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The Ship sets sail under new ownership


One of Plymouth’s most iconic buildings, The Ship at Derriford, has been sold to the local property developer, Burrington Estates.

The building designed by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw CBE to reflect Plymouth maritime heritage was completed in 1993 as the headquarters for the regional newspaper The Western Morning News.

The original occupiers relocated in June 2013 to offices in the centre of Plymouth.  This provided an exceptional opportunity for the Plymouth market which Burrington Estates have secured.

The building totals 115,000sq.ft. of office and production space over three floors which are set in an attractive landscaped site of 12.7 acres. The offices at the front form the bow, the production area the stern, with one of the best board rooms in the city forming the crow’s nest.

Burrington Estates are proposing a major refurbishment of the building including one of their new Thrive Hubs which will provide and inspire business environments for which companies and occupiers can “thrive”.

The proposals are not just limited to offices however, with great opportunities for- up and coming manufacturing company to locate to this iconic setting.

The vendors were advised by Helix Property Advisors who were represented by Vickery Holman and Colliers International .  Vickery Holman’s Joanne Harwood comments:

“It is certainly one of the largest property transactions in Plymouth in recent years and we had a few false starts.  Finding the right purchaser for such a unique building has certainly taken a lot of man hours and expertise. Despite first impressions, the building is very flexible and once refurbished will provide a wide range of opportunities from small to large offices through to production and warehousing. In addition the space would be suitable for a range of leisure or even retail uses in such a rapidly developing area of Plymouth.

Vickery Holman’s Mike Oldrieve comments:
“It is occasions like this which remind you how long you have been advising on property across the South West.  I can remember attending the opening of this headquarters and print facility toward the beginning of my career of a Chartered Surveyor.  One of the great bonuses of working in property is having the opportunity to advise on some of the regions larger and more interesting projects and The Ship has certainly been that.  I think it has a great role to play in Plymouth’s future and I look forward to many more years of association with the building”.

James Preece, Colliers International, Director, comments:
“It is fantastic that this landmark building has been bought by a local developer for an enterprise hub. The unique design offers inspiring space and the proposed use should see new jobs and talent moving to the area.”