The National Marine Park Horizons project, led by Plymouth City Council, is making positive progress with the appointment of design consultants for the sustainable and inclusive development of the Marine Park gateways following a competitive tender process.

The contract has been awarded to a consortium of Plymouth-based businesses, including Services Design Solution (SDS) sustainability and engineering consultants, who will lead the work in partnership with Plymouth-based architects LHC and structural engineers Airey and Coles.

The consultants will work with the National Marine Park team to design, develop and improve key assets and access points to enable more people to engage with the waters of Plymouth Sound, including:

  • The Hoe Foreshore, incorporating Tinside Lido and Beach
  • Mount Batten Water Sports & Activities Centre and Mount Batten peninsula
  • The Garden Battery at Mount Edgcumbe
  • Community access points at Ernesettle, Mount Wise and Firestone Bay

This design development work and community consultation will enable the National Marine Park team to submit the phase two bid to The National Lottery Heritage fund in June 2023.

Councillor Pat Patel, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Leisure & Sport for Plymouth City Council said: “The National Marine Park Horizons project is a significantly important project for both the people of Plymouth and for the city’s future development and growth. I’m really pleased to see us taking this next positive step in the delivery of our project plans to appoint local Plymouth companies to help us explore what measures we can put in place to develop our National Marine Park gateways and community access points. Within this tender process we were pleased to see the commitment to social value, and how this group of local companies, led by SDS, will commit to support inclusive access to high value jobs and careers.

This is just the start of the journey and there will be many opportunities for consultation as we explore the art of the possible for getting the people of Plymouth in, on, under and next to the waters of Plymouth Sound. I’d like to thank the National Lottery Heritage Fund and all of the National Lottery players for making this project possible.”

Part of the decision-making for the competitive tender process was based on social value. SDS scored incredibly highly, demonstrating their commitment in supporting both the National Marine Park project and through being a founding signatory of Plymouth’s Resurgam Charter. Their commitment to a fairer, greener future for Plymouth was clear.

Shaun Hoppins, Managing Director for Services Design Solution said:  “As a Plymouth-based company we’re delighted to have been appointed to work on the National Marine Park project. Our team of highly skilled designers, architects and engineers are passionate about delivering high-quality sustainable design. We’re looking forward to being able to lend our skills in making a positive difference in Plymouth’s community.

“In 2022 we achieved a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development, recognising our efforts in achieving sustainable business outcomes. We’re pleased that this commitment to both sustainability and social value has been recognised as part of this process. As a founding signatory of the Resurgam Charter we take pride in our active role of supporting our local community to deliver social value. We believe that people who experience and connect with the ocean are more likely to love it and want to protect it. Our commitment within our bid demonstrated this. We look forward to working with the National Marine Park team to deliver some exciting positive activity.”

As part of their social value commitment to the project, SDS have promised to:

  • Provide 20 hours of free support for careers fairs
  • Host two pro-bono training workshops on the opportunities to deliver low/zero carbon design solutions
  • Reward ten students from their Plymouth ‘adopt a school’ initiative with a sponsored place on the Ocean Squad programme enabling them to experience the local marine environment
  • Work with Plymouth Children in Poverty to contribute 30 swimming lessons to give disadvantaged children the opportunity to get in and under the water at Tinside Lido
  • Attend Preventing Plastic Pollution events around Plymouth Waterfront
  • Staff volunteering with the ReMEDIES seagrass project to create seed bags to support seagrass restoration

Winning the project also supports the company in its growth ambitions which includes employing six new staff members in the next year.

The Plymouth Sound National Marine Park Horizons Project has been made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players with £9.5 million of funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.