CITY CENTRE RENAISSANCE
City Centre Renaissance is a dynamic plan, which will continue to support businesses, but will reinvent the city centre through the introduction of new diverse non-retail uses. This will reduce the retail footprint and enable us to breathe new life into our city centre, which will be fundamental to its recovery and growth.
In the short and medium term, the focus will be on the interventions needed to address the immediate impact of COVID-19.
Longer term, this pillar will feed into the City Centre Masterplan and Joint Local Plan.
Shop 4 Plymouth website launched in April 2020 with more than 400 businesses now listed and its own social media channels, promoting Shop 4 Plymouth and Geddon Plymouth marketing campaigns.
of investment in and around the city centre in the last 5 years, including: The Barcode in 2019, with multiplex cinema and giant Imax screen, indoor golf centre and a number of casual dining venues, and The Box, the city’s new £53m cultural attraction and art gallery which will attract a national and international audience and host the British Art Show in 2022. On the back of this a number of big name brands have been attracted to the city centre, including Brew Dog, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss and Watches of Switzerland, mitigating the loss of other High Street casualties and improving the retail mix
What have we done so far?
We've assisted businesses to put measures in place to enable COVID secure trading.
We've created Shop 4 Plymouth, an online shopping facility for businesses, backed up by a pro-active marketing campaign under the slogan of Geddon Plymouth and supported by the Reopening High Street Fund.
We were successful with our Future High Street Fund application in partnership with Urban Splash to restore and redevelop two of the city's most important buildings (The Civic Centre and Guildhall) providing new places to live and build a high profile events economy in the heart of the city centre.
What are we doing now?
We will be focusing on six key work streams:
Intelligence and data gathering: create a data dashboard of key performance indicators, market trends and identify gaps and partnership opportunities.
COVID secure trading: to implement the phase two plan for pop-up street seating, parklets and cycle ways, creating a greener, healthier and more resilient city centre.
High energy marketing campaign: to motivate and persuade people to shop-local, thereby saving the high street and safeguarding jobs.
Vacant units – meanwhile use: to review Your Space programme and work in partnership to breathe new life into empty shops and spaces and identify links to grant funding sources. A new Meanwhile Use project has now been launched. With the support of various funds and a committed partnership we are developing a creative and cultural meanwhile use programme and have compiled a database of landlords and interested parties. Plymouth City Council has helped to kick start the scheme by making available a commercial unit in Cornwall Street rent-free for one year. A wide variety of pop-up use is due to start there in January 2022. Plymouth Culture is overseeing the project in partnership with the city council, Plymouth City Centre Company and Vacancy Atlas. More details can be found at plymouthculture.co.uk
Public realm and Transforming Cities Fund capital works: to improve the environmental quality in our core streets and open spaces, creating a social space for everyone to participate. Work has started on public realm improvements in New George Street and Old Town Street which will create a more contemporary, family friendly environment and new pop events space, all due to be completed by the end of 2022. Work is also expected to start in 2022 on the revival of The Civic Square and building improvements along Royal Parade.
Sites regeneration programme – funding ready: working with partners to drive forward joint sector infrastructure projects ready for construction, thereby activating employment opportunities. Work has started on plans, with NHS England, on a huge purpose-built health hub at Colin Campbell Court to provide a range of services under one roof. A planning application is due to be submitted in December 2021 and, if approved, would be a catalyst for regeneration in the area. With up to 250 health professionals working there and up to 3,000 daily visits, it would significantly add to the diversity of the High Street and provide a welcome economic stimulus.