Why the regeneration of Armada Way is so important for the future of Plymouth City Centre
An open letter from our chair, Nigel Godefroy
I write as Chair of the Plymouth City Centre Business Improvement District which represents more
than 500 businesses within our city centre.
We have been consulted with throughout the development of this exciting scheme and are fully
supportive of it. We regard it as a must happen if the city is to adapt positively to the challenges faced
by all cities.
We are fortunate that Plymouth is blessed with a city centre which is unique amongst cities in this
country. Like our waterfront it differentiates Plymouth from every other city in the UK and as such it
can be a huge asset. However, for years it has been neglected which means investors have turned
their back on the city centre and in particular the central band of Armada Way and the West End. This
scheme starts addressing the issues. Whereas we have seen that poor quality public realm
discourages investment, quality public realm does the opposite. This scheme will turn the tide, it will
create momentum for investment and development not only along Armada Way but will then spill into
Cornwall Street, New George Street West and into the West End. Our view is that this is probably one
of the most important regeneration interventions into this city in the last twenty years. Without it the
city centre will continue to be an area of decline.
The scheme itself is exciting, it creates the confident boulevard linking North Cross and the gateway
of the railway station to the Waterfront. Rather than being an area encouraging anti-social behaviour,
it is split into zones as different points of interest, an urban park. We see this urban park as being
another major attraction for visitors and residents. We approve of the uses and of the quality and
accept that it will mean that trees must be replaced. But this is for longer term gain. We believe the
scheme will attract more visitors and locals to the city centre, ensuring continued commercial viability
of existing businesses and encouraging badly needed mixed use investment. It will reignite the city’s
residents’ sense of pride in the city centre.
This represents a once in a generation opportunity to place the city centre as progressive when it
comes to tackling climate change with the planting of the right trees and plants, adopting up to date
best urban design practices and green spaces where people want to spend time.
The officers have done a tremendous job in pulling together this scheme. We understand the current
concerns particularly around the issues of the loss of mature trees, but we urge members to fully
support the scheme for the benefit of our business members, further investment and job creation as
well as for the wider regeneration of our city.
Plymouth City Centre Company