Speaking at a ceremony at the city’s historic South Yard, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:
Devonport has been at the heart of Plymouth for generations, so I am delighted to confirm that the Ministry of Defence will be transferring South Yard to Plymouth City Council for its City Deal programme, which in total is expected to create more than 9,000 jobs and bring in more than £290 million in much-needed investment to the South West.
It will also preserve this vital part of Plymouth’s naval heritage, further strengthening the bonds between Plymouth and the Royal Navy.
More than 40 companies have already expressed interest in the site, which was declared an Enterprise Zone by Chancellor George Osborne in last week’s Budget. This will allow Plymouth City Council will be able to offer competitive packages to business wishing to relocate to South Yard.
The development of South Yard is expected to create 1,100 jobs as the site becomes a dynamic new centre of marine industry. Once finished, the redevelopment of the site will create 25,000m2 of flexible employment space with deep water testing facilities suitable for the marine and advanced manufacturing sectors.
Base Commander of Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport Commodore Ian Shipperley said:
The redevelopment of South Yard will be a shot in the arm for the Plymouth economy and the South West in general. The unique facilities make this a prime location for the very industries that have been the lifeblood of Plymouth for hundreds of years, and we at HMRNB Plymouth are delighted to see this site put to such a good use.