Major funding boost announced for Plymouth

Almost £7m will be pumped into Plymouth to help exciting new construction projects get off the ground in 2021.

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership has today announced it will be allocated money from the government’s Getting Building Fund to invest in major infrastructure projects to support economic growth across the city. Working in partnership with Plymouth City Council and local businesses, it is expected that this investment will create or safeguard more than 80 jobs or apprenticeships.

The projects, chosen after a robust selection process, will play an important role in Plymouth’s economic recovery programme, Resurgam, by supporting employment, regeneration, skills and innovation in the region.

Leader of Plymouth City Council, Cllr Tudor Evans OBE, said: “This is a major shot in the arm for Plymouth’s economy and will make a significant contribution to our recovery from the pandemic. We put forward business cases for a number of exciting shovel-ready projects and I’m excited that they will now have lift off in the near future.

“Through Resurgam we want to deliver economic recovery and growth for Plymouth by improving the city’s infrastructure, reducing carbon emissions and saving or creating jobs for local people. Frankly, construction can’t start soon enough and we expect workers to be on-site this spring.”

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The HotSW LEP’s Getting Building Fund aims to support ready-to-go projects that will deliver new jobs and contribute to our area’s post-COVID recovery. We are delighted to have been able to award nearly £7m through the fund to Plymouth City Council, to help deliver a range of major projects that will improve the city’s infrastructure, create new jobs and significantly support Plymouth’s economic recovery.”

 

The projects given the green light by today’s funding announcement are:

  • An additional £4.17 million for Phase 2 of Brunel Plaza/train station concourse development. The city has ambitious plans to transform the station, which has not seen significant investment in decades, by creating a thriving new plaza with operational staff accommodation.  A series of phased developments is planned which will also modernise and refresh the concourse including new shops in the station, more self-service ticket banks and a new waiting area. Phase 2 of these ambitious plans will create more than 60 new jobs.

 

  • Around £2 million will be spent on two of the city’s business parks. Up to 10 low carbon, flexible workspaces will be created at Plymouth International, while a former computer complex at the City Business Park in Stoke will be demolished and groundworks undertaken to develop a viable site for future construction. Overall, more than 1,745 square metres of flexible workspace will be built with up to 80 jobs or apprenticeships created or safeguarded (including additional construction jobs), and an estimated 8.8kgs of CO2 emissions avoided per annum.

 

  • £300,000 will be spend on helping make around 630 homes around the city more energy efficient. The households selected will be in fuel poverty meaning they spend a greater than average proportion of their income on energy bills. Measures will vary by household but typically include loft and underfloor insulation, new boilers and storage heaters and cavity wall insulation. This investment aims to result in 500 tonnes of CO2 saved annually and reductions of £270 on yearly energy bills. The project is also expected to give a £1m boost to local small businesses.

 

  • £350,000 to invest in state-of-the-art third generation technology to create the largest Augmented Reality welding training lab in Europe at City College Plymouth. This will showcase the Heart of the South West LEP region as a world-leader in adopting disruptive technology to improve productivity and results in the welding sector, and attracting a much-needed new generation to welding through gamification and innovation.