A multi-million pound project that will transform the open spaces and pedestrian areas around the city centre has moved a step closer to becoming a reality.
Plymouth City Council has committed £27 million over the next five years to transform this key location to make sure that the city centre looks its best in time for the Mayflower 400 celebrations and beyond.
It’s new ‘Better Places – Plymouth’ programme will look at all streets and spaces in the city centre to improve walking and cycling routes, make the more tired areas more attractive to improve the look and feel for shoppers and visitors as well as encourage more inward investment in retail, leisure, employment and housing into the heart of Plymouth.
Council Leader Ian Bowyer has just given the green light to funding to appoint consultants to work up ideas outlined in the City Centre Masterplan and the Joint Local Plan. He said: “We are at the start of a programme to rejuvenate the heart of Plymouth. We have the visions and the masterplan, now we are looking at the detail, how it will look and feel, and what changes we need make to attract more people and investment into the city centre.”
A tender exercise has been carried out to appoint a preferred design-led consultant team to work alongside the Council team. The successful bidder will be announced shortly and through a series of consultations will be working closely with retailers, the City Centre Company as well as other key stakeholders on designs.
A further business case to cover the detailed design and construction costs for the schemes is expected to be submitted later this year.
A number of major projects are already underway in the City Centre and Waterfront area, including the regeneration of Millbay by English Cities Fund with over 400 homes, employment space, a new school, marina and restaurant now complete as well as outline consent for a further 600 homes, more leisure, retail, office, hotel development.
A new coach station has been opened, work has started on the new £34 million Box – the city’s new history, arts and culture centre on North Hill, a £3m refurbishment of the City Market and a major shop front improvement initiative is underway.
Demolition work has just started on part of Colin Campbell Court in the West End and the former Bretonside bus station is now being dismantled ahead of work starting on the Drake Circus Leisure cinema and food and drink complex.
Councillor Bowyer added: “We want to build on this sense of momentum and make sure the entire city centre benefits from the change and investment that is taking place.”
A City Centre Leadership Board is overseeing the project.