On the 15th of July, the Prince of Wales visited Plymouth to see the progress made in the restoration of the Royal William Yard. The royal visit marked ten years of the involvement of Urban Splash, an award-winning regeneration company, with the Yard.
The Royal William Yard is a victualing (the task of supplying ships with provisions) depot of the Royal Navy. It was completed in 1835, and named after the then King, William IV. The yard was closed in 1992, and is now undergoing conservation and restoration work.
After arriving at the Yard, Prince Charles was given a tour of the old buildings, and shown the plans to convert the Melville Building into a 62-room hotel. Tom Bloxham, the co-founder of Urban Splash, said that the Prince appeared to know the structures “intimately” from the time he served in the Royal Navy himself.
The 65 year-old was additionally shown around the adjoining buildings, the Brewhouse and Mills Bakery. He watched as the students from the School of Creative Arts gave a presentation about the formation of the city of Plymouth, and met with Carol Massey, the longest-serving resident at the Royal William Yard, who told him that there was “nowhere like it in the world.”
During his visit, His Royal Highness also stopped to speak to residents, visitors and business owners. He even had a chat with the Lord Mayor Cllr Michael Fox, his wife Lady Mayoress Rosemary Fox, and a number of Plymouth Councillors, all while enjoying a nice cup of tea in the shade of the Brewhouse.
Before the Prince left, Councillor Michael Fox gave a speech about his visit, saying: “We are delighted to have you here to celebrate the establishment of Britain’s Ocean city 100 years ago. It is a marvelous opportunity to promote Plymouth and the fantastic work which goes on here.”
Later in the day, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, who celebrates her birthday today, attended a reception to mark the 100th anniversary of Plymouth becoming a city.