Business Action | June / July 2019


June / July 2019 issue of the independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.

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From art to architecture

Is it possible to manage a

business in the South East

from deepest North Devon?

That is what Kevin Davies is

doing, managing a 12-member

architectural practice based in

Staines, Middlesex from his

Kevin Davies in his architects office and art gallery in Chulmleigh

office and gallery in the centre

of Chulmleigh.

Kevin’s journey to Chulmleigh

has taken him across

the world after embarking on

a sabbatical from his position

at Robert Davies John West

Cranford Business

Services Limited

Old Stone, Cranford, Bideford, Devon, EX39 5QW

07896 204 857

Does your accountant...

Listen to you and act on your needs?

Explain your accounts in terms you understand?

Arrange meeting at your convenience?

Leaving you free to concentrate on what you do best!

Ltd, the architectural practice

established by his father. This

intended six-month exploration

of Africa extended to

eight years, during which time

Kevin and partner Sue started a

family while establishing a lowimpact

tourism site in Malawi,

setting up the country’s first

permaculture / tourism project

and starting an architectural

practice among other activities.

It was their children’s education

requirements and other family

considerations that brought

them back to Europe, first

to France, and then, in 2012,

to Chulmleigh, where Kevin

rejoined his father’s practice.

Now, as director and chartered

architect playing an active

role in managing the business,

Kevin operates from his

office in Fore Street, working

remotely in between fortnightly

visits to Staines. Kevin has overseen

the growth of the practice

from a team of six to 12 over

the past seven years, operating

Chulmleigh as a satellite office.

He has a strong interest in the

restoration, conversion and

re-use of vernacular and listed

buildings, as well as in working

in conservation areas. Local

projects include the Chulmleigh

Congregational Church and an

early 15th century Benedictine

Tower in Cornwall, both are

Listed Grade II*.

He maintains his interest

in sustainable and appropriate

technologies in Africa, which

has led to involvement in new

projects in Kenya, Malawi,

Somalia and Bangladesh as well

as distinguished pioneering

developments including the

Sonda Orphan Care Centre,

Ripple Africa Mwaya and the

Cultural and Museum Centre


Visitors to Kevin’s office

might be surprised to find it

doubles as an art gallery called

the Architects Gallery. Like

many of Kevin’s interests which

turn into a business, this sprang

from meeting local artist Brian

Denington and giving him a

commission. This introduced

Kevin to the artist community

and the idea of opening a

gallery and, one by one, artists

contacted him. Now the gallery

promotes a number of artists

from Lapford, Torrington and

Winkleigh, and hosts several

shows a year to promote artists.

Kevin explains that architecture

and art dovetail well: “The

lovely thing about being an

architect is that you get out and

meet people and everyone has

a story, while the gallery brings

people together.”

This also explains Kevin’s

involvement in the community

with cricket and table tennis,

Chulmleigh Old Fair and as the

newly elected district councillor

for Chulmleigh.

■■Architects Gallery:

01769 581765 or

■■Architects Practice:

01784 779106 or

10 business action | June / July 2019 |

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