Argyle take the lead as Pavilions is handed over
COUNCIL leader Tudor Evans has handed over the Plymouth Pavilions to Argyle boss James Brent.
The transfer of ownership to Mr Brent's Five Directions Ltd (FDL) brings an £83million redevelopment of the Pavilions a step closer.
As part of the deal Mr Brent's company will be given the site and a contribution of £2million – but no further council subsidy.
Mr Brent has published plans to refurbish the existing arena and build a new full-size ice rink beside Home Park.
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FDL will re-clad the Pavilions, create a new entrance foyer, additional backstage and support spaces, improve lighting and acoustics and increase capacity.
The plans include residential and retail development, an hotel, and creating a link between Millbay and the city centre.
The Pavilions ice rink will continue to operate until the new rink opens on the car park at Plymouth Argyle's Home Park stadium.
Mr Brent, chairman of Akkeron Group, which includes FDL, said: "This is another important step in establishing Plymouth as the centre of sporting, leisure and cultural excellence in the peninsula.
"It will also generate a significant number of jobs."
Mr Evans added: "The new-look Pavilions will boast top-rate arena facilities that will help attract more events and conferences to Plymouth.
"It will also help to open the gateway to Millbay from the city centre, which is a key element of the Mackay Vision for Plymouth."
Theatre Royal (Plymouth) Limited will continue to operate the existing ice rink and arena on behalf of FDL. Adrian Vinken, its chief executive, said: "We are delighted the future of the arena and ice facilities has been secured for the people of Plymouth."