Exhibition sees Better Places plans unveiled for city centre revamp

Plans were unveiled today as part of a multi-million-pound project to transform the very heart of Plymouth city centre, renewing and rejuvenating its open spaces and pedestrian areas.

The proposals are on show in a three-day exhibition in the city centre, with residents and visitors being urged to come along, find out more and share their views.

Plymouth City Council has committed £27 million over the next five years to the Better Places project to improve the look and feel of the city centre’s main thoroughfares. This investment will be used to lever in other investment in terms of grants and private sector investment in adjacent buildings, including new uses.

The aim is to boost visitor numbers and trade and ensure the city centre looks its best for the Mayflower 400 celebrations and beyond.

The exhibition is taking place between Thursday 15 March and Saturday 17 March at 35 New George Street.

More information and the opportunity to leave comments is also available at www.plymouth.gov.uk/bigbuild/betterplacesplymouth

Council Leader Ian Bowyer said: “We have set out a clear aim through the Better Places project to rejuvenate the city centre, making it a more vibrant and attractive place to live, work and visit.

“These are exciting proposals from the Better Places design team for some of the most important parts of our city and we hope as many people as possible visit the exhibition or browse the information online and share their views with us.”

Steve Hughes, Chief Executive of the Plymouth City Centre Company, said: “This investment from the city council to improve the look and feel of our city centre and bring vibrancy and colour to our streets is great news. Combined with a huge programme of public and private sector investment now under way, it will help make Plymouth one of the UK’s top retail, visitor and leisure destinations.”

The exhibition follows the appointment in autumn 2017 by Plymouth City Council of a design-led consultant team behind some of the UK’s most impressive regeneration schemes to work up the Better Places proposals. Team members will be at the exhibition to talk visitors through the display. Feedback gathered from the event and online will inform the design team as it continues to work with Plymouth City Council in developing and refining the project.

LDA Design Board member and project lead Robert Aspland said: “Our aim has been to take some of the visions previously outlined for the city centre and turn these into a series of detailed projects which will bring new life to the city centre’s open spaces and pedestrian areas.

“It is a huge opportunity refresh the vision for Plymouth city centre first laid out by Abercrombie and Watson. And it is about making the city centre’s streets and spaces places that people choose to visit and spend their leisure time in; where retail, leisure and hotel brands want to be; where businesses want to locate their offices and workspaces; and where people want to live.”

The Better Places project is looking at all streets and spaces in the city centre to improve walking and cycling routes, make areas more attractive for shoppers and visitors and encourage more inward investment in retail, leisure, employment and housing into the heart of Plymouth. The exhibition features an overview of the wider proposals for the city centre and a closer look at specific streets and public areas which could form some of the first phases of work.

Concept ideas include major improvements to New George Street and Old Town Street to support the major investment taking place in the area – and linking the new Drake Circus Leisure Development at Bretonside with the Drake Circus mall and the city’s main shopping streets.

Proposals show how Armada Way could be revitalised as a vibrant city boulevard, a destination in its own right, and providing a clear connection between the city centre and the sea, are outlined – with plans for the section from Royal Parade to the Hoe shown as a possible first phase for improvement.

Initial ideas for enhancements to the West End of the city centre are aimed at improving the physical and trading environment for retailers and visitors to the area and making it a better place to live for existing and future residents of the area.

The exhibition takes place at 35 New George Street – between Tesco and House of Fraser – from Thursday 15 March to Saturday 17 March

Opening times will be:
• Thursday 15 March – 2pm to 8pm
• Friday 16 March – 10am to 4pm
• Saturday 17 March – 10am to 4pm

More information and the opportunity to leave comments on the proposals will also be available from March 15 at www.plymouth.gov.uk/bigbuild/betterplacesplymouth

Consultation on the proposals will run until Thursday 26 April.