Edition 6 February-March 2012
Improving Rail Links Plymouth get’s Marine Energy Park for plymouth why Energy from Waste Matters
Sharing in a City’s Growth Positively Plymouth
Comment by Tim Jones: Energy from Waste
Critical to Plymouth’s Growth SWMEP launch Minister Greg Barker and Andrew Tyler of Marine Current Turbines
Leading the Waves
The importance of the recent news about the Energy from Waste plant being given the go-ahead should not be underestimated. This is a vitally important initiative for Plymouth, a crucial link in Plymouth’s infrastructure, a major step towards progressing Plymouth’s green energy agenda and a much-needed economic boost.
as part of UK’s marine energy park
Plymouth has been reviewing its waste disposal following many years of relying on the landfill site at Chelson Meadow.
Plymouth is to be part of the country’s first designated Marine Energy Park.
The new plant will bring to an end the disposal of waste on open ground. It also enables a major new initiative to be introduced: green energy which will be produced from the recycling process and save up to 20 per cent of the Devonport Naval Base energy bills.
The city is a key partner in the South West Marine Energy Park project, which has been given backing from Climate Change minister Greg Barker. Plymouth City Council and Cornwall Council have worked with Regen South West to build up a concept for a park that would capitalise on the area’s location and the expertise and innovation already here.
Plymouth’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration and Economic Growth, Councillor Ted Fry: “We have many companies working around here on some truly innovative projects. The idea is to create a hub of expertise with support, networks and investment to take these projects from research to market. “Advances made by local companies in this field mean we are on the cusp of a whole new industry.”
The project will also bring much-needed construction work to Plymouth, creating 300 jobs and 33 permanent jobs. There will be supply chain opportunities for local businesses and significant training opportunities. Across Europe there are over 400 energy from waste plants already in operation. It is understandable that strong opinions are generated with projects of this type, however this is a solution for the sub-region and this is a project which should be celebrated for its forward thinking and supported by community and businesses alike for what it will achieve.
Plymouth’s Rail Timetable
The geographic focus of the park will be Plymouth, Falmouth and Hayle but with strong links to Bristol and other centres of research and manufacturing. The park aims to bring together industry, academia, government and national bodies for a long-term programme to provide access to marine energy resources, prioritise investment in infrastructure, attract international finance, support enterprise, promote industry collaboration and build a strong supply chain and skills base.
This will not only make it more efficient, it will cost taxpayers less and most importantly, help to secure its future and jobs for local people as a result.
Western under the Greater Western rail franchise, which ends in April 2013. The new franchise gives the city a unique opportunity to make representations to Government and companies bidding for the franchise on the timetable specifications needed.
Business leaders, the Council, key organisations and the city’s MPs are pressing the case for better rail links ahead of the Greater Western rail franchise retender. The Department of Transport is being urged to make sure rail services to Plymouth and the far South West are more frequent, faster and better meet the needs of business under the new franchise. All rail services to Plymouth, except those to the Midlands and the North, are currently provided by First Great
A rail franchise task force group has been set up and has compiled a timetable which sets out achievable improvements to existing rail services to and from Plymouth that could be made during the next franchise period. These will make a huge difference to the city’s ability to attract investment and achieve its growth ambitions. Chair of Plymouth Growth Board, Doug Fletcher, who is part of the task force said: “The business community needs to be able to do a day’s work in Plymouth – or a day’s work in London, travelling reliably, comfortably and affordably by train.” For more information visit the Council’s website www.plymouth.gov.uk or the Chamber of Commerce website www. plymouth-chamber.co.uk
Gain Gaining Traction
The Growth Acceleration and Investment Network (GAIN) is becoming firmly established as the primary vehicle for inward investment and growth activity in knowledgebased businesses in Plymouth and the wider South West Peninsula. GAIN is a partnership founded by Plymouth University, Plymouth City Council and Tamar Science Park to accelerate growth and investment in high quality businesses and ideas to create wealth and jobs.
It also embraces Formation Zones in Devon and Cornwall, Cornwall Institute for Enterprise, Cornwall innovation centres, the Beacon Peninsula Network, University Enterprise Network and world class University R&D facilities. Recent successes include investments in 14 exciting businesses through the GAIN-managed Plymouth University and Western Morning News £1 million Growth Fund. GAIN has also brokered a major investment in innovative Plymouth
company Real Visual, based at Tamar Science Park, following an investor day organised during the America’s Cup World Series. And work is well under way on a new online portal for GAIN which will provide information and access to the GAIN network for people with ideas, existing growth-minded businesses and potential investors. For more information about GAIN call 0800 052 5600 or visit www.plymouth. ac.uk/enterprisesolutions
Support for Long Term Unemployed Continues Around 100 people are sampling working life thanks to the Flexible Support Fund, a new scheme designed to give people employment skills. Enterprise Plymouth, a social enterprise which encourages small businesses to turn jobs without
training into jobs with training, is delivering the support with Jobcentre Plus, Plymouth Employment & Skills Board, the Routeways Centre and Plymouth Guild among others. Plymouth City Council is a financial partner.
2012 Visitor Guide Launched The 2012 Visitor Guide for Plymouth has been launched by the Waterfront Partnership. The publication is the first strategic marketing document undertaken since the development of the Visitor Plan.
Jobseekers get career advice, voluntary work placements, training and support in managing health conditions. Critically it will enable people to have valuable work experience while still claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance.
City Projects Gain Recognition Plymouth’s Market Recovery Plan has been shortlisted for the Royal Town Planning Institute’s top prize, the Silver Jubilee Cup. The plan supports investment during a difficult economic period and includes incentives for early delivery of schemes, flexibility on tariffs and discounts for commercial
developments. Since 2008, 115 schemes have qualified for consideration. Other projects commended by regional RTPI judges include High View Primary School and St Aubyn’s Church building projects and the Saltram Country Park Masterplan.
Waterfront Business Improvement District Goes to a Ballot Waterfront business have received their BID ballot papers to vote on setting up a Business Improvement District (BID). The private sector-led initiative is designed to give local businesses much more control in the way the waterfront is managed and promoted, with a focus on generating increased footfall, visitor spend and marketing the Waterfront as a regional and UK destination. An estimated £6.2 million of projects are contained within a five-year Waterfront Business Plan developed by Plymouth Waterfront Partnership (PWP) in consultation with local businesses – including marketing campaigns, new events and environmental improvements.
A ‘yes’ vote for a Business Improvement District would see all businesses contributing through a levy (based on rateable value) towards the funding of the BID - with an additional £5 targeted in match funding for every £1 contributed by Waterfront businesses. Within this is a commitment secured by the PWP Board that Plymouth City Council will enter into service level agreements ring-fencing budgets for Council-delivered services in the BID area over its five-year duration. This allows 100 per cent of the cash generated through the levy to be spent on new investment projects. The ballot runs until March 2. Visit www.waterfrontbid.co.uk
Regional Growth Fund
Round 3 Announced Plymouth businesses are being encouraged to bid for a share of the Regional Growth Fund. An extra billion is available to the £1.4 billion already announced by the department for Business Innovation and Skills. The fund aims to create the conditions for growth and enterprise in the regions by stimulating investment and create substantial private sector jobs.
Plymouth University with the Western Morning News and Princess Yachts International have both successfully secured funds in earlier rounds. Interested businesses can contact the Council’s Economic Development Team on 01752 304885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Council Land Sale to Boost City’s Housing Market
Land currently owned by the Council could be sold off to help boost Plymouth’s housing market and bring investment and jobs to the city.
The sites will be made available to the housing market through a tender process. Housing providers will be able to compete for the sites early this year and the provision of employment and training opportunities will be a key element of the selection process.
Surplus sites around the city have been earmarked for development and are expected to provide more than 470 new homes. The Council will specify the number, range and mix of new homes on the sites to meet the city’s identified housing needs.
A workshop held recently at the National Marine Aquarium included talks about Destination Plymouth’s newly-published Visitor Plan, the carbon footprint of Plymouth’s ‘day’ and ‘staying’ visitors and opportunities for a low carbon future for tourism.
The plan is Plymouth’s response to the new national Housing Strategy ‘Laying the Foundations’. The aim is for new housing to support economic growth, create jobs and help people to own or rent a decent home.
Dr David Gibson from the Aquarium said: “Reducing our carbon footprint is not only in line with our environmental aims and objectives, but it is simply good business sense.”
Businesses in the tourism sector are being given insights into the benefits of becoming more sustainable and how they can go about doing it.
University to be Awarded
Queen’s Anniversary Prize Plymouth University is to be awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of its world class marine and maritime research, teaching and training. The University, which celebrates its 150th anniversary, was named as a prize-winner in the 2010-12 Diamond Jubilee Round, by the Royal Anniversary Trust. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will present the awards to University representatives at Buckingham Palace this month.
The prizes are the UK’s most prestigious form of national recognition open to a UK academic or vocational institution. It recognises the impact of the university’s research, teaching and training across the marine and maritime sector, and the legacy of its founding as a School of Navigation in 1862.
The Millbay website www.millbayplymouth.com
Millbay Gathers Momentum Millbay’s regeneration is expected to move forward in 2012 with the start of two significant projects. Work should start soon on the next phase of development – Cargo 2 – featuring 44 new homes and 370 sq m of commercial floor space. A new 179-berth marina and waterside facilities in Millbay’s inner harbour is due to be built by the Sutton Harbour Group later this year once final lease agreements are signed with Millbay’s lead developer English Cities Fund and the Homes and Communities Agency. www.millbayplymouth.com
Cabinet Approves Draft CIL Proposals The way that developers contribute to mitigating the impacts of their developments is changing. The Planning Service team are interested in hearing your views on these changes. The Council is working towards introducing a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) towards the end of this year, and will shortly consult on its Draft Charging Schedule. This will replace Plymouth’s existing Development Tariff as the main means
of securing pooled contributions to provide the infrastructure needed to accommodate growth in the city. The rates proposed are overall the lowest in the country to date.
The CIL Draft Charging Schedule, and the Draft SPD Second Review documents were approved by the Council’s Cabinet for consultation on 17 January.
At the same time, the Planning Obligation and Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is being reviewed to take account of the introduction of the CIL and changes in national policy on affordable housing.
You can view and comment on both from 7 February to 20 March 2012 at www.plymouth.gov.uk/ ldfplanningobligations . Paper copies are available at libraries and the Civic Centre, and written comments can be sent to Planning Services, Civic Centre, Plymouth PL1 2AA.
Derriford Community Park Masterplan – Have your Say A new masterplan for Derriford Community Park shows how the park can be delivered to become a significant new green space within the city.
Planners at Plymouth City Council are seeking your comments, views and ideas on what should be provided as part of this innovative new Community Park.
The park will include new recreation routes and community gardens. At its heart will be the One Planet Centre providing an exciting new hub for environmental learning.
The draft masterplan will be consulted on from 7th February for 6 weeks. All the details on the plan and how to comment will be on our web site www.plymouth.gov.uk/dcp
Get connected Plymouth City Council Place Directorate
Transport and Infrastructure plymouth.gov.uk/transportandstreets email@example.com 01752 668000 (24 hrs)
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