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    Blog by Tom Lowry

    Celebrating the RNLI at RWY in Plymouth

    07 March 2024
    A 4 minute read by Tom Lowry

    With its beautiful marina views and rich historical landscape, it’s little wonder that Royal William Yard has become a focal point for the people of Plymouth. Formerly a victualling facility for the British Navy, this 15-acre space is now reaping the rewards of its transformation, providing the community with a vibrant and flourishing place where they can live, work and play.

    Never has that been more the case than last weekend which saw a record number of visitors enjoy the 200th anniversary celebrations for the RNLI, with a bumper day packed full of events running alongside the Good Food & Craft Market.

    Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the RNLI at Royal William Yard

    “It’s the busiest Sunday we’ve ever had!”

    We were keen to welcome as many visitors as possible to the anniversary celebrations this weekend and spread the word about the full programme of events we offer here.

    Thanks to a PR and social media campaign which focused on bringing new faces to the Yard as well as welcoming back regulars, we recorded a footfall of 7,000 visitors on the day, with people spending a significant amount of time soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying all that was on offer.

    The flow of people was continuous throughout the day, in part thanks to the free shuttle bus service we provided - which had to be upped on the day to meet demand, clocking up 600 passengers in total. Carefully considering accessibility before the day overcame the potential challenge of busy car parks which were confirmed to be at full capacity throughout the event. The Yard’s ferry service was also in full flow and many people arrived on foot.

    Market stalls at Royal William Yard in Plymouth

    12 of the market vendors reported a complete sellout, and one regular trader saying it was the highest sales they’d ever encountered at a market - testament to the Yard’s role as a platform for small indie businesses. Messages of thanks have flooded in from traders, with one saying “We’ve been trading at Royal William Yard since 2012 when the market first began and we’ve never seen it that busy” and another adding, “It was amazing good to see so many people about. As always, your team helped to make it a smooth running and successful event.”

    Visitors flocked to the Yard to join in the celebrations

    It was true of other occupiers too, with the Yard’s Everyman Cinema team telling us that they ran out of space to accommodate people, while neighbours Steel Brew busier than ever before on a Sunday. Bar and restaurant Seco Lounge had a queue outside the door from 9am, while Block - the Yard’s gym, café and coworking space - reported equally busy scenes.

    A representative of the RNLI expressed their gratitude saying: “the event had been publicised everywhere”, and that they “couldn’t have been more grateful for how the day went for them.” On the day, they raised plenty of funds, generated local awareness, celebrated their volunteers, and marked their 200th year in style.

    Market stalls at Royal William Yard in Plymouth

    We can’t wait to build on this success, providing the businesses who call Royal William Yard home with further opportunities to engage with the local community and build up their customer base alongside welcoming new and existing vendors to trade. The Yard provides the perfect backdrop for events like this, and we are proud after two decades of regeneration, to see it come to life in this way.

    To view the full programme of events at Royal William Yard click here.

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