Plymouth wins ‘open for business’ accolade


From left to right Assistant Director David Draffan, Council Leader Ian Bowyer and James Hunter, who presented the award.

Plymouth City Council has won the local authority of the year at the Insider’s annual South West Property Awards for being open for business and driving growth.

Council leader Ian Bowyer and Assistant Director for Economic Development David Draffan went up to Bristol to receive the accolade at an event held at the Marriott Hotel last week.

The category was designed to recognise the role councils play in driving economic growth through improvements to infrastructure.

The judges said the Council had demonstrated ‘an exceptional and proactive approach to the built environment in the last 12 months. It has an innovative approach to planning, infrastructure and housing needs and has a compelling vision for a waterfront city.’

Council Leader Ian Bowyer said: “I’m delighted that the hard work from teams here has been recognised. The work we do is about making life better for our residents. Behind these amazing projects is the goal of creating real jobs, money in people’s pockets and homes for families to live in.

“I get questions about why we want Plymouth to grow – and that’s the answer. It’s about as many people as possible sharing in what Plymouth has to offer as a city.”

Speaking in front of an audience of almost 250 professionals and developers from across the region South West Business Insider editor Graham Southorn praised the past year’s achievements and said the strong activity across the region is set to continue.

In the last year alone the Council with its partners has made significant progress in some key Initiatives:

  • City Deal and South Yard – First phase land transfer complete, Enterprise Zone secured and planning permission for the first phase has recently been granted
  • It helped Burrington Estates secure Sitel bring 700 jobs for the city
  • A £2.7 million direct development at Hearder Court in Langage safeguarded 80 jobs at Dartmouth Foods and created 100 more
  • It’s planned History Centre has secured major grants from various funders including £14.8 million from the HLF
  • The new £4.17 million coach station in Mayflower Street opened, which paves the way for the £40 million Drake Circus Leisure Scheme at Bretonside. This will create 350 jobs and 260 construction jobs
  • Quality Hotel has been demolished and this key site is now being marketed
  • Delivered 8,575 homes with over 90 per cent on previously-built land. Building is underway on a further 644 properties and 4,741 have permission to be built.