Defence Minister Philip Dunne today welcomed Plymouth City Council’s agreement with MOD that will start the process of transferring South Yard to the Council for its City Deal programme.
Attending the event at South Yard, the Minister said the agreement’s signing marked the beginning of an exciting future for the site and an economic transformation for Plymouth.
Speaking at a ceremony at the city’s historic South Yard, Mr Dunne said: “Devonport has been at the heart of Plymouth for generations, so I am delighted to confirm that the Ministry of Defence will be transferring South Yard to Plymouth City Council for its City Deal programme, which in total is expected to create more than 9,000 jobs and bring in more than £290 million in much-needed investment to the South West. It will also preserve this vital part of Plymouth’s naval heritage, further strengthening the bonds between Plymouth and the Royal Navy.”
In a successful month for the project, the area was declared an Enterprise Zone (EZ) by Chancellor George Osborne in last Wednesday’s budget. In addition Outline Planning Permission has been granted, so that the initial work on redevelopment can begin once the land transfer takes place.
Plymouth City Council Leader, Tudor Evans said: “Today is a significant milestone for South Yard. The development of the site will create new jobs and economic opportunities for Plymouth and rejuvenate the marine sector across the peninsula. Over 40 companies have already expressed interest in the site and as companies relocate to South Yard and we lever in more investment, it will reaffirm Plymouth’s reputation as global centre of marine expertise.”
The development of South Yard is expected to create 1,100 jobs as the site becomes a dynamic new centre of marine industry.
With the advent of EZ status, South Yard will be able to offer competitive packages to business wishing to relocate and invest, allow the Local Enterprise Partnership to reinvest and the timescale for completion to be significantly reduced.
As the heart of the Marine Industries Production Campus (MIPC), South Yard will boast a unique combination of deep water docks, laboratories, workshops and design space.
Commodore Ian Shipperley, Naval Base Commander said: “The re-development of South Yard will be a shot in the arm for the Plymouth economy and the South West. The unique facilities here make this a prime location for the very industries that have been the lifeblood of Plymouth for hundreds of years, and we at Devonport Naval Base are delighted to see this site put to such a good use.”
The City Deal’s Marine Industries Production Campus (MIPC) will link with other marine sites including Falmouth, Appledore and Hayle, bringing opportunities for collaboration.
Once finished, the redevelopment of the site will create 25,000m2 of flexible employment space with deep water testing facilities suitable for the marine and advanced manufacturing sectors.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the progress of South Yard and the City Deal or can sign up for the newsletter on the City Deal website: www.plymouth.gov.uk/citydeal