Contractor appointed and demolition starts at South Yard

Council leader Tudor Evans and Dr Janice Waters, Head of Infrastructure and Estates at HM Naval base Devonport

Council leader Tudor Evans and Dr Janice Waters, Head of Infrastructure and Estates, HM Naval base Devonport

A contractor has been appointed by the Council to design and build the first phase of employment development at Devonport’s South Yard.

Following a procurement exercise, Midas Construction, part of the Midas Group, has been awarded the pre-contract agreement for Phase 1 direct development at the yard that will include new offices and industrial units at the gateway to the site.

It comes in the week a demolition team is at the site to knock down redundant buildings in preparation for the yard’s new role at the heart of the Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal.

The Ministry of Defence and Babcock are working closely with Plymouth City Council and the City Deal delivery team to transform the naval yard into a thriving Marine Industries Production Campus.

Council leader Tudor Evans visited the site with Doctor Janice Waters, Head of Infrastructure and Estates at HM Naval base Devonport, to see how work is progressing.

Council leader Tudor Evans said: “This is exciting stuff. Thanks to the support of the Ministry of Defence, we are already seeing change happening on the ground and appointing contractors Midas means we are steaming ahead. We have plans to make this production campus the driving force of the City Deal and to strengthen the region’s marine sector by opening up this unique site – with its access to deep water – to businesses.

“It is a huge and complex project with many steps, but we are on well and truly on the way.”

Two buildings, which were once offices and a health centre, will be levelled by MOD contractors to pave the way for the new campus, which forms a key aspect of the City Deal, which aims to boost growth and productivity and create thousands of jobs across the region’s marine and advanced manufacturing sectors.

Naval Base Commander, Commodore Ian Shipperley added: “We are pleased that we’ve been able to help plans for the South Yard progress to this stage. Plymouth has an incredible maritime history through its links with the Royal Navy and it is exciting to know that its land is helping to play a part in the city’s future.”

Andy McAdam, Divisional Director for Midas Construction in Devon and Cornwall, said: “As an independent South West company with strong roots in Plymouth we are delighted to be the Council’s chosen contractor for this significant project. We will also be working in collaboration with local consultant partners including Plymouth architects Form Design Group.

“Midas truly value the impact projects of this nature add to the local economy in providing high value job creation and skills training.”


South Yard is a 7.46 hectare site and under the City Deal will become a hub for marine companies, providing workshops for engineering and manufacturing and potentially laboratory space for research.

South Yard has been servicing the needs of the Royal Navy since 1690 and a lot of work needs to be done to redevelop the site – from surveying  historic buildings, separating and replacing services, re-engineering the layout as well as preparing the site for new facilities and building them.

The site will have up to 25,000m2 of flexible employment space with deep water docks and jetties suitable for the marine and advanced manufacturing sectors.

Midas Construction will carry out the pre-contact works including finalising the design of the facilities ahead of applying for planning permission. The facilities are designed to be flexible and easily adaptable so they can include office, design suites, testing labs and training rooms for technology development and prototypes production spaces.