Better Places £13 million boost


Plymouth’s plans to transform the heart of the city centre will get a £13 million boost to crack on with the exciting project to create Better Places. 

Last week exciting concepts were unveiled to give residents, shoppers and businesses the chance to see some of the changes being put forward to revitalise the city’s heart.

Now Council Leader Ian Bowyer has signed a decision authorising £13.633 million from our capital programme to enable the first phases of work to get off the ground.

The Better Places programme has been developed to address under investment in city centre streets and spaces to transform the look and feel of the city centre. 

This investment will be used to lever in other investment in the form of grants and private sector investment in buildings as well as open opportunity for new uses.

Councillor Bowyer said: “Plymouth’s city centre is unique. It was laid out after the war when shopping habits were completely different.

“The design team have looked at the original vision and drawn up some great ideas that will encourage people to spend more time in the city centre, whether that is shopping or enjoying a meal or an event.”

The funding will support detailed design and construction costs for sections that are expected to be carried out in the first phases. They are: 

  • Old Town Street and New George Street East: Working in close collaboration with British Land, who are currently building the Drake Circus Leisure Complex at Bretonside, the proposed investment will see the public space at this end of town revitalised to help unlock investment from British Land and reinvigorate retail position of the city centre.
  • Armada Way: A major civic space connecting planned investment in the north, east, west and south of the city centre and to the waterfront. A vision has been developed for the route but the work will be carried out in phases, with the area between the Guildhall and the Civic Centre to be targeted first.
  • West End: Working closely with West End traders the emerging designs have tried to address issues with the existing public space, provide more on-street parking spaces and enable redevelopment of Colin Campbell Court. Further work and engagement is required to take forward.
  • Tavistock Place, The Box: This location will form the entrance to the Box and be turned into an exciting events space as well a connection to the city centre

The project aims to promote confidence in Plymouth by improving the attractiveness and usability of the city’s street and spaces for residents and visitors. It will also look at removing clutter and obstacles to movement.

Ideas for the Old Town Street area, for instance, could include space for on-street retail, an improved identity making the area a more attractive place to shop, live and work, more attractive places to stop, new ‘portal’ structures and new tree planting.

The exhibition will be out and about over the next few weeks at the following locations:

  • B&Q Crownhill (28 and 29 March, 10am to 5pm)
  • Co-op Plympton Ridgeway (4 and 5 April, 10am to 5pm)
  • Drake Circus Shopping Centre (6 and 7  April, 9am to 5pm)
  • Plymouth City Market (9 and 10 April, 10am to 5pm)
  • Asda Estover (13 April, 10am to 5pm)
  • Plymouth Rail Station (16 and 17 April,  8am to 12 noon and 3pm to 6pm) 
  • Sainsbury’s Marsh Mills (19 and  20 April, 10am to 5pm)
  • Plymouth University, Roland Levinsky Building (23 April, 9am to 5pm)
  • Plymstock Library (25 and 26 April, 10am to 5pm)

People can also find out more and leave comments on our Better Places Plymouth page.