University takes over landmark Plymouth building to train future health professionals

The University of Plymouth has reaffirmed its commitment to the South West’s health services by signing the lease to take over a landmark building in which it will train future generations of health professionals.

The Intercity Place project will involve the complete regeneration of an 11-storey building overlooking Plymouth Railway Station.

It will be reconfigured and refurbished throughout – with the exterior also being rejuvenated – so that the finished development creates a striking and welcoming entrance to Britain's Ocean City.

The University has now leased the building from Network Rail, and work will begin imminently to give the building a new lease of life.

Once completed, it will house inter-professional clinical skills facilities for the University’s Faculty of Health and be used to train future nurses, midwives, paramedics, physiotherapists, and other allied health professionals.

There will also be additional educational services, enabling staff to work together in one location to support the future health workforce.

The Intercity Place project forms part of the University’s wider Campus Masterplan, which outlines plans to invest in its campus and the city over the next decade.

Planning consent to change the use of the building for educational use, and to fully renovate the building, has already been granted with permission also given to install scaffolding and to wrap all elevations during the construction phase.

Professor Judith Petts CBE, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Plymouth, said:

“These past few months have shown, if we didn’t know it already, the true importance of our NHS. As the largest provider of healthcare training in the South West, University of Plymouth staff, students and graduates have played a key role in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. This project will ensure continued delivery and indeed expansion of the vital workforce training for our hospitals and frontline healthcare services whatever health challenges present themselves in the future. It also demonstrates our commitment to, and confidence in, the city of Plymouth, helping to transform this landmark building and breathing new life into a key part of our community.”

Mike Gallop, director of Western Route at Network Rail, added:

“We are excited to play our part in supporting the education of future key and essential workers in the health profession. It will be great for passengers arriving at Plymouth station to see this building with a new lease of life and meaning. We hope it will attract many students to Britain’s Ocean City to embark on their careers.”

The project has the backing of the Heart of the SW LEP, Cornwall Council, the Department for Transport and the Cabinet Office, as well as Plymouth City Council and Great Western Railway.

It is part of the wider regeneration of the railway station and the area around it, which is being led by Plymouth City Council. Following public consultation last summer a masterplan for the area has been agreed, which will include new high-quality public realm, including a direct pedestrian link between the station and the city centre, a new car park, hotel, station offices and a refurbished station concourse.

When finished, the project will massively improve the welcome for visitors and commuters arriving in Britain’s Ocean City.

<p>Intercity Place close up view of top elevation from Armada Way</p>
<p>Intercity Place with light grey background</p>
<p>Intercity house railway station architect drawing</p>

Leader of Plymouth City Council, Tudor Evans OBE, said:

“This building is going to be where your future physiotherapists and nurses will learn their valuable skills. This is where they will be inspired to stay here in Plymouth and become part of our incredible health service and our city. This is a tower block that you can see across the city – a landmark that has a new critical part to play in rejuvenating and reviving the north of the city centre. That’s why this signing is such an important milestone for us. It’s about the signal it sends out – we’re getting back to business.”

GWR Managing Director Matthew Golton said:

“This is such great news. We are delighted that Intercity Place is going to be used to train the health professionals of tomorrow.

"These last few months have shown how important health workers are to the nation. We are very proud to welcome the University to the station, and to have them as a key partner in the regeneration of the Brunel Plaza.”

Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, added:

“The development of Intercity Place will add value to the wider regeneration plans surrounding Plymouth Railway station, in which we’ve invested £4.79 million from our Growth Deal funding, to create a vibrant transport gateway to Plymouth and the wider south west peninsula. We’re very pleased that the University is taking over this landmark building to enhance its world-class work in healthcare training.”

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