Millbay Boulevard

Millbay Boulevard

Project overview

Millbay Boulevard is a unique infrastructure project that is delivering multiple environmental benefits for Plymouth as part of our response to the current climate emergency.

The construction team led by our Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Team has guided its professional multi-disciplinary team of Engineers and landscape architects to deliver a complicated package of changes, which will ultimately see the completion of the much-awaited Boulevard in early spring of 2021

The project including its demolition and supporting associated works is valued at £6 Million. This money includes substantial grant support funding from UK Central Government in the form of Land Release Grant (Homes England), European Region Development Fund from its Water Resilient Cities Interreg 2 seas programme and from its Heatnet programme as well as funding from Plymouth's Local Planning System, channelling infrastructure growth money collected from city developments.

The project is providing:

  • Much needed sustainable transport infrastructure which improves the link between the City Centre and Waterfront at Millbay, focusing on walking and cycling
  • An important setting to future new development sites east and west of Bath Street which would include up to 600 new residential units, employment in the form of offices, a 200 bed hotel, new leisure, cultural and community uses and small scale retailing
  • A significant gain in Green Infrastructure through the planting of 26 new pine trees, and 600 sqm of new coastal planting within rain gardens
  • A Sustainable Urban Drainage system which has capacity of 250 cum (equivalent to the volume of seven standard shipping containers) and which protects 1.7 sq km of this locality from flooding, providing key links to what will be the city's future new storm water sewer system
  • A District Heating Network, comprising 1260 linear metres of pipework and two thermal boreholes tapping into Plymouth's warm water aquifer, and capable of distributing this heat to the future developments that will be built around the Boulevard, providing low cost energy to this part of Plymouth that can be rolled out across the city centre in the future
  • A new public square in the north of the Boulevard equipped with power for local events
  • Extension to the city's CCTV system
  • Ducting for future 5G network
  • Infrastructure for two on-street electrical vehicle-charging stations

Key facts

Millbay Boulevard is:

  • 1/4 of a kilometre in length, linking Union Street to Millbay Road
  • Formerly known as Bath Street the new Boulevard doubled the old back street in width from approx. 8.5 m to 16.5 m to form a spacious Boulevard
  • A generous new public realm some 1,545 sqm of new space is created (equivalent to 1.5 football pitches of new space) – all of which goes to create pedestrian domain, it's not new space for vehicles – it's for people, that's increase in public realm of 53 per cent
  • More visible now from Union Street, as the 67m long footbridge over Union Street has been removed (winter 2019)
  • Made possible by demolishing a redundant vehicle access ramp at the back of the Pavilions, a 70m long reinforced concrete structure complete with its 3m thick foundations
  • 22 direct construction jobs will have been supported over the 16 month contract

Completion - June 2021

Work is now complete at Millbay Boulevard and the new street has been opened up for the public to use, providing a now popular walking and cycling link between the city centre and Millbay's Waterfront.

What's changed?

Before and after picture of Millbay Boulevard

"The street was widened two fold and it became accessible and visible to the people of Plymouth as the obvious convenient link between the City Centre and the Waterfront".

Also all the important key infrastructure is now complete providing a robust and attractive public realm dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists, with all the in-ground networks of flood drainage measures, rain gardens, and tree pits together with the network of district heating pipes in place.

This makes our new street something really special, and a great example of how the city can pull various funding streams together to make a contribution to tackle some of the pressures we are now facing with climate change.

Running from Millbay Road in the south to Union Street in the north this distinctive street paved in robust granite paving provides a safe route for our people to walk between the city and the sea and enjoy all that’s on offer.

In the centre of the scheme, a new white-washed separating wall to Plymouth Pavilions forms a decorative eastern elevation to the Boulevard and a new timber and steel screen fence hides its tired and ugly service yard.

Stone pine trees and an under-planting regime of coastal grasses and maritime inspired plants are now establishing themselves in the rain gardens cooling the street and using any surplus water wisely for our city’s green infrastructure.

Partners and funders

  • Plymouth Waterfront Partnership
  • Homes England
  • European Regional Development Fund
  • Project Engineers - Awcock Ward Civil Engineers
  • Designers - LDA Design
  • Structural Engineers - John Grimes Associates
  • Main Contractor - South West Highways
  • Demolition Contractor - Gilpin Demolition Ltd
  • Plymouth Pavilions - Five Directions Ltd
  • Nudge Community Builders
  • Stonehouse Community Action
  • Local businesses and residents

Image gallery


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