The impressive location as well as business potential of Oceansgate helped create a real buzz at the first business briefing to be held at the key site.
Representatives from 40 businesses, including national and international companies, were given a tour of Oceansgate at the site of the former South Yard.
Oceansgate is five times the size of Royal William Yard and the Council plans to transform the site with its industrial buildings and docks into a hub for marine related industries.
Council leader Ian Bowyer said: “This site practically sells itself to the marine sector and there was a lot of concrete interest from companies looking for deep water access.
“While it is still early days, this briefing was about showing the potential Oceansgate offers not just companies that could move in, but the positive impact it could have on the wider supply chain and the spin-offs for the rest of the city.”
Patrick Hartop, head of City Deal said: “We hosted this event so that existing marine businesses could have a look around, ask questions and understand the potential this site has for Plymouth and to help them become ambassadors for the project.
“We’ve had some very real interest from developers in phase 3, directly on the waterfront, which we always stated would be developed by the private sector, so that’s incredibly encouraging.
“We also got the sense that the location is proving key to companies and benefits of being an enterprise zone are the icing on top of the cake.”
Many of the companies recognised the value the site offered to the city’s skills market and the opportunities for businesses and research to collaborate, he said and added: “This is a long term project, but we are building momentum nicely.”
The planning application for the first phase was submitted to planners last month. The £7.5m proposal, submitted by Midas Construction, is for a front building of offices and two rows of industrial units at the entrance to the site creating 175 jobs.
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 ad well as workshops for engineering and manufacturing and potentially laboratory space for research.
The design has also taken into account the historic nature of South Yard and reflects the quality of the Plymouth Limestone buildings that exist on the site. If permission is granted, work could start early next year.T
The Enterprise Zone provides tax breaks including business rates discounts and more generous capital allowances as well as super-fast broadband. The Council will be able to reinvest all business rates income in Oceansgate for the next 25 years under the Enterprise Zone designation.
For more information visit www.oceansgateplymouth.com