Devonport in the running for regeneration award


Devonport has been shortlisted for a prestigious international regeneration award.

Judges from The Academy of Urbanism will be touring Devonport on Thursday 7 August to see for themselves the amazing transformation of an area that is one of only three places in the country to be nominated for the ‘Great Neighbourhood Award’ in the Academy’s Urbanism Awards.

Over the last decade Devonport has been completely transformed, thanks to the hard work and involvement of many members of the community through the Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership as well as Plymouth City Council, Plymouth Community Homes, developers and housing associations.

Council Leader Tudor Evans said: “Anyone who has not been to Devonport for a while should really visit. It is being totally transformed.

“Its extraordinary buildings are now teaming with life, post-war flats that have been demolished and in their place are affordable homes for families. It feels and looks incredible. The change is on an extraordinary scale that reflects the hard work put in by the organisations and individuals over many years. If you want to know what working co-operatively is all about – come down and take a look.

“It is especially wonderful to see Devonport highlighted in the year we celebrate 100 years of Plymouth city. It may be part of this city, but no-one is ever going to forget how unique Devonport is.”

The Council has been closely involved in the regeneration for many years. It worked with the community to develop the Devonport Area Action Plan so they were involved in how they wanted their neighborhood to look in years to come.

It coordinated negotiations between the developers as well as government agencies and social landlords to ensure affordable homes were built for rent and shared ownership.

It also works closely with the developers on many levels – through the planning process, often involving complex negotiations, to ensure the character of the listed buildings, the wider environment of Devonport and the waterfront views were all taken into consideration.

Some of the projects include

  • Devonport Guildhall – built by John Foulston in 1820s, gradually fell into disrepair during the last century. It was restored by the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) with a £1.75 million Community Assets Grant. The organisation worked closely with the Council, HM Government and the former Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership. It is once more at the heart of the community
  • Devonport Column – also built by Foulston to mark the founding of Devonport as an independent town. The Grade I listed column, with 124ft high public viewing platform across the city has been restricted to the public since the late 50s and closed in the 1990s. RIO secured a £685,000 Heritage Lottery Fund to restore it.
  • Devonport Market Hall – once out of bounds behind the dockyard wall, the historic landmark has exciting future as a high tech ‘play market’. The Council, RIO and Plymouth University have joined forces in a pioneering project that will put digital gaming into the heart of a regenerated Devonport.
  • Granby Green – refurbished with play area, new features such as seats and picnic tables, paths and piazza as well as road safety measures to make it safer.
  • Devonport Park – the People’s park –150-year-old park restored thanks to £5.3 million funding from the Heritage and Big Lottery Funds, Devonport Regeneration Community Partnership and the Council. The Council worked closely with the Friends of Devonport Park and helped create an incredible adventure playground, refurbish tennis courts, wildflower meadows. A pavilion has been built and a replica bandstand opened. Historic monuments were also carefully restored, including the Lower Lodge, the Doris Gun, and the Napier Fountain
  • St Aubyn’s – the Grade II listed Georgian church has had a £2.2 million transformation, funded by the (DRC) Partnership. It now houses a library as well as community facilities.

Homes

  • Ker Street – austere post war flats have been demolished and replaced with over 100 different new homes that reflect the grand Georgian setting.
  • Vision development – over 500 new homes have been delivered on land that was walled as a storage enclave by the MOD during the Cold War. The military walls have come down and the historic street pattern has been re-established to unite the north and south of Devonport.
  • Mount Wise – stunning redevelopment of former MOD land that includes family homes in the grounds of the listed Admiralty House
  • Gun Wharf – a landmark housing scheme that is held up as a national example of best practice and has won the prestigious Building for Life Gold Award.

Notes to editors

About the Academy of Urbanism – made up of planning experts, academics and practitioners, it aims to recognise, encourage and celebrate great places across the UK, Europe and beyond, and the people and organisations that create and sustain them.

The Urbanism Awards 15 Great Places annually across five categories: The European City of the Year (UK and Europe) and the Great Town, Neighbourhood, Street and Place (UK and Ireland).

For more information on the Academy of Urbanism contact Stephen Gallagher on 020 7251 8777 or email sg@academyofurbanism.org.uk