“Invest or sell” MP tells owners of neglected Plymouth buildings

Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, has today called on the owners of disused and neglected buildings in Plymouth to invest in them, or sell to someone who will. 

He has released a Buildings at Risk List, naming ten iconic buildings that have fallen into disuse, including The Palace Theatre, the Reel Cinema and the Cooperage on the Barbican. 

Many of Plymouth’s most historic properties are derelict or otherwise neglected. The Palace Theatre on Union Street – a Victorian-era building that has served as a theatre, bingo hall, dance academy and nightclub – has been empty for fifteen years and takes the top spot on Mr Pollard’s list.  He says that, unless action is taken soon, these buildings could be permanently damaged or lost to a fire.   
Last summer, Mr Pollard successfully challenged the Church of Scientology to secure, clean and remove fly-tipping from outside the empty Royal Fleet Club in Devonport that they own. 

Mr Pollard will be updating the Buildings at Risk List on an annual basis, until Plymouth’s historic buildings across are brought back to life.  
Luke Pollard MP said:  
“Too many iconic buildings in our city are derelict and disused, having been left to rot by their owners. Plymouth is a proud city and we have a proud history and heritage. It is time these buildings were given a new lease of life, a fresh purpose, and a brighter future.  
“These buildings tell our city’s story. Many are a century old, surviving the Plymouth Blitz and the wrecking ball of past regenerations. They’ve hosted everything from A-list concerts to sporting events to weddings. But, without investment, they are at risk of being lost forever due to fire or other damage.  
“My challenge to the owners of these properties is simple: invest in these buildings or sell them to someone who will.”

Tonight at 7pm [Tuesday 5 April], Mr Pollard will host an online event to launch his Buildings at Risk List on his Facebook page. He will be joined by Nudge Community Builders, a local co-operative redeveloping properties including the former Clipper Pub and the Millenium Building.    

Hannah Sloggett and Wendy Hart, Directors of Nudge Community Builders, said:  
“Empty buildings don’t just look bad – they have a real impact on how a community feels about where they live. We’ve seen the difference bringing a building back into use can have, and the opportunities it creates for local people. Working together to find ways that empty buildings can contribute to the city can only be a good thing.”