New-look Armada Way moves a step closer

Long awaited plans to transform Plymouth City Centre by reimagining the whole of Armada Way as a beautiful and contemporary tree-lined boulevard has moved a step closer.

Contractors Morgan Sindall have been appointed by Plymouth City Council to carry out the pre-construction design.

The plans will include the removal of the tired landscape features in the centre of Armada Way which will be replaced by a 1 kilometre long urban park, lined on either side by an avenue of trees.

The aim is to create a more impressive route from North Cross roundabout through the city centre and The Hoe as part of a programme of works designed to address years of under-investment in city centre streets and spaces.

Steve Hughes, chief executive of the Plymouth City Centre Company, said:

“This is great news for the people of Plymouth, visitors and our city centre businesses. We have been calling for more investment in the city centre’s public spaces for a long time.

“This is in addition to improvement works now underway in New George Street and Old Town Street and the work due to start shortly on the Civic Square. This all fits in with our ambition to create a vibrant city centre with a more diverse high street to include homes, leisure and greener and more welcoming public spaces.”

As well as restoring the view to create a more impressive and grand welcome into the city centre, other planned new features include:

• play and mixed use games areas for all ages
• water-based play space
• Dancing fountain jets
• Bike parking – a mobility hub will be going in at Mayflower Street and will be integrated into the scheme
• Improved and centralised crossing at Mayflower Street to enhance north-south connectivity
• Dramatically improved café seating areas
• Attractive places to stop and rest for everyone
• Refurbished historic Braille Garden and new stepped amphitheatre space for smaller scale performance
• New running water feature with sustainable drainage and biodiversity at its heart
• Linear tree pits and replacing broken paving at the Piazza
• Refurbishing the Sundial and its setting

The new look for Armada Way will also take into account the prospect of climate change with the introduction of plants and trees that are more resilient to an urban environment.

Beneath the ground there will be a new ‘Sustainable Urban Drainage’ (SUDs) system that will form part of a wider strategic network in the city centre.

The system includes ‘rain gardens’ and swales which integrate the drainage system with the new planting to make the best use of surface water. 

The council’s cabinet member for transport, councillor Jonathan Drean said: “This is one of the key regeneration projects that we have had on the cards for some time. We have secured significant funding from the government to carry out the work and want to clear the area of clutter and create spectacular views to the waterfront.”

Work is not expected to start in full until early next year, although there will be some site clearance in the autumn.

Some of the work will cross over with the Old Town Street/New George Street improvement schemes. The council has said it will be working closely with contractors and retailers to reduce disruption to the public as far as possible.