South Yard gears up for delivery

Specialists are to be hired to support the transformation of South Yard from historic naval dockyard to a thriving Marine Industries Production Campus.

The call is out for technical and design contactors to take on the enormous and complex task of preparing and developing the site for its new future.

A delegated paper has been signed by Council leader Tudor Evans to authorise the project team to seek and appoint the right companies to carry out work that paves the way for 1,200 new jobs in the city.

He said: “The scale of what needs to be done cannot be underestimated. This is a site which has serviced the changing needs of the Royal Navy since 1690 and a lot of work needs to be done to now redevelop the site while recognising its historic value.

“We are moving towards the delivery phase of this momentous project and need to get the site ready for its new life.

“This involves a whole range of work – from surveying the historic buildings within the yard, separating and replacing services such as electricity and water within the site, re-engineering the layout as well as preparing the site for the new facilities. Even the matter of rolling back and changing the security arrangements – hundreds of yards of fences and walls presents a challenge.

“We need to get this right and as a Council we do not have experience or capacity in-house to take on such as vast and complex project.”

The South Yard team is also looking to attract specialists to advise on waterfront and dock management as well as letting and marketing specialists to work with the Council to attract suitable tenants or buyers.

Councillor Evans added: “We have three docks at this location – all listed and all with access to deep water. This is not your average industrial estate and we need professionals with the right credentials to work with us to get the right marine companies into this terrific site.”

The decision asks for authority to award various construction and support contracts deemed necessary to redevelop South Yard.

Last year the Council commissioned consultants lead by URS Ltd to develop a master plan for the future site and obtain planning approval. This work considered the broader market demand and the technical challenges of the site.

Opening up South Yard to new businesses is a key aspect of the Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal which was announced in January 2014 and the land transfer deal was formally signed in March 2015.

Our City Deal agreement secures freedoms and flexibilities from government for partners to decide how best to support and grow business in the peninsula. The aim is to boost growth and productivity across the peninsula, with almost £300 million of investment into the region’s marine and advanced manufacturing sectors, creating over 9,000 jobs.

South Yard is a 7.46 hectare site that has been used by the Royal Navy since 1690.The ambition is for South Yard with its unique deepwater docks, to be at the heart of this marine industries campus, becoming a hub for design companies, providing workshops for engineering and manufacturing and potentially laboratory space for research.