An industry’s vision


Plymouth has a long and proud heritage of fishing. From providing Nelson’s fleet with salted and dried fish to modern day catches ending up on the finest dining tables of London, Paris, Venice and beyond. The current facilities were built in the 1990’s and were developed to provide a home for landings c.£10m; current landings have reached c.£20m.

Local fishermen have worked together to provide a vision for a world class facility. This provides the opportunities for growth within the fishing community presented by Brexit with increased opportunities in SW waters for local and nomadic fleets. The fishing community recognises that both the local and tourist communities could benefit from being more involved with a vibrant fishing port and its industries, but recognises the health and safety issues that are inherent in a busy working port.

Through this vision, a synergy between an expanding fishing community and the public has been sought and is at the heart of its design. The fishing industry already supports some 4000 jobs and has the ability to expand and provide further opportunities for inward investment into the City, port and surrounding areas. This vision demonstrates how the redevelopment of the existing site, with an emphasis on the fishing industry, can provide training and apprenticeship roles for sea and land based careers. There is potential for increased employment, opportunities for entrepreneurs, space for start-up businesses related to fisheries and increased facilities for current businesses. The wider community will have the opportunity to become more involved with the fishing industry in the heart of this waterfront site.

Welcome to Britain’s Ocean City Fishing Port...the industry’s vision for a sustainable future for us, for you, and our future generations...

Commercial facilities.

Fish Market.

The ground floor of the development houses a large market and refrigerated areas to store catches and auction sales. The new auction floor would be constructed with refrigeration so that during the bulk fishing season of the winter months it could act as additional fridge space to accommodate landings. The versatility provided by these new functions gives the port the ability to grow and accommodate greater quantities of landings over the coming years. It also provides a more comprehensive chill chain. Purpose built loading bays at the eastern end allow proper facilities for trunk transport and offsite merchants to collect, load and distribute the fish efficiently. Quick transport turnaround is essential to those merchants who must transport goods for processing elsewhere and enhanced facilities are expected to attract more buyers. Above the market floor an electronic auction room and associated office space provides the auction house with the essential space a thriving port needs.

Fish Merchants.

The ground floor spaces will offer fish processing and packing space for housing existing merchants located at the harbour. This will be constructed to comply with current and by horizon scanning, future health and hygiene regulations. Smaller, ‘starter units’ would be made available to encourage more entrepreneurs and perhaps local business to take advantage of buying and selling local fish. Offices and storage for packaging etc would be available on the 2nd floor of the structure to complement these units.

Other Industry related facilities.

Ground floor units would be available for businesses associated with the engineering, fabricating, chandlery, electronic services which are required for the maintenance of fishing vessels and would be located at the western and south sides of the building with offices available above. It is helpful and sometimes essential for some Government organisations such as the Marine Management Organisation and the Marine and Coastguard Agency to occupy fishing port facilities. The new development would provide office facilities fit for purpose for such organisations.

Training and development of skills.

Maritime Training Academy.

The ground level at the Western end would house an engineering workshop to provide necessary facilities for the training academy. On the second floor a state of the art simulator and classrooms complex would provide the hub for a raft of training courses. This academy would not only be able to provide statutory training and qualifications for fishermen, food workers such as fish processors, but also for the wider maritime community for ocean going qualifications, those needed for offshore work such as renewables and oil and gas. Opportunities exist for new entrants/apprentices and for re-qualification for those with many years at sea. From retraining after a naval career to leisure users looking to become safer seafarers, the academy has something for everyone.

Fish Training School/Restaurant.

Also on the ground level at the western end a ‘fish skills school’ would be provided to offer training and skills to industry professionals. Interested members of the public would have the opportunity to attend training sessions tailored to different levels of experience. A partner would be sought to operate this and offer opportunities to young people in further partnership with local academic institutions to run the restaurant located on the 3rd floor of the facility similar to Jamie Oliver’s 15 at Watergate Bay. This would offer a great opportunity for apprenticeships and careers for young people and locals while providing a great dining experience with the amazing backdrop offering views over Sutton Harbour, the Barbican and out to Plymouth Sound.

Fishermen’s facilities.

The South side of the building would offer 2nd floor much needed net stores and lock ups for fisherman to store gear and supplies and provide larger fishing companies with office space. At ground level fishermen could create individual workshops, store ‘bait’ in individual or communal fridges and have access to vivier systems to store live shellfish. Ground floor engineering units would also be available for those larger fishing companies that require their own facilities.

The large open area to the western end of the site produced by the levelling of the current fish market building is an essential open space for fishermen to work on trawls and gear in a safe way, mending and constructing as and when needed. The purpose built racking to the south of this area would allow heavy fishing gear to be stored safely when not needed. Boxes, fish bins and pallets would also be securely stored on this part of the site ready for landings and replenishing vessels before sailing.


By providing parking on the top of the structure, the cars and vans of fishermen and market users would be out of the way of the busy footprint. It therefore makes best use of the space and provides a safer working environment.

Interacting with the public.

Viewing Platform.

The lift at the eastern entrance to the facility allows the public safe access to view the busy port without having to walk through it at ground level. The glass lined viewing platform wraps around the 2/3rd floor allowing the public to view the goings on from vessels landing fresh fish to fishermen working on their gear. Transfers on the glass explain the different types of vessels and catches from these vessels as the visitors walk their way around the building. From the south eastern corner a walkway descends to front entrance of the Aquarium. Access to the restaurant and seafood school is provided from this walkway.

Fishery School.

The fishery school mentioned earlier will not only provide industry required training of chefs, fish merchants, trainees and apprentices, but courses for the public to attend to learn how to process and cook the multitude of species caught off Plymouth. These could include Dover Sole, Bass, Monkfish, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Pollack, Haddock, Whiting, Conger, Squid, Cuttlefish and many more.

Fish Restaurant.

The fish restaurant and terrace located on the top floor of the structure with a deck to the outside will offer the ultimate opportunity to sample some of the best fish in the world landed here in Plymouth with amazing views of the harbour and Plymouth Sound.

Schools Programme.

The maritime training school, fisheries school, associated classrooms and auction house will offer all local schools the opportunity to visit and learn about the industry and potential careers in a safe environment. From fisherman to chef, Captain of seagoing vessel to engineer, young imaginations can be sparked and inspired by a truly interactive experience.

Cottage row

Fisherman’s Café.

Somewhere for a simple mackerel bap, bacon sandwich, cup of tea and a good place to listen out for some fish tales from local fishermen.

Fish Shop.

Locally caught fish, a place to buy your Plymouth landed fish from our local merchants.

Fisherman’s Cottage Museum.

An inside look at how fisherman lived and worked in years gone by. Think Flambards oldy world village, fishing style!

RNLI/Fisherman’s Mission.

Two very important fishing charities. It is hoped that one could be attracted to take on space as a shop for their charity and perhaps offer a base for their services to fishermen.

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