New direction and new chair at Vision Group for Sidmouth 

Ian Gregory, the new chair of the Vision Group for Sidmouth

Ian Gregory, the new chair of the Vision Group for Sidmouth - Credit: VGS

The businessman behind Sidmouth’s Toy Museum has taken over as chair of the Vision Group for Sidmouth. 

Ian Gregory, who founded the museum, was unanimously chosen to lead the VGS over the next year at a special meeting last month. 

He takes over from Peter Murphy, who is stepping down after putting together the Sustainable Sidmouth Champions Awards, celebrating the contributions from the community, which was held for the first time last year.  

Ian said: “I'm very excited about the Vision Group and I am impressed by the range of issues it covers. 

“Sidmouth is a very special place. It needs to be developed and enhanced, but in a sensitive way, building on the town's facilities and assets.”  

He said he also felt that sustainability should continue to be a major focus for the VGS, including managing the environment for future generations. And in conclusion, he said he would be very happy to work with colleagues to help make Sidmouth an even better place. 

 Richard Eley, president of the Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, told the meeting: “I'm very grateful that Ian has offered to take on the position. 

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Dave Bramley, a former chair of the Vision Group, Dave Bramley, said he felt that the VGS was very unusual in offering a town the opportunity to debate issues over a wide range of challenges faced by the community.  

Local businesswoman Eleanor Carr said she saw the VGS as an umbrella organisation, ‘bringing the community together’. She was particularly interested in the Solar Punk movement which the Vision Group is promoting, with its emphasis on creativity and technology as a response to climate change. 

Graham Cooper, lead on the Neighbourhood Plan's built environment group, put forward enthusiastic proposals for saving the high street by encouraging creative approaches and making shops viable through retrofitting and repurposing.  

Finally, newly elected VGS chair Ian summed up with: “The group needs to focus on where it can make a meaningful impact. That's its main challenge.”  

For more information and to get involved, visit the Vision Group for Sidmouth website at