LDA Design to revamp Plymouth city centre

“There is real excitement in being able to take forward and refresh the vision for Plymouth city centre laid out by Abercrombie and Watson and to seize this opportunity to bring new life to these public spaces.”
Robert Aspland, Director, LDA Design

LDA Design and WSP have been appointed by Plymouth City Council to transform the city’s public realm, drawing people back into the centre.

The consultants behind some of the UK’s most impressive regeneration schemes will lead Better Places, a £27 million project to rejuvenate Plymouth. More walkable streets, better cycling routes and more inviting public spaces will bring life, activity and commerce back to the city centre, making Plymouth a safer, more sociable and enjoyable place for shoppers and visitors to spend time. The scheme is designed to meet the needs of local people, it will also support improved trading and encourage inward investment.

Better Places will also ensure Plymouth looks its best in time for the Mayflower 400 celebrations, which will mark the anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage to the New World in 1620.

Design and project lead LDA Design, designers of the parkland and public realm for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and contract lead WSP will together bring engineering and urban design expertise. They will partner with dRMM (architecture), RLB Rider Levett Bucknall (project management), Michael Grubb Studios (lighting), Robert Bray Associates (sustainable drainage systems), Robert Bevan (heritage); United Creatives (design) and DCA Public Relations (communications). The project team will follow the Council’s vision set out in the City Centre Masterplan.

Council Leader Ian Bowyer said: “We are at the start of an exciting rejuvenation project for our city and I am looking forward to the next stage, identifying detailed proposals for changes that need to be made and sharing these ideas with the public and our stakeholders.”

LDA Design Board member and project lead, Robert Aspland, commented:

“We are delighted to be working with Plymouth City Council on this once-in-a-generation project to revitalise and re-energise tired parts of this historic city. There is real excitement in being able to take forward and refresh the vision for Plymouth city centre laid out by Abercrombie and Watson and to seize this opportunity to bring new life to these public spaces, help stimulate economic activity and investment and create an attractive destination for shoppers and visitors in readiness for the Mayflower 400 and into the future.”

Lucy Jones, WSP Project Manager, said: “This project will transform Plymouth city centre, renewing and rejuvenating its open spaces and pedestrian areas in the lead up to the Mayflower 400 celebrations and beyond. We look forward to starting working on it and applying our transportation, civil engineering, engineering and landscape design, arboriculture, building services, and environmental expertise from our teams based in the South West to this transformational project.”

Next steps include consultation with the public and stakeholders and the preparation of a business case to cover the detailed design and construction costs for each of the city centre schemes.

The Better Places initiative comes at a time when Plymouth is benefitting from a series of major investments. Schemes already underway include the regeneration of Millbay with 400 homes; a new coach station and a £3.5 refurbishment of the City Market. Work has also started on the new £37 million Box, the city’s new history, arts and culture centre on North Hill, and at Bretonside in preparation for the new Drake Circus Leisure complex.

LDA Design’s masterplan for Plymouth, which includes transforming the waterfront, was shortlisted for the 2017 National Urban Design Awards.

Please contact Rob Aspland for more information.

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