- Plym Yacht Club
- Lang's House - The Quay - Oreston
- Plymouth PL9 7NE - United Kingdom
- +44 (0)1752 404991
- [email protected]
Plymouth is the largest City on the south coast of England and, after Bristol, the largest in the South West with a resident population of 254,000. The City is surrounded by outstanding countryside, with the Dartmoor National Park to the north, the natural harbour of Plymouth Sound to the south and the rivers Plym and Tamar on either side. It is difficult to find a comparable environment elsewhere in the U.K. in which to work and live, which is why Plymouth frequently features in awards as one of the best cities in the U.K. in this respect.
Plymouth is situated in the southwest corner of Devon on the magnificent stretch of water known as Plymouth Sound. Plymouth forms the gateway to Cornwall via a suspension bridge over the River Tamar. It has all the benefits of any large thriving city plus the advantages of nearby Dartmoor, outstanding countryside, the coastline of the South Hams and the large sandy beaches of the Cornish coast, all on its doorstep.
There are many tourist attractions both in Plymouth and within close proximity, such as Plymouth Dome and the Aquarium, which are situated on The Hoe, the Dartmoor Wildlife Park at Sparkwell, the National Shire Horse Centre at Yealmpton, and Morwellham Quay near Tavistock. The National Trust has several properties in the area including Saltram House, Cotehele House and Buckland Abbey, the former home of Sir Francis Drake.
The countryside varies from the wild and rugged beauty of Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor to the rolling hills of South Devon, offering ideal locations for horse riding, hiking or just relaxing in the peace and tranquillity of the surroundings. Both Devon and Cornwall have magnificent coastlines which are accessed by a coastal footpath linking large sandy beaches, small coves and imposing cliffs. The contrasting coastline and sea conditions provide opportunities for fishing, surfing, windsurfing, all types of sailing and exploring rock pools, to name but a few. Throughout Devon and Cornwall, picturesque villages and towns can be found to delight the eye.
Almost every taste is catered for in Plymouth, with many hotels and restaurants, some of which specialise in fresh local seafood and international cuisine. There are many character public houses which serve very good food and drink in the City, but if a quieter atmosphere is preferred there are numerous country and village public houses within a 30 minute drive of the City which serve excellent food.
Plymouth offers comprehensive shopping facilities with most leading chains having outlets in the City Centre. There is, by contrast, a range of small privately-owned shops at the nearby historic Barbican. The pedestrianised City Centre offers a relaxed shopping atmosphere and boasts water features, floral displays, seating, areas set aside for outdoor performing and play areas for children. There are numerous district and out-of-town shopping facilities available in and around the City and nearby towns.
The main theatre in Plymouth, the Theatre Royal, is situated in the City Centre and offers a wide range of entertainment from ballet, drama, opera, and musicals to comedy and pantomime. The main auditorium seats 1,296 with the smaller Drum Theatre accommodating up to 200.The Theatre Royal is the leading regional producing theatre in the country and has been responsible for a string of West End hit shows such as 'Buddy', 'South Pacific', 'Shadowlands' and many others. There are other smaller theatre venues in the City also.
Plymouth Pavilions offers entertainment, leisure, exhibition and conference facilities all under one roof. Its large arena is ideal as a conference and exhibition venue, but it is equally at home playing host to the top names in show business, and seating for up to 2,500 can be provided. Sporting events such as the BSkyB International Snooker Tournament and the English Badminton Championships have also been held in this arena.
The Guildhall offers a smaller venue in the City Centre for events such as the Model Train Exhibition, craft exhibitions, concerts and public meetings. The City Museum and Arts Gallery exhibits artefacts and paintings as well as housing touring exhibitions. Plymouth's Art Centre located in the historic Looe Street is an alternative venue for the visual arts.
Plymouth has numerous sporting facilities available for both those wishing to participate or spectate, with a variety so great that an A - Z of sporting activities can almost be completed. The water obviously plays a large part in the sporting life of many people in Plymouth, with activities available such as yacht and dinghy sailing, canoeing, windsurfing and scuba diving to name but a few. Plymouth also has a number of indoor swimming pools. There are numerous squash and tennis courts, hockey, football and rugby pitches in the City, together with playing facilities for American football, the local team being known as the Plymouth Admirals.
Plymouth has a dry ski slope, and an all-weather athletics track. The surrounding area provides excellent mountain bike country, with one event of the World Cup Championships having been held at Newnham for the last couple of years.
There are several golf courses close to Plymouth, with St. Mellion, the most famous of these, being just 10 miles away. Here many national and international golfing tournaments have taken place on the Championship Course designed by Jack Nicklaus. The City has a league football team, namely Plymouth Argyle, which plays at Home Park, a national basket ball team called the Plymouth Raiders, and Plymouth Albion is the main rugby union club in the City.
There are 83 state primary schools within Plymouth's boundary, and the majority of towns and villages in the surrounding countryside have their own primary school. At secondary school level there are 4 grammar and 14 comprehensive schools in the City together with several independent private schools. There are also schools for children with disabilities and special needs.
There are many opportunities for further and higher education in Plymouth, with the University of Plymouth, College of Further Education, College of Art and Design and College of St. Mark and St. John. The University of Plymouth comprises four campuses which house the following faculties: Plymouth - science, technology, human science and the Business School; Exeter And Exmouth - arts and education; Seale Hayne, near Newton Abbot - agriculture, food and land use.
The Faculty of Technology produces graduates of outstanding quality in computing and informatics, electrical and electronic engineering. Other especially strong areas of activities are micromagnetics, information storage, VISI design, digital signal processing and intelligent knowledge-based systems. The Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering is now one of the leading researchers in information storage engineering in the U.K., producing some fifty graduates every year.
The University has close links with local industry and businesses through its consultancy and research work and local companies participate in joint projects.
The College of St. Mark and St. John (Marjon) at Derriford is affiliated to the University of Exeter, with all degrees awarded by that University. There is a wide range of courses available, including art and design, information technology, public relations and geography, to name but a few, and students normally choose a combination of two subjects. Teacher-training courses for both primary and secondary education are also available. The College also has a range of postgraduate courses, together with excellent sporting facilities.
The College of Further Education provides opportunities for obtaining further academic qualifications or undertaking vocational training in a variety of subjects. In particular the College is strong in the electronics, catering and business studies fields. Plymouth College of Art and Design offers vocational training in all areas of design, including photography and printing.
The United Kingdom as a whole has had, for many years, an excellent industrial record, and that for the South West is about the best. The local labour force is skilled, stable, non-militant, loyal and flexible. Companies have the freedom to choose between unionised and non-unionised working arrangements, and either way will discover a positive and forward-looking approach from workforce representatives. The UK's first single-union agreement was established by Toshiba at its Plymouth television plant in the early 1980's.
Plymouth has a population of 254,000 with a further 100,000 in its travel-to-work area. This, together with the long standing manufacturing history of the City, has resulted in the creation of a large skilled and semi-skilled labour force from which most requirements can be met. Plymouth is very familiar with the electronics industry with both GEC Plessey and British Aerospace having production plants in the City. There is also a large pool of workers locally who have demonstrated a high degree of manual dexterity which has been well received in this industry.
The recruitment and training needs of a company considering relocation to Plymouth can be dealt with by the Economic Development Unit's own in-house team known as Waterfront City at Work. In the initial phase, it operates closely with other agencies in order to produce that part of the Economic Development Unit's response package dealing with:
Statistical information, i.e. wage rates; training and training grant advice; advertisement advice and other relevant information.
Once a company's staffing requirements have been identified, Waterfront City at Work will provide a whole recruitment and training service, linking together, on behalf of the employer, the resources of Jobcentres, Devon and Cornwall Training and Enterprise Council, training providers, community skills initiatives, institutions of Further and Higher Education, and other local agencies.
All leading U.K. road freight companies operate from the City and rates can be very competitive on journeys out of the region since most laden truck movements are incoming, and therefore the opportunity exists for customers to negotiate favourable terms with hauliers who would otherwise risk empty return trips. Plymouth lies just 40 miles to the west of Exeter, where the M5 ends, but the U.K.'s first Expressway then goes on to Plymouth and is in effect an extension of the motorway. There is now an excellent road network throughout Cornwall. Rail freight traffic is dealt with by a Speedlink service from Plymouth to most parts of the U.K.
Brittany Ferries operate a regular roll-on/roll-off passenger and freight service to Roscoff in France and Santander in Northern Spain. There are up to 3 crossings to Roscoff a day between mid - March and mid - November, with 1 crossing a week during the remainder of the year. Normal passage time is 6 - 7 hours. The service to Santander operates between March and mid - November with 2 crossings a week, the passage time being 24 hours.
Plymouth enjoys excellent communications by road, rail, sea and air with the rest of the U.K., Europe and Eire. Plymouth lies just 40 miles to the west of Exeter, where the M5 ends, but the U.K.'s first Expressway then goes on to Plymouth and is in effect an extension of the motorway. There is now an excellent road network throughout Cornwall. The City is also on the main rail link from London (Paddington) to Penzance and is served by at least 12 direct Intercity 125 trains per day, giving a fastest journey time to London of just 3 hours.
In the near future a Channel Tunnel Sleeper Service will operate from Plymouth to Paris. The service will stop at Newton Abbot and Exeter and then travel direct to Paris, arriving in time for the start of the French business day. Plymouth City Airport is located approximately 5 miles from the City Centre, from which British Airways operate 5 flights daily (weekdays only - a reduced service operates at weekends) to London Gatwick (4 of which are via Newquay) where international connections can easily be made. There is also a Sunday to Friday service to Bristol with connections to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Paris, and regular services to Jersey, Guernsey and Dublin.
Flight times to London Gatwick take an hour on direct flights and around 1 hour 35 minutes via Newquay. British Airways offer, via Gatwick, a through-ticketing and baggage service from Plymouth to and from overseas destinations. Brittany Ferries operate a regular roll-on/roll-off passenger and freight service to Roscoff in France and Santander in Northern Spain. There are up to 3 crossings to Roscoff a day between mid - March and mid - November, with 1 crossing a week during the remainder of the year. Normal passage time is 6 - 7 hours. The service to Santander operates between March and mid - November with 2 crossings a week, the passage time being 24 hours.
Western National Ltd. provide a regular daily coach service to many parts of the country from Plymouth, including 8 coaches a day to Central London, offering journey times of approximately 4 hours to Heathrow Airport and 4 hours 30 minutes to Central London.
Plymouth and its travel-to-work area are designated as an Assisted Area under the Industrial Development Act 1982. In consequence, Regional Selective Assistance is available (subject to certain criteria) to developing companies.
Regional Selective Assistance, (RSA), is a discretionary grant offered by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and this means that an applicant first has to demonstrate a need for grant assistance - it is not automatic - and secondly, the amount offered is also at the discretion of the DTI and will represent the minimum necessary to enable the project to proceed. Typically a grant of around 15-20% of total project costs could be reasonably expected by qualifying applicants. Project costs can embrace such items as land, buildings, plant and machinery, etc.,whether new or second-hand, subject to the DTI's rules.
As the technique of making a grant application can be greatly influential in the success or otherwise of the application, it is recommended that consultations take place at an early stage with the Trade and Industry Directorate of the Government Office of the South West, and Plymouth City Council can assist in arranging appropriate introductions. We can also recommend from our experience several leading grant consultants who might be able to assist with the preparation of the application.