“Since 2007 we’ve made a long term commitment to Devonport and working with local residents and key partners such as Devonport Community First and Redrow, the neighbourhood has become a really great place to live, work and enjoy. The Market Hall is the next big step, capturing the community’s heritage of innovation, creating jobs and providing key support for our schools.”

Ed WhitelawHead of Enterprise and Regeneration, Real Ideas Organisation


Project Overview

The Market Hall – The South West’s new space for digital, arts, enterprise and visitors

Due to open in 2020 the Market Hall is a new kind of digital hub. Situated in Devonport, Plymouth city’s transformational docklands, the Market Hall will be a world class centre for digital, research, enterprise and culture. Drawing DNA from across the globe the 22,500sf space will bring together four central elements:

  • 3000 square foot of bespoke-quality office, lab and teaching space for a range digital creative companies and organisations;
  • a cultural, corporate events space with a seating for up to 350 people and an expo capacity of 600, with multiple adjoining breakout spaces and café bar;
  • a digital visitor experience of touring programmes, screen and installation based work and programmed activity to the enlighten the eager and entertain the expert; and
  • an exciting and engaging education and outreach learning programme for all. Both on and offsite, for communities, companies and schools, creating a unique learning pipeline from primary through to industry.

Echoing Devonport’s rich naval global heritage of technical and social innovation the Grade II listed Market Hall is part of the city’s central west end PL1 destination, offering coach and car parking with over 50 spaces. With excellent road, rail and bus transport links the Market Hall is immediately adjacent to the region’s enterprise zone at South Yard, the new marine industries research, innovation, production and deployment site.

The Market Hall is a partnership that aims to support the growth of digital in Plymouth and across the peninsular. There are six problems we’re working to help solve:

Visibility – the city and region has a thriving digital sector, how can we celebrate this more, make it increasingly visible to the world, creating greater confidence, visibility and investment.

Talent – we want to attract and recruit more great graduates to the city, retain those skills here and ultimately become a magnet for talent from across the world.

Skills – the south west is an SME economy and we have many areas of deprivation; how can we better help our businesses, communities and schools grasp every benefit new technologies have to offer.

Culture – Plymouth is increasingly one the regions hotspots for culture, heritage and arts, we want to add to that offer.

Regeneration – We love Devonport. Reimagining the Devonport Market Hall as a new space for digital is central to the city’s regeneration strategy.

Social Tech – As a social enterprise we love solving social, environmental, economic and cultural problems, digital is another growing great way of doing this.


Ward Williams
Quantity Surveying

Hoare Lea
Mechanical and Electrical Design

Structural Design

Classic Builders


The repair works carried out previously by Redrow on the historic fabric of the Market Hall have kept the building watertight and secure over the last few years and we look forward to beginning the enabling works to prepare for the start of construction.

As design work progresses; the layout, servicing, look and feel of the building are all developing fast in preparation for planning submission in the spring.

Great consideration is being given to ensure the character of the existing building with a modern twist is captured in the new extension, giving a sympathetic and cohesive profile that reflects the technological future of the building.



RIO logo




Devonport Market Hall is built

Post WWII (1945 onwards)

Dockyard enclave expands to include much of the town of Devonport, including the Market Hall


English Heritage designates Devonport Market Hall as a Grade II listed building


Masterplan for Devonport published


Parts of Devonport formerly in the Dockyard enclave are handed back as part of the New Deal for Communities programme


Dockyard wall removed


RIO takes on the nearby Devonport Guildhall


RIO opens the now restored Devonport Guildhall as a social enterprise hub


RIO secures Heritage Lottery Fund investment to restore and reopen Devonport Column

May 2013

RIO reopens Devonport Column

Dec 2013

Creative Digital Hub plans announced for Devonport Market Hall


Digital Futures programme launches, showcasing the kind of digital activity which people will be able to engage with once the doors to the refurbished Market Hall open in 2017


Enabling work begins


Contractors are secured and on site work begins

Devonport has a long history of both social and technological innovation. Creating a space here for Plymouth University and i-DAT will ensure we can continue in this fine tradition of innovation, create further opportunities for people locally and ensure Devonport is better connected to the rest of the city.