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Exeter businessman receives Freedom of City

Published: 1 December 2021

Exeter businessman receives Freedom of City Exeter businessman Richard Jacobs

Exeter businessman Richard Jacobs has been awarded the Freedom of the City.

Jacobs received the award at a ceremony at Exeter’s historic Guildhall. He was recognised by the City Council for his ‘outstanding service to the city of Exeter, as a local businessman and entrepreneur’.

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.

When nominated for the award last year, 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 schools.”

Jacobs said he was honoured to accept the award:  “I have always tried to support the city and its officers and I am proud of our city’s massive achievements in recent years,” he added.

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