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Key waterfront landmarks to get some TLC

Key landmarks across Plymouth’s waterfront are getting some TLC as part of the National Marine Park’s ambition to encourage more people to use them.

Important heritage features at Tinside Pool, Mount Batten and the Garden Battery at Mount Edgcumbe Park will receive significant but sensitive makeovers designed to reinvigorate these amazing waterside locations and show off these stunning buildings and open them up to a new generation of users and uses, all thanks to National Lottery players.


A number of planning applications and listed building consents are being submitted over the coming weeks as part of an ambitious package of work that follows a year of talking and listening to families and communities across the city, history fans, nature and marine lovers and water enthusiasts. The projects are:

Tinside: Derelict parts of the iconic pool complex to be spruced up for a new era and range of uses:

  • The top deck – which is currently not used – to be transformed into an accessible, stylish public open space with café, events space, seating and landscaping
  • internal alterations and partial change of use to the first floor of the main Art Deco building – which is also currently out of bounds – to create a cafe/bar with flexible space for community events and happenings
  • internal and external alterations to the empty Edwardian building between the pool and Tinside Cove. This work is not just about providing disabled access, accessible changing facilities and kiosk, but will be a drop-in point for young people – with access to water-based activities and training. Given its location, these works will be water compatible, with flood mitigation features.
Mount Batten

Mount Batten: Improvements for visitors to the Watersports and Activities Centre by modernising the interior, including upgrading the changing rooms, redesigning the foyer and café. As this is inside the building, it does not require planning permission, however the package also includes:

  • A planning application for improvements overlooking the water with terrace, seating – in front of the revamped café – and landscaping.
  • scheduled monument consent for work at the foot of the 17th century artillery tower to repair, maintain and better landscaping with seating, paths and interpretation boards to encourage more people to enjoy this stunning Plymouth tower.

The Garden Battery at Mount Edgcumbe Park: Inaccessible to the public for years, the battery was built as part of the Palmerston fort defences in the 1860s. It is described as is ‘a truly impressive building and a rare survival in terms of its completeness and largely unaltered form.’

Mount Edgcumbe

The proposal is to open up the battery which is next to the South West Coast Path through

  • Listed building consent for two new entrances – made of steel – to allow public access to this coastal fort defence. The application includes internal staircases, internal alterations, resurfacing the saluting platform as well as interpretation panels, seating and landscaping.

The locations are designated gateway sites for the National Marine Park – meaning they will play a key role in the park’s vision to encourage people of all ages to enjoy Plymouth Sound – whether that’s in, on, under or by the water.

Council Leader Tudor Evans OBE said: “These features play a huge part of our history and it’s only right that they are being looked at with fresh eyes to make sure they are part of our future.

“The National Marine Park team have been listening carefully to our residents, water lovers, families and community organisations before putting together these plans to make the most of these magnificent landmarks in new and exciting ways.”

Stuart McLeod, Director of England - London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We’re thrilled to hear about the positive plans to revive these buildings and spaces as part of the work of Plymouth Sound National Marine Park. These improvements will not only give these spaces a new lease of life but will also make them more accessible and useable for the communities they serve to benefit. The positive impact of this project both on Plymouth’s community and its economy is one of the many reasons we’re proud to support their vision.”

Rhys Jones, the Chief Executive Plymouth Active Leisure said: “We want a new wave of people enjoying Tinside – whether it’s at an event, enjoying the incredible view as well as learning to swim in or on the sea side of the pool. Thanks to the extensive conversations with swimmers of all kinds, potential users and partners we think these ideas strike the right balance for its future.”

Alex King, Chief Operating Officer/CEO, Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre, said: “These projects are all about making sure residents and visitors can access the National Marine Park either on, in or by the water but in a way that benefits nature.

 “These projects have been designed with sustainability at their heart and will be aiming to address climate change and increase biodiversity where ever possible.”

Cornwall Councillor for Rame and St Germans, Councillor Kate Ewert added: “I’m delighted to see a fascinating but hidden part of the Mount Edgcumbe feature in this package. It is a hidden historical treasure right on the water and within metres of the South West Coast Path. This project will help tell its story.”