£75 million commitment to city by top law firm

Plymouth City Council has secured transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson as key tenants for its headquarters at Millbay.

The company has signed a new lease committing to Ballard House – and to the city and region – until at least 2035.

Council leader Tudor Evans said: “What a great day. This is a company that not only works in Plymouth but works for Plymouth and whose staff are a big part of life here.

“Womble Bond Dickinson are great ambassadors for this city with highly-skilled professional staff and their support for the city and in particular, the Mayflower 400 commemorations, is inspiring.

“This is not just about office space, it is about an international company committing its staff and millions of pounds over the next 16 years to this city.”

Craig Moore, Partner and Head of WBD’s Plymouth office, said: “With an office in Plymouth since 1881, we know that the city and the South West region are a great place to do business.

“There is an enormous amount happening here and we are delighted to confirm the extension of our lease of Ballard House for the next 16 years and a refurbishment investment of over £1 million.

“It has been a pleasure working with Plymouth City Council, their significant investment in the city and the pro-active nature in which they have been moving things forward made it a really easy decision for us to remain at Ballard House and make a significant investment here.

“WBD’s Plymouth office continues to grow from to strength, providing clients with a unique offering of national and international experience on their doorstep. Our long term commitment to Plymouth is a reflection of the growth in our clients and the value we bring to them.”  “We look forward to growing the business further”.

The Council occupies four floors of the seven story office block since moving out of the Civic Centre in 2014.

Ballard House is now base for over 700 council staff, but advances in technology means that more and more staff are being encouraged to work flexibly – both at home and in other council buildings – to keep the costs of office space down. Most of the staff are now hot-desking.

It means the Council also retains control of a key strategic site right on the waterfront at Millbay, an area currently undergoing significant regeneration.