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Second phase of Oceansgate development complete

08 Mar 2021

The second phase of Plymouth City Council’s Oceansgate development, a world-class hub for marine industries, has now reached completion.

The momentous occasion was celebrated today with a virtual event, where building contractor Kier Construction ‘handed over’ the keys to the Council.

The project is transforming disused Ministry of Defence land in three phases, creating a purpose-built environment with both offices and industrial units designed with the needs of marine and maritime businesses in mind.

Phase 2 gives an additional 1,350 metres squared of light industrial space in three separate buildings and 1,100 metres squared of office space. The new office building is named Nesbitt House in honour of Plymouth-born Kate Nesbitt, who became the first female member of the Royal Navy to be awarded the Military Cross for her service in Afghanistan in 2009, celebrating the site’s defence links and proximity to the Naval Base.

The newly completed phase is already over 90 per cent pre-let. Tenants moving into Phase 2 include ESL Group’s Space and Defence Solutions division and City College Plymouth, which is creating a new dedicated learning environment offering university-level courses in marine and engineering subjects.

Oceansgate is the city’s Marine Enterprise Zone and sits within South Yard which is a key part of the new Plymouth and South Devon freezone. The freezone offers specific tax and relief benefits for companies based within it, incentivising employers to invest and create new jobs.

Council Leader Tudor Evans OBE said: “Plymouth City Council is incredibly proud of Oceansgate, which has fast become a thriving community of marine and maritime businesses and will be a core site in the city’s new freezone, showcasing our commitment to high tech marine innovation.

“It’s fantastic to see Phase 2 come to completion despite everything that has happened during the last 12 months. Our economic recovery plan Resurgam is now well underway and Oceansgate has an important role to play in this, safeguarding and creating new high-skilled jobs in the marine, defence and technology sectors which is crucial after such a difficult year for so many businesses.”

Phase 2 of Oceansgate is a £7.6 million project funded by the Council and a £2.25 million grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Doug Lloyd, operations director at Kier Regional Building Western & Wales, said: “We are delighted to have handed over Oceansgate phase 2, an important project for the people of Plymouth.

“Over the duration of this project, we have worked collaboratively with Plymouth City Council and Building Plymouth to deliver this first-class new building, with technical excellence and social value at the heart of this project.

“As part of our commitment to leave lasting legacies in areas in which we build, we have worked with local supply chain partners, provided job and training opportunities as well as hosted careers events to showcase the breadth of roles available within construction.”

During the construction of Phase 2, 82 per cent of all Kier’s spend has been with local suppliers. Throughout the construction process, Kier employed 12 new apprentices, totalling 291 waged training weeks for apprentices. More than 240 hours were dedicated to employment skills activities, with 17 construction-focused careers events for the local community.

Phase 1 of Oceansgate was completed in April 2018, and is now a base for eight businesses. The next steps include work on Phase 3.1, which will see the development of a new Marine and Defence Innovation Centre.

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