Turf Cutting of Building C has begun!


Turf Cutting Ceremony to bring life and vitality back to City’s historic thoroughfare

The process of creating a pioneering urban enterprise hub in historic Stonehouse, which will create 200 new jobs in Plymouth, officially began at a special turf cutting ceremony on Union Street today (Tuesday, December 10th 2013).

The ceremony, which was carried out by Council Leader Tudor Evans, marks the start of work on a new £5 million building development for the Millfields Trust which will be constructed next to its thriving HQ business Centre.

Visitors included Councillors from Plymouth City Council, representatives from LEP, ERDF and members of the local community set to benefit from the improved economic activity the new business hub will inject into the area. The Millfields Trust, a trading social enterprise which reinvests profits back into the community of Stonehouse, has chosen Midas Construction to be the main contractor for the construction of the high quality four storey building. Mike O'Neill, divisional director of Midas Construction for Devon and Cornwall, explains, “This new development highlights the increasing investment we are seeing being injected into Plymouth. There is a very positive atmosphere in the business community in the City and this new building in Stonehouse is a prime example of this, we are delighted to be part of it”.

Designed to support emerging, small and medium sized enterprises and creating employment opportunities for local people, the new building will house 32 new business units and a full height atrium with glass lift. Chris Garcia, Chief Executive of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership said: “The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership is very pleased to provide funding for this new hub – it will not only provide working space for businesses, but will help to grow the economy and create new jobs.”

Set to reinforce community cohesion and pride during its construction, it will provide a range of adaptable and functional workspaces when it is completed in Spring 2015 to BREEAM environmental standards. “It has taken many years of hard work to make this exciting venture a reality and it’s very satisfying for all our supporters to see construction work finally start,” says Reverend Sam Philpott, chair of the Millfields Trust. “This is a real milestone in the process of creating what we are confident will become a long term legacy for Stonehouse, enhancing the lives of local residents, supporting fledgling businesses and creating positive change for Union Street,” he adds.

The project will be financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and with great help and support from Plymouth City Council.

Council Leader Tudor Evans said: “This is a great day for the trust, the neighbourhood of Stonehouse and the city of Plymouth as a whole.

“Over the last year we have seen a phenomenal amount of work going on across the city between partners to help people find jobs, set up businesses and really embrace the fact we are now a social enterprise city. We have re-launched the Urban Enterprise programme and we are supporting other social enterprises in other parts of the city through the programme and will create a new community economic development trust in the north of the city.

“The Millfields Trust has been instrumental in showcasing social enterprise and helping us create better opportunities. I am delighted that we are now cutting the turf on the next phase of their important work which will provide the foundations, support and space for the next wave of small businesses to get off the ground and we are delighted for them.”

Youngsters from seven local primary schools are currently involved in an art project to decorate the hoarding which will surround the build during the construction phase.