Devonport Guildhall and Column, Plymouth

Devonport Guildhall and Column are both listed Grade 1 and form part of an original cluster of buildings by the locally renowned architect John Foulston.

A regeneration study was commissioned by Devonport Regeneration Company to find a new future for the underused buildings which were owned by Plymouth City Council. The study focused on finding a practical reuse of these buildings within the context of surrounding residential redevelopment.

The study identified three key options; a Community Centre with active Management, Community Arts and Media Centre or commercial offices with a professional cluster core.

The final solution focused on the Community Arts and Media Centre with a focus on young people and communities, digital arts with business startup space, workshops, conference facilities and a whole host of flexible interchangeable spaces for all to enjoy.

Work involved working closely with the new occupants – the Real Ideas Organisation (RiO) to secure £1m funding from the Big Lottery.

Following a full repair and fit out contract the works were completed in February 2010 and the building was taken off the national Buildings at Risk register. Further funding has now been secured in December 2010 from the Heritage Lottery Fund as the first development phase to repair the column and the works are expected to go on site in 2012.