The UK’s first Marine Enterprise Zone, Oceansgate, has reached the next step in its development as the second area of land has been signed over to Plymouth City Council.
Oceansgate occupies a 35 hectare site on the southern edge of Devonport Dockyard, one of the largest naval dockyards in Europe. Work is already ongoing within phase one to build offices and light industrial units and it is likely that the units will be available for occupation by December 2017.
Phase two will provide new office and industrial space for a range of marine businesses giving them the opportunity to work from a unique location.
Council Leader Ian Bowyer said: “It is good news that the Council has secured the land for phase 2 of the Oceansgate development, which promises to create over 1,000 good quality jobs in the city. Devonport Dockyard is an extremely important and historic site for Plymouth and it is fantastic that the regeneration of the site is continuing.”
Devonport Dockyard has been supporting the Royal Navy since 1691 and is of great historic importance. The phase two site is home to two listed buildings – the former pay office which is believed to have been built around 1808 and the former fire station, built as part of the mid-19th Century expansion of South Yard.
The pay office is an early example of a fireproof design combining pay office and guard house, which reflects the scale and complexity of the operation of the Dockyard in the late 19th Century. The fire station formerly housed stables and fire engines and is an important historical feature of naval dockyards in the 19th century. Currently in use by the Heritage Centre, the buildings will remain as part of the development to ensure they are preserved.
Commodore Ian Shipperley ADC, Royal Navy said: “The Naval Base and City Council have worked very closely over the last three years to bring forward this fantastic opportunity to regenerate the area and create quality jobs. We are extremely proud to be able to support Plymouth in this endeavour, just as the city has supported the Royal Navy over many centuries.”
Work has already started in phase two with the demolition of a number of redundant buildings carried out by the Gilpin Demolition Group.