The refurbishment of Devonport Market Hall is now one step closer thanks to the Funding Deal between Plymouth City Council and RIO being signed.
Plymouth City Council Leader Tudor Evans and RIO Chief Executive Lindsey Hall signed the milestone deal on Friday 18 September which will see £2.9 million released to RIO so that work to transform the derelict Grade II listed market building can now begin.
The plan to transform the Market Hall building into a creative digital hub was first announced in late 2013. The building – which it is estimated will cost around £4.5 million to renovate – was transferred to Plymouth City Council from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in 2004 along with a £2.5 million dowry to pump prime the project. Plymouth City Council has added £400,000 to the investment from the HCA so with the Funding Agreement now in place RIO can begin the programme of building work and set about securing the additional £1.6 million required from social investment to complete the development.
Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council said: “We knew that providing a £2.9m investment to help with the cost of this pioneering project was a risk in these difficult economic circumstances, but we always knew it was a risk worth taking.
“Not only are we working together to bring this landmark building back to life we’re also creating a space where our young people develop can develop their skills in a creative industry that globally is worth £53 billion.”
“The redevelopment of the Market Hall will be another massive step forward in the redevelopment of Devonport.”
Lindsey Hall, Chief Executive of RIO said: “The digital agenda in Plymouth is really gathering pace, so we are delighted to have signed the Funding Agreement with the Council which means this landmark project can take another important step forward.
“The Market Hall is the next big milestone in the regeneration of Devonport; capturing the community’s heritage of innovation, creating jobs and providing key support for a wide range of people and businesses.
“We look forward to getting the planning application submitted later this year with a view to starting on site in early 2016.”
The development of Devonport Market Hall is being led by pioneering social enterprise RIO (the Real Ideas Organisation) in partnership with Plymouth City Council, the Institute of Digital Arts and Technology (i-DAT at Plymouth University), City College Plymouth, Devonport High School for Boys and seven of the brightest tech companies in the region.
Professor Alan Schechner, Head of the School of Art and Media at Plymouth University, said: “This exciting project furthers our mission to embed high quality arts education in the heart of the local community. It will give us a platform to build on our existing expertise and connections, and unite a host of successful graduate enterprises in one hub of creativity and ingenuity. And it will enable our pioneering students, academics and researchers to work with the community, establishing Plymouth as a forward-thinking a centre of excellence for digital arts education.”
Devonport Market Hall is currently being maintained and supported by leading house builder Redrow. Andy Addisson from Redrow said: “Redrow Homes is pleased to have played a part in the realization of this initiative.”
Detailed information on the plans for Devonport Market Hall can be viewed at www.devonportmarkethall.org.