Space for Regeneration| Railway Redevelopment & City Centre Transformation for Housing in Plymouth

Plans to transform the city’s welcome for rail passengers are well underway including a major regeneration programme for housing, employment and infrastructure around the station to drive growth in Plymouth.


Region: South West
Theme: Regeneration, Housing (in OPE), Land Release Fund (LRF)

The challenge

  • To open up the city for tourism, employment, culture and growth through regeneration of the city centre
  • Meet local housing need through the targeted release of land for 5,000 homes per annum to 2034, in line with Plymouth’s Plan for Housing
  • Local ambition to grow the area’s population from 260,700 to 300,000 by 2034
  • Improving transport links - five million tourists visiting Plymouth each year and 21 trains departing daily from Paddington
  • Growing a skilled and adaptable workforce is a spatial priority - 12 per cent of jobs in Plymouth are in manufacturing and similarly 12 per cent in education.

The story

One Public Estate (OPE) has awarded Plymouth over £1.2m since 2014 in support of their local spatial priority to deliver major growth for housing, employment and infrastructure.

Early OPE funding contributed to the South West Peninsula City Deal enabling  the landmark transfer of estate from the Ministry of Defence (MoD), now known as Oceansgate Marine Enterprise, a 7.5ha site with outline planning consent for 25,000 Sq. metres of business space supporting excellence in Marine Sciences. 

A total of £750k was awarded to support the regeneration of Plymouth Railway station, set to transform the gateway to the city as part of the wider regeneration of Plymouth City. The early project funding facilitated a commitment by partners to make the landmark project happen, helping to foster partnership working between Plymouth City Council, Network Rail, Great Western Railway, the University of Plymouth, the Department for Transport and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). 

Targeted funding to the Railway Station helped to progress the Growth Deal 3 bid Outline Business Case to secure capital funding of £5m from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and facilitated the design and development of the regeneration proposals with the key stakeholders. 

Importantly, the early OPE Revenue funding gave impetus to the Plymouth City Council Cabinet approval of a £26m Capital Programme for the Plymouth Station regeneration.

Figure 1 - Design for the regeneration of Plymouth Railway Station
OPE Plymouth case Design for the regeneration of Plymouth Railway Station - figure 1

Figure 1 - Design for the regeneration of Plymouth Railway Station
Most recently, MCHLG’s Land Release Fund (LRF) awarded £3.9m to accelerate housing supply in line with Plymouth’s ambitious local plan for 26,700 homes by 2034, supporting the targeted release of land for 652 homes by 2020 across 8 projects. 

Figure 2 - Land at Prince Maurice Road
 Figure 2 - Land at Prince Maurice Road - ariel-photo

Figure 2 - Land at Prince Maurice Road
£120k of LRF funding has supported highways infrastructure improvements to unlock the Prince Maurice site which was previously stalled for more than 10 years.  It also proved successful in establishing a new scheme for 99 homes (44 starter and 45 open marked units). The site was released to the developer in March 2019 and work begun in July 2019.

‘Thanks to OPE funding, partnership working is now pro-active and dynamic. The funding and encouragement of OPE has resulted in a commitment by partners to make this landmark (Railway) project happen. It has resulted in the ‘buy in’ and prioritisation amongst partners that the project previously lacked’.
OPE Programme Manager, Plymouth Partnership

The outcomes

Plymouth’s Public-Sector Land Board (PSLB) was formed as a direct result of OPE funding, chaired by Plymouth’s Strategic Director for Place, it meets 6-monthly and membership reflects all major stakeholders at a senior level.

The Plymouth Space for regeneration programme is forecast to deliver the following outcomes:

  • £5m capital receipts
  • £900k running costs savings
  • land released for 103 housing units.

For further information please contact our Regional Programme Managers for the South West.