Unleashing its first restorations in 2007 – with the completion of homes, gallery space and small café in the Clarence and Brewhouse buildings – 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 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 still based there.
The latest tenants to join for the new decade include Enhance Aesthetics & Wellness which opened in the Guardhouse building, whilst Plymouth’s newest seafood eatery and bar, The Hook & Line, will operate from the Yard’s Slaughterhouse building – taking the last remaining unit at the building.
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.
Talking about its success at the Yard, Alex Reilly, Managing Director, Lounges said: “Over the past 10 years, Royal William Yard has provided the perfect hub for Seco Lounge. Against a backdrop of the Plymouth waterfront, it’s been an ideal location for Loungers to come and enjoy all that Seco has to offer. We look forward to providing another 10 years of lounging in the Yard and the wider community of Plymouth.”
Urban Splash Director of Commercial Lettings, Emily Handslip explained: “As we look back on a decade of commercial space at the Yard we are delighted to welcome more great businesses here.”
Now, Urban Splash is poised to complete some of the final workspaces at the development in the Grade I Listed Melville building. The Yard’s iconic centrepiece Melville, will soon be home to national cinema operator, Everyman, and independent restaurant, Hubbox. A mixed-use destination, Melville will include workspaces packed with original architectural features, as well as offering unrivalled views over the waterfront. The well-designed spaces, created by RIBA award winning architects, span from 300ft2 to 100,000ft2.
Emily continued: “The Yard is a unique commercial setting and leaves a lasting impression. We work closely with our resident businesses to ensure they have the flexibility and space that fits their needs, while giving them the chance to become part of a growing community.
“We are delighted that Melville is taking shape as it extends this offering. It is a very special building and we welcome interest from firms that would like to join us in one of the Yard’s last remaining buildings.”
“Royal William Yard has undergone a monumental transformation in just over a decade. Once a derelict victualling yard, the Yard is now not just one of the South West’s top visitor destinations, but also a thriving, creative and award-winning commercial hub in the heart of the city. We are very proud of what we’ve achieved to date.”
A creative and inspiring place by its very nature, the Yard has always attracted like-minded tenants, including brand marketing agency, Bluestone360, which moved into Mills Bakery in 2010 and is soon to celebrate a decade there.
Bluestone360 Managing Director, Steve Kyffin said, “It’s coming up to 10 years at the Yard, and 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 here; 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.”
The Yard’s design also caught the eye of Peter Williams, MD of financial management firm, Inspire Wealth, which moved into the Yard in 2015. Peter said, “We chose the Yard for its central location, and I liked the character of the historic buildings and space it offered us – it was a big step up from our last office and fitted the impression we wanted to provide to clients; professional and unique, positively reflecting on us as a business.
“We use the variety of restaurants to treat our clients and it’s an encouragement for them to visit. The Yard offers everything we need to help build personal relationships with our clients.”
The Yard has much to offer its commercial community, from social gatherings businesses, wellbeing and fitness sessions, group walks on the South West Coastal Path, and a packed calendar of events all year round. Find out more about the Yard and latest redevelopment of Melville here: https://www.urbansplash.co.uk/regeneration/projects/melville