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Armada Way

Armada Way scheme logo

Armada Way

Plymouth City Centre is looking tired and past its best which is why we want this scheme to happen.

We will be transforming this route in the city centre into a place where people want to sit and relax, play, meet up and enjoy some of Plymouth’s great cafes.

We want an amazing scheme which will lift and rejuvenate this tired part of the city centre, making it more attractive to shoppers, residents, visitors and potential investors who are interested in coming to Plymouth.

Latest News

Taking control of Armada Way

The new leader of Plymouth City Council has set out his firm intention to rescue, reinvigorate and renew the city centre and reunite a divided city.

New council leader Tudor Evans OBE said his new administration’s top priority would be to sort out Armada Way.

Within hours of becoming the Leader of the Council he has overturned the decision of previous Leader, Councillor Richard Bingley, in relation to the Armada Way scheme.

This means the current scheme will not be implemented. Officers will bring forward options to regenerate Armada Way.

He has tasked officers with ensuring that further engagement takes place with key groups and businesses, to consult on the next steps for Armada Way.

A ‘hit squad’ will be deployed to tackle the litter that has built up in the city centre around the site, while officers are currently liaising with the Council’s independent ecologist over the next steps to clear the stumps of the felled trees, before looking at how and when the remaining felled trees can be removed, without damaging any birds nests, which may now be in the brush.

Full statement on taking back control of Armada Way

Statement for the latest on the clean-up of the felled trees.

Timetable of engagements, debates and decisions





2020 to 2022 Covid pandemic – Project on hold because of pandemic and lockdowns



Frequently asked questions

What does the latest injunction news mean for the project?

While the injunction remains in place for the time being regarding the 19 trees that have not been felled, the Judge at the Royal Courts of Justice on  24 March 2023 authorised the removal of the felled trees and tree stumps. This means we will be allowed to clear up the Armada Way site – as had been our original intention.

The conditions set by the court are that we can remove them subject to oversight by a representative from STRAW and an ecologist, whose views must be taken into consideration.

We do not yet have a date for when this will be carried out. Statement for the latest on the clean-up of the felled trees.

Who is paying for the redevelopment of Armada Way

The project will cost £12.7 million. We secured £2.752 million from the Transforming Cities Fund. Local contributions including Section 106 funding and funding set aside in our capital programme.

Who supports the scheme?

We have received many letters in favour of the scheme as well as those against it. We have had letters of support from the following

  • Plymouth City Centre Company who represent hundreds of firms in the city centre
  • The Environment Agency who support the scheme, particularly in relation to the surface water and urban drainage.
  • South West Water
  • Sustrans
  • Historic England
  • Homes England
  • Destination Plymouth
  • Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce
  • Plymouth Area Disability Action Network

Letters of Support

Why can’t you maintain what you already have?

We have the opportunity and funding for a transformational scheme which will act as a catalyst to regeneration of the city centre.

This involves thinking big and bold, creating a scheme which has longevity and takes into account best practice in landscape design, sustainability and planting.

Rather than work around existing, tired infrastructure, the new scheme will give the city a new, high quality city centre park for many decades to come.

What is the plan for maintenance?

Any new scheme would be designed to be as low maintenance as possible and aim for this to be no more of a maintenance cost than the old landscape on Armada Way.

We have enhanced maintenance for two years for all new soft landscaping within the budget and specialists working with our Street Services to establish a sustainable maintenance regime after that.

We hope to encourage apprenticeships in green space management with local education establishments. There is a detailed technical planting and surface maintenance plan.

Why can’t we have better shops rather than new landscaping?

The High Street has changed dramatically over the last decade or so. Long before the pandemic, the rise of online shopping had already had a negative impact on high streets up and down the country. We can’t force shops to open in Plymouth, but we can create conditions which encourages them to come to Plymouth.

One of Plymouth’s long-standing issues is that its city centre footprint is massive – equivalent to Manchester’s central shopping area but without the population to support it. We want to change the mix that the city centre offers, attract more people to live here, spend their leisure time here, eat and drink. We want to broaden the offer so that the city centre has much more to offer as well as great shopping.

Why can’t the council lower the rents or rates?

The rateable value is set by the Valuation Office Agency and the council issues bills based on these values. While the Council is a freeholder of retail properties in the city centre, the vast majority of units are subject to long leasehold interests. The Council has very little control over the day to day management of these properties and the rents charged, which are set by the leaseholders in lettings to third parties.

What is the council doing to sort out the empty shops?

We’re working with Plymouth Culture, the City Centre Company and Vacancy Atlas to fill vacant spaces with cultural projects.

Working with landlords, we identify vacant units that can be made available on a ‘meanwhile use’ basis. The meanwhile use licence will be offered rent free for up to six months. This gives people the chance to test ideas that can then be refined for a sustainable future on the high street. It also aims to increase footfall, bring new audiences to the city centre and try out new products and experiences.

In the long term we aim to create new experiences to get more people to spend more time in the city centre as well as improve and expand the city centre night time economy. For more information visit Plymouth Culture.

Why did you start work on this scheme when other schemes are unfinished?

In an ideal world, the Old Town Street/New George Street scheme should have finished ahead of Armada Way starting. However, the scheme hit issues in its first phase which slowed progress. Like other construction schemes, it was also affected by the post-pandemic supply chain issues including the supply of granite.

What is the latest with Old Town Street and New George Street?

We accept that this has taken longer than expected and this is far from ideal. The contractors had to negotiate a web of modern utilities beneath the ground as well as a layer of concrete – which has hidden a host of issues, including rubble from bombed-out shops, cellars and other voids.

Progress is being made including completing rainwater drainage in Old Town Street and the construction of ornamental gardens in both Old Town Street and New George Street. We have received a large volume of granite ready to be laid and are gearing up for a more intense phase of work in both streets and shoppers will soon see rapid progress. 

We always knew there would be a period of time when construction work would affect the look and feel of the city centre and have tried to manage this by using hoardings with design and imagery both of old Plymouth and new Plymouth to reduce the unsightliness of the works.

We have been liaising closely with the City Centre Company and retailers, who have been very patient and understanding.

Original scheme

We have archived the original scheme information and documents onto a separate page.