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The £250 million regeneration of Millbay

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A £250 million scheme to regenerate Millbay Docks in Plymouth is currently underway.

Millbay Plymouth is a 1,500,000 sq ft mixed-use regeneration scheme, comprising of a number of new build projects for the residential, hospitality and leisure sectors. In addition, the scheme also includes associated infrastructure and public realm works – including the implementation of waterside access points on Clyde Quay and East Quay – and the construction of a brand new marina.

The Millbay Plymouth project is being implemented by English Cities Fund (ECF), a partnership comprising three partners: Muse Developments, Legal and General and Homes and Communities Agency. ECF was created by the government to implement investment schemes in towns and cities and as well as the regeneration work that is taking place in Plymouth, ECF is also responsible for schemes in Salford, Wakefield, Liverpool and Canning Town.

Throughout the scheme 650 residential units are being constructed, combining a mix of town houses, affordable homes and apartments. To facilitate the works on the project, the scheme has been divided into phases, also known as ‘cargos’.

Phase One of the scheme – also known as Cargo_One – comprised the construction of 134 residential units and was completed in 2009. Ardmore Group was the main contractor on Phase One, whilst Bristol-based practice Ferguson Mann Architects provided all architectural services.

During the first phase of works Galliford Try Infrastructure Ltd was appointed to conduct a number of important works on the site, including the dredging of the inner harbour, the restoration of the Listed quay walls and the creation of two revetments, as well as related infrastructure works.

During the dredging of the inner harbour, approximately 50,000 m³ of materials were removed from the site and were later recycled to form part of a flood alleviation scheme. Millbay Plymouth Phase One won a RIBA Gold Award for its design.

Phase Two of Millbay Plymouth – also known as Cargo_Two – is currently taking place on the site and comprises construction of a 48 units – combining a mix of apartments and town houses. Kier Western is the main contractor on Phase Two, whilst Ferguson Mann Architects is the architect.

Following completion of Phase Two, a third phase, comprising 132 units and combing another mix of apartments and town houses will get underway. Work will begin on Phase Three in March 2013, with London-based practice HTA appointed as the architect. The main contractor for Phase Three is yet to be appointed.

Muse Developments Projects Director, Robert Poole, said:

“Millbay Docks is located approximately 400 metres from the centre of Plymouth. Throughout the 19th Century, Millbay Docks was a thriving working port but in more recent times – and specifically since World War II – the site has been in a state of decline.

“The scheme that is being implemented is about regenerating the land and changing people’s perspectives of the area. The contemporary design of the scheme is a particular strength of the project, whilst the most challenging aspect is working within the historical context of the site and of course the large amount of existing infrastructure.

“The main materials that we have used during the first and second phases of the Millbay Plymouth project include a combination of zinc, copper, Siberian larch render and brickwork and the scheme is essentially a contemporary design that has a great deal of emphasis on a quality design and quality materials.”

Robert added:

“Being a part of a regeneration scheme such as Millbay Plymouth is very important for Muse Developments. As both an individual company and as part of ECF, Muse Developments understands the need for regeneration schemes such as this and we are working closely with both private and public sector partners to achieve our goals. Also having the stamina to continue work throughout the duration of the project is something that is helping us to complete the works to the best of our ability.

“Once this scheme is complete a significant area of Plymouth will be brought back to life. People will be living at Millbay and this site will become a prime destination for visitors.”

The Millbay Plymouth project is scheduled to reach completion in 2020.

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