Award-winning regeneration company Urban Splash is set to acquire Plymouth’s Civic Centre, following its successful transformation of the City’s Royal William Yard.
In a deal agreed this week, Plymouth City Council will sell the freehold of the Plymouth’s iconic Civic Centre to Urban Splash.
Urban Splash is well placed to undertake the redevelopment; to date it has received 24 awards for its transformational work at Royal William Yard, taking it from a disused Naval supplies base to a thriving residential community and much-loved food and drink destination with diverse operators such as River Cottage, Le Vignoble, Las Iguanas and Le Bistrot Pierre.
It also has a strong track record in transforming concrete structures of this era as demonstrated in its stunning regeneration projects like The Rotunda Building in Birmingham and Park Hill, Sheffield.
Urban Splash director Nathan Cornish said: “We’re really excited to be making another commitment in Plymouth. It’s a city and community that we believe in and want to invest within, so we can play a part in its regeneration.
“The Civic Centre is listed and like many buildings of its particular era, it has its fans and its detractors, but we think the Civic has got something special: it is unique, it’s Plymouth’s tallest building and takes in important place within the thinking of Abercrombie’s post war masterplan.
“It is still very early days and we are looking at a range of options for the building. It’s going to be an exciting project, one where we will not underestimate the challenges it throws at us, but also one that we will relish’
Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet Member for Finance and Assets is giving the go-ahead for the sale under delegated authority. He added: “I’m really excited to have an organisation of Urban Splash’s calibre take on the task of giving new life to the Civic. They have a great track record in delivering high profile regeneration projects in listed and concrete buildings.
“It is fair to say the future of the Civic caused some sleepless nights. But all the way through its recent history we were conscious of how important this building is and the role it could play in the regeneration of our city.
“As a council it would have cost around £30m to restore the building – now the private sector is taking on the Civic, we can redirect our energies and resources into creating jobs and homes for Plymouth.”
The Civic Centre was listed in 2007 by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Opened by the Queen in July 1962, the building was the main administrative centre for Plymouth City Council until last year. The complex includes the 14-storey tower block which is the highest building in the city centre. The tower block connects to the Council House, which includes the Council Chamber, where key decisions affecting the city are taken.
(from a press release)