Plans to create 'cultural hub' at Royal William Yard
By Plymouth Herald | Friday, October 07, 2011, 05:30
A 'CULTURAL hub' of historical archives and artifacts could be created at Royal William Yard under new plans.
The Museum and Art Gallery stores, South West film and television archives and the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office may move to the Stonehouse building if new proposals prove popular.
Plans to develop a 'History Centre' at the former Parkside Community College in Devonport are being reconsidered after Plymouth City Council took over parts of the historic ex-Navy yard from the South West Regional Development Agency.
City officials are considering moving the history centre to the Factory Cooperage building in the yard.
The council will be presenting the proposal to the Heritage Lottery Fund and other funds in the hope of attracting grant funding.
Councillor Glenn Jordan, cabinet member for community services, said: "This is a fantastic idea that will bring together a cultural hub in the heart of one of the most historic sites in the city.
"It couldn't be a more fitting home for the history centre. The Royal William Yard is a much better option than the Parkside site for this kind of development as it's a more natural cultural fit and it also works brilliantly with Urban Splash's ambitious plans to make the Yard a destination for regular visitors."
He added that the huge space within the Factory Cooperage lends itself perfectly for use as a cultural hub and could potentially attract other partners.
He said the council has spoken to local historians and plans to talk with other organisations to gauge interest.
The council has been given until 2013 to bring the Plymouth and West Devon Public Record Office in Clare Place, Coxside, up to scratch after the National Archives classified the building as unsuitable for storing records.
Nathan Cornish, from Urban Splash, said: "We're keen to work up plans for Factory Cooperage and would like to work with Plymouth City Council in making the History Centre happen.
"We are very much in favour of attracting visitors to the Yard so everyone can share in its beauty, not only the residents and businesses located there but the public too.
"This is a fantastic idea and one we are really excited about and look forward to furthering our discussions with the council."
Plans will be prepared and submitted for council members' approval.