Plymouth secures £11.6m for the UK’s first underwater national park

Image: Plymouth Sound National Marine Park

The £22m Plymouth Sound National Marine Park project is hoped to engage the city in the marine environment

Plymouth has secured just over half of the £22m budget it requires to help deliver what it calls the UK’s first National Marine Park.

The £11.6m funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund supports the transformation programme, which is hoped to “ empower and engage the city in the marine environment.”

The Plymouth Sound National Marine Park will offer a landscape predominantly underwater, housing wildlife of international importance, maritime heritage, and over 600 shipwrecks.

The council said the project will create ‘Marine Citizens’, “developing closer connections with the ocean, learning to care about our coastal environment and change the way we behave in order to protect it.”

Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said the city’s park will become a “blueprint for an innovative new model of National Marine Parks across our island nation – and this feels both vital and exciting.”

Elaine Hayes, Plymouth Sound National Marine Park CEO, added: “This programme has been designed to maximise the number of people accessing the National Marine Park’s incredible built and natural heritage, encouraging everyone to discover the treasures of Plymouth Sound and to enable communities to care for the National Marine Park.