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Plymouth: A city of creativity

Located on the coast of Devon in the South West of England, Plymouth is Britain’s Ocean City. With a beautiful waterfront and harbour that includes a lovingly restored 1935 Art Deco lido, and plenty of stunning surrounding countryside, our thriving city offers a wealth of inspiration alongside vibrant culture and world-class events to over 35,000 students.

There’s something special about the way that music, art and film blend in Plymouth. And we are actively involved in an intergenerational placemaking project that is transforming the city into the regional capital of visual arts – reflected in investment from Arts Council England.

Contemporary arts venues like KARST house innovative contemporary art exhibitions and residencies, whilst the college houses our own well-established Gallery and Plymouth Arts Cinema, an independent arthouse cinema.

An MTV event on Plymouth's breathtaking Hoe Promenade, which boasts panoramic views across Plymouth Sound.

You’ll find live music venues where you can catch local and touring bands, as well as DIY creative communities and community interest companies springing up all over the city. Devonport’s £7.2 million Market Hall regeneration project, led by the Real Ideas Organisation, aims to create a digital centre for arts, community activity and enterprise, creating jobs and opportunities.

The city plays host to major exhibitions, including British Art Show 7 (with British Art Show 9 set to return to Plymouth in 2021), We The People Are The Work, Rebel Film Festival and The Atlantic Project, bringing internationally renowned artists including Ryoji Ikeda, Postcommodity collective, Ciara Phillips, and Matt Stokes to the city with specially commissioned, site-specific installations.

Radiant Space hosted 'Unnatural Pleasures' a light installation by artist Liz West. Photo © Dom Moore

Alongside the city’s much loved creative spaces, a host of newly developed centres for arts and enterprise have recently opened.

The Box is the new home for Plymouth’s museum and city archives, with a £40 million rebuild set to open in 2020, with seven large-scale permanent galleries, including collections from the South West Film and Television Archive.

Meanwhile Ocean Studios in Plymouth’s historic Royal William Yard offers collaborative facilities, residencies and open-space workshops, and is already home to a wealth of creative, independent businesses – from screenprinting workshops to contemporary jewellers.

Ocean Studios at Royal William Yard.

Plymouth’s artistic spirit also shines in the Theatre Royal, the largest and best attended regional producing theatre in the UK. Our relationship with the theatre provides opportunities for collaborations and industry experience – it is currently the venue for our graduation ceremony.

Plymouth Pavilions draws the biggest names in music and comedy, and the whole city gets involved with MTV Presents Ocean City Sounds, an annual music festival attracting the likes of Clean Bandit, Rudimental and Charli XCX – to name a few.

Prime Cafe on Ebrington Street.

Beyond Plymouth

Just a stone’s throw away is some of the South West’s most beautiful coastline, moors and prehistoric woodlands, as well as exciting creative hubs where you can discover independent shops and cafes, exhibition spaces and more.

The nearby market town of Totnes is home to extraordinary vintage stores and eclectic record shops – the perfect destination for a day of browsing markets, galleries and shopping.

Award-winning photographer Nicholas White embraced Dartmoor during his studies at Plymouth College of Art.

Less than an hour away, the Eden Project is the world’s largest indoor rainforest and plays host to the Eden Sessions each summer, where artists including Björk, Muse, Massive Attack and PJ Harvey have played intimate shows in this breathtaking setting.

A little further into Cornwall and you’ll find the small town of St Ives. Nestled into a hillside and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, St Ives is home to Tate St Ives, celebrating the artistic connections of the town which has been a destination for artists since Victorian times. Renowned names associated with the town range from Mark Rothko to Barbara Hepworth – a must-visit whilst you’re studying at Plymouth College of Art.

We’ve always loved our city, but lately there’s an even greater buzz to the place than usual. Come and find out for yourself.

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