The Owen Building was opened in 2002 by the Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP. After sitting empty for 7 years, on 22 September 2015 Plymouth University granted REL a licence to use the building for limited REL and community activities. It is hoped that this is a critical first step in the transfer of the Owen Building to REL and the community and ultimately further transfer and/or disposal of the site.
After 7 years of not being used and minimal maintenance there is a considerable backlog of maintenance and refurbishment of works required to bring the building to a safe and usable state. It is estimated from a 2014 condition survey that there is about £200,000 of works required to bring the building up to a usable condition. REL estimate a further £100,000 of works are required to install wifi, IT system and high specification audio/visual facilities in the performance/lecture theatres and seminar rooms.
The building has the following facilities:
- Walled outside area.
- Atrium/exhibition/meeting place.
- Two sets of adjoining /meeting rooms or open plan offices.
- Small seminar/meeting room or large office.
- Performance space/exhibition hall, with retractable seating for 240 people.
- Lecture theatre with 110 fixed seats.
- Reception and offices.
REL has a detailed plan of works that subject to agreement with Plymouth University will hopefully start in November 2015. The works will take between 3-6 months.
REL intend to initially set up an REL workspace to co-ordinate a series of public engagement and focus group meetings. As the works progress and subject to further grant funding REL intend to use the Owen Building as a focal point for a research, experimentation and development project to explore, inspire and identify the future key facilities required in the building, in the ‘westend’ area and potentially the whole site.
Further details will be promulgated in due course; if you need any further information or would like to view the facilities please contact Mike Green at firstname.lastname@example.org