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    Blog by Emily Handslip

    Celebrating a decade of workspace at Royal William Yard

    24 February 2020
    A 5 minute read by Emily Handslip

    We’re marking ten whole years since we launched our first workspaces at Royal William Yard in Plymouth – a location I’ve had the joy of working on for more than a decade now, watching it transform into a thriving place in which people live, work and play.

    It was back in 2007 that we completed our first restorations with the completion of homes, gallery space and a small café in the Clarence and Brewhouse buildings.

    Since then, the Yard has since become home to hundreds of residents, it welcomes thousands of visitors each week and is a base for more than 70 businesses. Those organisations hail from the fashion, retail, arts and crafts, education, finance and construction sectors and collectively employ more than 500 people.

    The award-winning Royal William Yard in Plymouth - home to more than 70 businesses

    The first workspaces at the development were launched ten years ago in 2010, when part of Mills Bakery was sensitively restored to create Grade A offices, with long-term occupiers including Bluestone 360; I remember when we first showed them around and it’s a joy to see them still successfully operating there.

    Bluestone 360 Managing Director, Steve Kyffin raves about the place saying: “I can remember being one of the first in the building. I liked the Yard’s link to Plymouth’s history and its role in regenerating the city. The location first attracted me and I can walk out of the door and be by the water in seconds – taking a walk around Firestone Bay is a great break for my team. What makes the Yard different is its commitment to aesthetics and design; our office design echoes this with massive wooden rafters and strong, raw stone instantly giving clients a sense of who we are.”

    Workspace at Mills Bakery in Royal William Yard

    Now, thanks to ten great years of accommodating businesses of all sizes and types, we’re about to welcome two more great businesses here, taking the currently available space to fully let.

    The new occupiers include Enhance Aesthetics & Wellness which this month will open a new salon in the Guardhouse building, whilst Plymouth’s newest seafood eatery and bar, The Hook & Line, will operate from the Slaughterhouse building – taking the last remaining unit.

    Slaughterhouse at Royal William Yard

    Opening next month, it will offer a simple and delicious menu, including fresh local seafood, caught by owner Ben Squires’ local fishing boats. Celebrating the historic features and charm of Slaughterhouse, The Hook & Line’s rustic interior will reflect the Yard’s naval roots, featuring Plymouth’s first speciality rum bar; it will complement an existing array of restaurants including Seco Lounge - part of the popular ‘Lounges’ restaurant group - which was one of the first major names to open, Prezzo and Bistrot Pierre.

    Restaurant space at Royal William Yard

    So what next for our team at the Yard? Well, right now we’re on site creating more workspaces in the iconic centrepiece – Melville. The Grade I Listed building stands at the heart of the Yard and will soon be home to national cinema operator, Everyman and independent restaurant, Hubbox.

    Melville at Royal William Yard, where we're creating 100,000 sq ft of workspace

    Here, working with our long-term design collaborators Gillespie Yunnie, we’re sensitively restoring this beautiful structure, taking the best of the original fabric and injecting new design features. It will include offer unrivalled views over the waterfront, with workspaces from 300 sq ft to 100,000 sq ft – meaning it’s open to all types of businesses.

    Our vision for workspace at Melville

    Now, as we enter a new decade, I’m just so delighted with what the Yard has become in the past 10 years. Much more than just a commercial destination, it’s somewhere which encourages social gatherings for tenants, wellbeing and fitness sessions, group walks on the South West Coastal Path, and a packed calendar of events all year round – things which all form part of our ‘Yard life’.

    We’d love a chat about the final spaces in Melville if you think this could be the place for your business too...

    About the author

    Emily Handslip

    Commercial Lettings Director

    Emily Handslip never sits still and is bursting with energy! She is responsible for the leasing of all of our commercial space across the country and can often be spotted down at Royal William Yard in Plymouth, Ropewalks or Matchworks in Liverpool, Boat Shed in Manchester or at Port Loop in Birmingham just to mention a few!

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