. The Trust is now a 40 million turnover business and growing rapidly.

In supporting the nomination, the Ted Wragg Trust said: “Richard has been a dedicated and committed member of the Board since its inception. The Trust has changed the educational landscape of Exeter, transforming life chances for our children and especially raising aspirations for school children in the most deprived

Jacobs said: “This is a huge honour that I am delighted to accept. I have always tried to support the city and its officers and I am proud of our city’s massive achievements in recent years.”

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