Wales an the Southwest: The shore thing
Marine businesses in Plymouth continue to grow by 15% each year, and with further expansion planned in leisure, sports, support industries and regeneration projects, the city is making shrewd use of its prized waterfront, writes Nick Horton
Few would deny that Plymouth greatest asset is the sea, and yet centuries of naval dominance have, until recently, left large parts of the waterfront disconnected from the city centre. But all that is changing. Not only is Plymouth reclaiming its waterfront for people to enjoy, but its huge marine sector has shrugged off its traditional dependence on the defence industry to diversify into the marine leisure market.
The southwest is second only to Southampton and the Solent for the breadth of expertise available, and Plymouth now has the largest cluster of marine businesses in the region.
Research published in 2003 by Plymouth University, as part of a marine skills audit commissioned by the Southwest Regional Development Agency (RDA), shows that out of the seven key marine lusters?in the region, stretching from Poole in the east, Falmouth in the west and Bristol to the north, Plymouth is by far the biggest.
The sector has some 270 marine-related businesses in the city, employing more than 13,500 people, and it is a sector that has been growing at an estimated 15% a year since 2001. There are several reasons for this, but top of the list is the pool of skilled labour available ?and Plymouth, largely through marine engineering giant DML is pre-eminent. The company has the largest marine complex in Western Europe, employing around 4,800 people, and has diversified from its traditional Royal Navy refit and maintenance role to include a range of commercial activity, such as high-tech composite work, overhauling railway equipment and through its subsidiary Devonport Yachts, the construction, conversion and refit of superyachts.
The superyacht market is undoubtedly one of the most exciting areas of development for Plymouth marine sector. Warship yards in the Netherlands and Germany are turning out yachts of prodigious size that cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and DML multi-year lease on the Appledore shipyard facility in north Devon, which it secured last year, will give the company huge potential in this market.
The growth of the superyacht sector is indicative of a growing trend towards leisure marine, in which Plymouth ?along with the Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth ?is playing a leading role. Princess Yachts is also thriving and has an order book which is as full as it has ever been, with boats being sold just about as fast as they can build them. Plymouth also boasts a huge range of support skills including finance, brokerage, law, insurance and consultancy expertise that you would be hard pushed to find in such concentrations elsewhere. And that support infrastructure extends beyond the traditional supply chain.
The Southwest RDA, for example, funds a skills and training programme that targets all small and medium-sized companies in the marine sector, giving support for training costs, new materials and ICT skills for employees. It also supports four marine trade networks through the sector body, Marine South West, and all this work is essential to underpinning continued growth.
Marine South West objective is that by 2010 the region marine industry will be regarded as the most competitive, innovative and coherent in Europe. With some 2,700 marine-related businesses across the southwest, employing more than 31,000 people and with an annual turnover of ?.3bn, it is well on the way to achieving that ambition.
Ensuring that the industry has the skills base to thrive is fundamental to this strategy and Marine South West is establishing three marine training schools, at Poole in Dorset ?which is already open ?and two other projects in Plymouth and Falmouth.
The university is one of five organisations making up the Plymouth Marine Sciences Partnership, which represents one of the largest regional clusters of expertise in marine science and technology in Europe. Made up of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth University, Marine Biological Association of the UK, National Marine Aquarium and the Sir Alistair Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science, the PMSP is a huge asset to the city. It works closely with governments, agencies and industry through technology transfer, joint ventures, collaborative research and international partnerships.
Plymouth also has a number of commercial shipping operations and Associated British Ports has invested some ?.3m to accommodate Brittany Ferries?new superferry Pont Aven, which has increased capacity for roll-on, roll-off passengers and freight services, including the growing cruise ship market.
Freight plays an increasingly important role in Plymouth, with the oil and bulk cargo terminals in the Cattedown area seeing a significant increase in commercial shipping traffic, with the two million tonnes of cargo per annum being discharged in the port.
We also should not overlook the important role being played by international sporting events in throwing the spotlight on Plymouth. Steve Fossett chose Plymouth as the embarkation point for his record-breaking circumnavigation of the globe last year rather than the traditional starting point of Brittany, bringing international attention to the city.
The spectacular international powerboat racing that we have seen in recent years in Plymouth Sound also plays a role in underlining the city maritime credentials and last year the city hosted the J24 class national championships. They highlight that not only do we have a fantastic venue, but also the myriad support services that are necessary to make these events happen. Against this backdrop we are seeing major regeneration projects along Plymouth waterfront. Sutton Harbour Holdings, the only plc headquartered in the city, is playing a crucial role in the development of Sutton Harbour.
Royal William Yard is being transformed into a vibrant new area through a partnership between the Southwest RDA and award-winning developers Urban Splash. The Millbay area, together with several acres of prime waterfront, has also been earmarked for a major mixed use regeneration project being spearheaded by English Partnerships, English Cities Fund and the Southwest RDA. These high-quality projects are aimed at reconnecting Plymouth with its greatest asset ?its waterfront ?and help reinforce the image of the city as a place where the marine sector is not just a vital part of the city economy, but a way of life.
Nick Horton is a partner with Bond Pearce in Plymouth, specialising in shipping and marine law.
|But what about Eastbourne, certainly on the up.|
|anyone seen the article this weekend in the business paper. discusses property prices in sidney and melborne have fallen 12.9 and 7.+ % in the first quarter of this year. No real trigger they said just overvalued props.. UK is not too far away from sinking feeling now.|
|got it. mail sent|
I have some info for you on Plymouth & Houseboats.
If you are interested, could you leave your email here,
or on the WEY thread.
= = =
Well, Pugsey, if you've come for a look, here's an edited
version of an email I have from someone who knows the area well:
My suggestion is that since he has only £50,000 available, he tries the following:
1. The New Boat Co. have a Boston Wide Beam length 57'x10' at £xx,000 inc.vat. Try their web site at www.thenewboat.co.uk they seem to be good value for money.
2. Boats & Yachts for Sale magazine, This mag. has all sorts of vessels for sale. Various sizes, types, & prices.
3. Moorings in Plymouth, best to try the marinas, though I'm not sure how they view residential moorings, maybe OK on a yearly licence.
4. Plymouth for housing is much cheaper than Weymouth or Portland, there was a lot of naval accommodation built and it is a working town, rather than leisure & retirement. Careful it has some social problems, drugs, prostitution, unemployment and the like, Though it is changing.
All the best, YYY|
|Excellent location for filming and photography
Unique Exclusive Marina Berths at Weybridge
Moorings in peaceful countryside setting. A few minutes from the centre of Weybridge and only 17 miles from London, secluded and private car park, electricity, calor gas, toilets, boat service and insurance.
EYOT HOUSE LTD. ... D'Oyly Carte Island
Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8LX
Tel: 01932 848586 / Fax: 01932 828214
That's a great summary.
Over to you, Glenn|
Weymouth's a lovely place, lots of character in the central area, plenty of traditional pubs, but I still find it a bit small and seasonal.
The plus side is a reasonable, if not fast, train service to London Waterloo, and access to the beautiful Dorset countryside either north, east, or west of the town. I would imagine it's a fairly low crime area, and probably an easy place to make friends.
IMHO Portland, just down the road, has more character, although also quieter, but plenty of traditional stone cottages and pubs. Downside is probably the wind, and weather at the higher levels of the bill, but lower down Fortune's Well is Ok. Excellent bus service to Weymouth, about every 15 minues, and journey time the same.
Dorchester, is an historical, clean, and beautiful (IMHO) town, inland, and, like Weymouth and Portland, friendly, with a traditional cattle market every Wednesday. I would also prefer to live here than Weymouth.
I live in the Bournemouth/Poole area, and enjoy the benefits of large town life, with the countryside jst a few minutes away, best of both worlds IMHO.
If i had to change, I would go to Dorchester, but retire to Portland (Either Fortune's Well or Easton)|
|Go West, young man and hammer out your fortune there
by Simon de Bruxelles
South West England is making a name for itself as an innovative, resourceful 'region of europe'. Simon de Bruxelles introduces a special report
A QUIET revolution is taking place in South West England and it is playing a leading role in Britain's economic revival.The factors that once made the South West a favourite place for the elderly and retired - its tranquil, relaxed pace of life, unspoilt countryside and rugged coastline - are now attracting a new generation of entrepreneurs and professionals, from software designers to film- makers and artists.
For these people the distance from London is no longer a problem. Broadband connections and improved transport mean that it is as easy to work from an office in Somerset as it is from Surrey.
The South West could be described as Britain's undiscovered country, as distinct in its own way as Wales or Scotland. It stretches from the Scilly Isles in the west to the high-tech corridor of the M4.
|Superyachts ... March 27, 2004
Sailing's boom brings jobs and prosperity /.By Christopher Warman
THE construction of the largest private yacht since the former Royal Yacht Britannia by Devonport Yachts and the expansion of Osprey Quay, Portland, Dorset, to be both a commercial marine centre and possible home to Olympic sailing events in 2012 testify to the booming marine sector in South West England.
The £1 billion industry, which concerns yachts, boat-building and equipment, is fourth in size after aeronautics, tourism and food and drink, employing 32,000 people in 2,700 companies.
Identifying the importance of the sector to the region's economy, the South West Regional Development Agency set up Marine South West (MSW) four years ago to lead its development, and its innovative contribution is regarded by SeaVision UK, a campaigning body promoting the marine industry, as an example of the successful delivery of regional support.
Adam Corney, head of MSW, says: "Our approach seems common sense to us. We are not trying to reinvent the wheel but aim to tie in business links with learning and skills councils and involve industry representatives, collaborating with local authorities.
"Perhaps we are the first to bring everyone together in this way. We listen to what the industry says and can instigate projects in training, marketing and career development. With an ageing workforce, averaging 55-plus, it doesn't take rocket science to tell us we will be facing difficulties in a few years' time unless we act. It is vital to encourage young people to come into the industry."
The sector boasts two of the biggest yacht builders in the UK: Sunseeker International, based at Poole, Dorset, with a turnover of £141 million and a staff of 1,300, and Princess Yachts International of Plymouth, which boasts a full order book. In addition it has the two main builders of super- yachts, boats of 90ft (27m) and more: Pendennis Shipyard, Falmouth, and Devonport Yachts, Plymouth. Last year Superyacht UK was launched with government backing to co-ordinate this sector, which has doubled in size in the past decade.
Devonport Yachts is a specialist unit of DML, which owns Devonport Dockyard and whose work is concerned mostly with warships. It has entered the superyacht world partly because it is a market of its own, and partly because of the spin-off in expertise it provides for its warship side.
The company is building two yachts, one of which is a 76m (250ft) steel-hulled super-yacht, the largest to be built in the UK since Britannia. Their cost is between £20 million and £50 million. Osprey Quay, the former Royal Naval Air Station at Portland, Weymouth, acquired by the Regional Development Agency in 2000, is a project of "great regional significance", according to Bruce Voss, the RDA sub-region's development manager.
The agency has provided the infrastructure of the 80-acre site, and is attracting companies to the business park. A key company is Luhrs Marine, the largest US yachtbuilder, which chose Osprey Quay for its European headquarters.
An important component is the expansion of Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy, which has attracted funding of £3.2 million from Sport England. This is being matched by the RDA, which is also adding £1 million for infrastructure. The academy will become a national centre of dinghy sailing, and will form a key part of Britain's bid to host the Olympics in 2012.
The Portland harbour and Weymouth Bay area hosted the Olympic trials for the 2000 Games, and the trials for this year's games will be held there next month.
I start threads to keep my research available on the web wherever I go.
If others can make use, thats great|
|Visited Weymouth over Easter- and liked it.
Think it may be under-rated as a Tourist attraction,
and maybe as a place to live
Maps: Weymouth : Close-up Westwey rd. area
1: PrimeLocation's Dorset listings
2: Specific property: 3BR: £1000 /month
= = = = =
Interactive Tour, marina: http://www.weymouthpanorama.co.uk/Marina.htm
Development Proposals: http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=3&svaid=405&svapid=1733
Cottage Guide....: http://www.cottageguide.co.uk/Gc/
Property Prices: http://www.proviser.com/regional/local_authorities/weymouth_and_portland/property_prices/
This is Dorset, news: http://www.thisisdorset.net/dorset/weymouth/media_pack/
Weymouth Links: http://www.tellmeabout.co.uk/directory/w/weymouth/readme.htm|
|Well see you in the conference, travel to Burton & I'll buy you a pint to ease your pain.|
|As an exiled Terra this thread is to trace Weymouths run in
I've got a tenner at 20-1 on a Weymouth 3-2 win aat Dover|