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Boost for Britain’s Ocean City

£11.6m Heritage Fund grant for UK’s first National Marine Park in Plymouth
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Boost for Britain’s Ocean City

Plymouth is set to become the UK’s first National Marine Park after announcing £11.6million funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

This investment will enable the delivery of a £22 million transformational five-year programme that will engage Britain’s Ocean City in its landscape and heritage. 
 
The project will revolutionise the way Plymouth interacts with its heritage, promoting a more harmonious relationship with the ocean and creating hundreds of jobs.

Connecting people with the sea

Through the creation of the National Marine Park, with the support of the Heritage Fund, the city will invest to boost the species and habitats in Plymouth Sound, providing much-needed funding to help support the recovery of nature in the Sound and to improve resilience to the challenges faced by climate change.
 
As part of the plan, Plymouth Sound National Marine Park (PSNMP) aims to engage the entire city generating closer connections to the ocean through experiences that promote positive behaviour change.
 
This is the beginning of a movement – a first-of-its-kind opportunity for the development of National Marine Parks across the UK, led by Plymouth.

‘This programme – the result of a two-year process since its inception – has been designed to maximise the number of people accessing the National Marine Park’s incredible built and natural heritage, encouraging everyone to discover the treasures of Plymouth Sound and to enable communities to care for the National Marine Park.
 
‘This journey to connect people with the sea in a new way will ensure that the communities of Plymouth can be active and engaged citizens of the sea. This will enable access to all the benefits that the National Marine Park can offer but will also be an integral part of restoring and protecting the world-class nature and landscape of the Sound, and we are very grateful to National Lottery players for making this possible.’

ELAINE HAYES
Plymouth Sound National Marine Park CEO

Restoration projects

A series of sensitive restoration projects across the citywide waterfront will enable greater accessibility to Plymouth Sound National Marine Park.

These developments will open up new ‘gateways’ to the National Marine Park itself through previously inaccessible heritage sites, including the 17th century Mount Batten Tower and Garden Battery at Mount Edgcumbe, which has been closed to the public since the second world war.

 
Tinside, Plymouth’s beloved art-deco Lido, will also undergo transformational work to open up new spaces that can be enjoyed all year round. 
 
A pioneering nature boost project will restore habitats and species including seagrass, mudflats and saltmarshes, oysters, mussels, little egrets, avocets, thornback ray, seahorses, sand eels and the rare allis shad. 

‘We are hugely proud to be a delivery partner of Plymouth Sound National Marine Park. The impact the ocean has on the day-to-day lives of Plymouth’s residents has been visible for thousands of years. 
 
‘So, being the UK’s First National Marine Park is a pivotal next step in our City’s pioneering approach to the relationship between nature and people. The work of the OCT centres on connecting people with the Ocean and having seen the impact that the National Marine Park has already had on local communities has been wonderful. 
 
‘We sincerely hope that this will be the first of many National Marine Parks around the UK’s coastline and are now thrilled to be embarking on the next exciting chapter of this journey.’

ROGER MASLIN
CEO of Ocean Conservation Trust

Plymouth goes global

A Digital Marine Park will also bring to life the amazing heritage of Plymouth Sound in a unique way online, opening up the UK’s first National Marine Park to a global audience. 
 
This particular aspect of the project will enable people who cannot get in, on, under or near the waters of PSNMP – either in real-time or on-demand – enabling them to see what lies beneath the waves and increase passion and awareness around the nature and heritage of the place.

‘Yet again Plymouth’s trail-blazing approach is leading the UK. As Britain’s Ocean City, we have a unique opportunity to pioneer a new approach to protecting and restoring the amazing heritage of Plymouth Sound, transforming the lives of local residents. 
 
‘In developing the UK’s first National Marine Park we will create a blueprint for an innovative new model of National Marine Parks across our island nation – and this feels both vital and exciting.
 
‘We are proud to lead as the first city to enjoy this incredible opportunity to innovate, protect and develop our connections to the sea.’

TUDOR EVANS
Plymouth City Council Leader

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