Plymouth | Britain’s Ocean City, beckons Investment

Plymouth - Britain's ocean city beckons investment

Plymouth, dubbed Britain’s Ocean City, stands as the urban centre in the South West peninsula. From housing Western Europe’s largest naval base to being home to the South West’s sole Freeport, discover why Plymouth should be in the running for your UK expansion.

Economic Vibrancy

The population of Plymouth is approximately 268,000 [1]. The city has witnessed modest growth over the last decade. Plymouth’s economic output is estimated at £5.44 billion with 6,000 businesses located in the city alone.

Influenced by its rich naval history, Plymouth thrives in marine science and advanced manufacturing sectors. The city is acknowledged as a high potential opportunity zone by the Department for Business and Trade for marine autonomy. Plymouth also hosts one of the most concentrated clusters of advanced manufacturing and engineering enterprises along the south coast of England. Furthermore, it showcases strengths in the creative, digital, and health sectors.

The Plymouth and South Devon Freeport is the only Freeport on the South West Peninsula. Businesses setting up benefit from a suite of incentives including tax and customs breaks, business rates relief as well as stamp duty land tax relief.

Strategic Infrastructure Investment

Plymouth’s waterfront and port are set to receive a significant boost of nearly £20 million as part of the UK Government’s Levelling Up fund.

Ambitious plans are underway to revitalise the city, including accelerating the Freeport, National Marine Park and Net Zero initiatives. The funding will be used for the creation of innovation barns at Oceansgate which is a hub for marine businesses, to facilitate research and development, leveraging Plymouth’s Freeport status to drive technological advancements in the marine and defence sectors. There are also plans to upgrade port facilities at Millbay to enhance freight operations through the ferry port. The waterfront is poised to be transformed where derelict buildings will be repurposed. 

Education and Innovation

Plymouth University is renowned for courses in marine science and engineering, medicine, earth sciences and sustainability. The university hosts the Plymouth Startup Weekend which aims to develop and elevate the entrepreneurial culture of Plymouth and the wider South West. This series of events were designed to help support and encourage budding entrepreneurs or anyone with exciting ideas for new products, processes, services or experiences.

Championing Sustainability

Plymouth City Council has pledged to make the city carbon neutral by 2030, exceeding the UK’s objective of net zero by 2050.

Local businesses can join the “Together for our Planet” campaign which helps small businesses to minimise carbon emissions and adopt green supply chains. 

Innovation Hub for Entrepreneurs

Research by Superscript placed Plymouth as the ninth most entrepreneurial city in the UK (2022) [2]. Devon has the UK’s highest rate of self employment with Plymouth having a thriving start-up ecosystem. In 2020, 955 new businesses started in Plymouth, ranging from kitchen table ventures to rapidly growing enterprises.

The city fosters a blended economy, combining larger, more mature businesses with dynamic start-ups, creating an ecosystem of talent and expertise.

Plymouth Science Park is a leading science and technology park. It supports innovation, research, and development. It provides facilities, services, and networking opportunities for tech-based businesses and startups.

Support for Local Businesses

Plymouth City Council plays a key role in economic development and investment within the city. It provides various services and initiatives to support businesses and attract investors.

Invest Plymouth is a dedicated team at the council which provide support to businesses. 

Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce is the premier business network encompassing a diverse range of enterprises, from small startups to large corporations. They facilitate connections between businesses, offering invaluable support from tailored business support, networking events to training programmes. 

Down2business is Plymouth’s leading business networking club with members from various sectors.

Plymouth Business Network is a supportive networking group that promotes referrals, shares tips, and builds trust among members.

Success Stories

BAM bamboo clothing was established in 2006, when founder David Gordon, returned from a trip in China and was inspired to set up an activewear clothing label using bamboo material. They are the first company to globally pilot BAM DNA technology, providing consumers with detailed traceability information about their clothes. Today, the company employs a team of 70, with its HQ in Plymouth.

CMO is one of Plymouth’s most significant companies selling building products directly to customers. Founded in 2008, they employ 200 people, most are based in Plymouth.

Shift established in 2017 transformed the delivery and logistics industry through its tech-based platform to create an on-demand delivery marketplace. The smart algorithms filter through pre-existing routes of registered independent drivers and fleet vehicles. It locates the best suited drivers and facilitates jobs in the most efficient way. 

Why choose Plymouth?

With its strategic location, excellent transport links, and proximity to major markets, Plymouth serves as a gateway for your UK expansion. The city’s diverse economy, skilled workforce, and supportive business ecosystem provide a solid foundation for companies across various sectors to thrive.