James Brent's £83million Plymouth Pavilions deal is signed
ARGYLE boss James Brent has signed a contract to take over the Plymouth Pavilions from the city council.
The deal will see an £83million investment bringing homes, an hotel and an extended Arena to the landmark city centre site.
Signing the deal with council leader Tudor Evans yesterday, Mr Brent, chairman of the Akkeron Group, also revealed that he expects to bring forward plans for a new ice rink at Home Park next Spring.
The 1,500-seater venue will be on the car park next to the Argyle stadium and will have an "international standard" ice rink.
Mr Brent said he had no plans to start a professional ice hockey team for the city but would welcome proposals by someone else.
The existing rink and arena facilities are expected to transfer to FDL in October this year and Mr Brent has agreed to keep the Pavilions rink operating until the new venue opens.
He will develop the Pavilions site through his Five Directions Ltd company, which will refurbish the Arena, re-clad the building and create a new foyer.
Mr Brent said that developing the two sites would cost £130million to £150million. He plans to build two or three new hotels providing up to 350 beds.
The new-look Pavilions site will include residential and retail development.
Part of the scheme will be a boulevard linking Millbay and the city centre. The road will run on the east side of the Pavilions, instead of going along Bath Street as proposed in the English Cities Fund masterplan.
Cllr Evans said he was pleased to see a new era at the Pavilions. "These are hugely exciting plans and they will provide one of the biggest investments in Plymouth for years.
"This is a particularly exciting plan given the tough economic climate and will provide a welcome boost to the local economy."
Mr Brent said the new developments would generate an estimated 1,500 construction jobs and then 1,000 full-time jobs.