The Chairman thanked the members of the City Council for, as ever, making the PABC so welcome in the Council House and Paul Woods and his partners at Wolferstans for hosting lunch as they will be for 2013. Paul was congratulated on being chosen to be the next Chairman of PCCI. 96 members of the Council were present. The Chairman then warmly welcomed new members reminding everyone of the need to introduce themselves “in the American way” and to feel free to actively communicate and network with each other between meetings, quoting to each other membership of the PABC, as there should be no strangers (to each other) within the PABC – the leaders of the leaders! He confirmed that the PABC membership was now 258 (just above its voluntary ceiling) with 24 Hon. Members from PCC making a total of 282. 12 (member proposed) names are on the current waiting list. A list of those who had joined since the December meeting is at Enclosure 1.
2. Constitutional Issue
The Chairman briefed the meeting on a strategic initiative now being formally recommended to the membership after a deal of thought and some detailed work by the PABC board. It is to establish a City Stakeholders Group (CSG) with the Chamber, thus providing one channel and one voice for the whole sectors' external communications. It will also remove some duplication of the current policy making and briefing meetings, many of which are attended by the same people. Initially it is likely that the group will consist of the two boards plus some additions. It is hoped by the PABC board that the Chamber will agree to Chair and administer the CSG with a PABC nominee as deputy. It is considered that setting the CSG up will serve to strengthen the City’s advocacy capability and coherence overall. It is hoped to kick this off in April. No other change is proposed to the respective parents’ current governance and internal arrangements at the present time. The membership was then asked to “fully delegate to the board and its working group the making of and agreement to the detailed arrangements for the setting up of the CSG with the Chamber board and its working group”. A vote was taken and the result was unanimous in support of the resolution with no abstentions – in effect a historical moment!
3 UK Economic Round Up
The Chairman outlined the upcoming central government cuts being anticipated in the departments and likely to ripple outward in employment and spend terms. Robert Barclay pointed out that the stock exchange was currently looking optimistic, however.
4. Regional Perspective and City Deal
See item 5
5. PCC and Growth Board update (This item was taken first and included item 4)
Anthony Payne briefed on the activities of the restructured Economic Development Service, which span the City of Culture bid, support of Destination Plymouth, the receipt of Coastal Communities Funding from DCLG, the opening of the Rhodes restaurant in the Dome, the grant of planning permission for Europe's largest Code 6 housing development at Bickleigh Down, the appointment of Paul Woods as the next chair of the Growth Board, the launch of the Plan for Jobs, a development focus on the City centre and north of the City, the recent circulation of the Third Economic Review (attached at Enclosure 4), the 1000 Club, Superfast Broadband (see attachment at Enclosure 2), the marketing of several PCC properties which are expected to secure planning permission for redevelopment and to draw on c.£4m HCA funding and £6m Communities and Homes bonus. The City Deal expression of interest was submitted in January 2013. Plymouth is one of 13 cities being fast tracked and made the most progress of any city in the last round. Plymouth's City Deal bid focuses on marine renewables, investment and export potential and utilising South Yard. The bid has pan Peninsula support. The full justification document must be submitted by mid-July. The set of freedoms for which the City must bid will be announced as part of the 2013 Budget.
6. Mount Wise Regeneration update
Richard Keen of Galion briefed on progress of the sustainable residential-led community being developed at Mount Wise and its connectivity into the water area. Phase 1 (with £20m private sector investment) was completed in October 2012; 85% has been sold and the cricket pavilion & club in place. It is hoped to start development of Phase 2 in late 2013 and some reservations have been made. There is currently no viable commercial market (others agreed). The investors have other sites in Plymouth but the climate is tough. Total investment in the local economy likely to be in excess of £100m; much local expertise in use for Phases 1 and 2 (see http://www.mountwise.co.uk/developer).
7. Millbay Regeneration update
John Casey advised that restoration of the Brunel inner basin at a cost of £3.5m preceded construction of the £4m marina, now underway. Currently in discussion with PCC on an alternative master plan. CARGO is complete; CARGO 2 (48 houses) is under development. Plot A1 adjacent to Ballard House, which will include the Boulevard to eventually link the port with the City Centre, proposes 102 units.
Paul Barnard advised that the Redrow development in Devonport is going well with the phase adjacent to the Market Hall currently being completed. He indicated that since January 2009 the Planning Committee has approved projects valued at £1.65b, of which over £538m has been delivered with more projects currently under construction.
A new Creative Arts School is to open adjacent to CARGO in September 2014. A cruise liner terminal is in the Area Action Plan but there is no funding to progress. A champion is needed! Richard Smith advised that ABP would be happy in principle to be in a joint venture for development of a cruise liner terminal, with a predicted cost c. £10m. Royal William Yard is progressing well notwithstanding Urban Splash's tough trading position.
8. City of Culture
Adrian Vinken reported that DCSM had issued its press release on the City of Culture bid process that morning. There is a strong contender list of 11 bids. The Arts Council has prioritised Plymouth as its cultural capital 2014-2015. The period 2014-2017 will be about building capacity in the city. DCSM will expect to see serious private sector commitment. There is a tightly knit leadership group. Very active use of social media to gather support - Plymouth is currently outstripping other bidders (https://twitter.com/Plymouth2017).
Plymouth University is supporting the national profile of the bid and over the next 7 weeks Plymouth will work on its bid to get on the shortlist of 4. City of Culture 2017 is a staging post to 2020.
Professor Cara Aitchison introduced herself as the incoming vice-chancellor and chief executive of the (new) University of St Mark & St John (Marjon) and committed support for the bid. More information at: http://www.plymouthculture.org/news.php
9. Destination Plymouth
Duncan Currall confirmed that the new Chief Executive, Amanda Lumley will be joining Destination Plymouth on 17 March. The Destination Plymouth board has been widened. The events calendar is busy. The Visitors Guide 2013 will soon be available online (meanwhile, please see attachment at Enclosure 3). The Plymouth- Brest Twinning Association will soon celebrate its 50th year. Plymouth will be hosting the GTOA National Conference – 250 leisure brokers – held for the first time west of Bristol. New gateway signage will shortly be unveiled to replace existing "Spirit of Discovery" signs with "Britain's Ocean City". New cycling hubs are to be created within the Waterfront using Coastal Communities funding (£670,400).
Ashley Beare briefed on the 1000 Club which has now secured the delivery of 336 jobs, including 159 full-time positions and 12 part-time positions plus apprenticeships. 108 employers have signed up. More information at http://www.1000club.co.uk/
The announcement that 45 Commando Royal Marines will not be relocating from Condor, Arbroath to Plymouth/HMS Raleigh is disappointing. More positively, there is a lot of joint liaison work with the City's task force. Best wishes are offered to Professor David Wheeler, currently Dean of the Business School at Plymouth University, on his move to Nova Scotia with grateful thanks for his tremendous support for Plymouth.
11. The new website
Andrew Ashley announced the re-launch of the PABC website, at www.pabc.co. Members will be e-mailed when the website is available. A request for imagery and sponsorship offers is made.
The next meeting on Wednesday 5 June 2013 will include an update on the Bere Alston – Tavistock railway.
It was noted that Network Rail had invested £25m in embankment upgrades at Cowley Bridge only for these to be washed away shortly afterwards. A more strategic pan-stakeholders solution is under evaluation.
Commodore Graeme Little OBE ADC Royal Navy, Naval Base Commander, was elected onto the board of the PABC.