ABP's Maritime Metamorphosis Unveiled

ABPImage Source: ABP


Associated British Ports, the UK's largest port operator, initiates the inaugural phase of the Millbay Docks transformation in the Port of Plymouth. Funded by the UK Government through the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport seed capital program, this strategic move involves reconstructing the vital West Wharf. The project aims to fortify the Ferry Terminal's future, enhance freight capabilities, boost environmental sustainability, and expand services to the cruise market.


In a groundbreaking development, Associated British Ports (ABP) commences the initial phase of its ambitious Millbay Docks transformation, a project poised to redefine maritime infrastructure within the Port of Plymouth. This undertaking represents the first works funded by the UK Government through the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport seed capital program, signifying a pivotal moment for ABP and the port community.

The focal point of this transformative initiative is the reconstruction of the West Wharf, a crucial component within ABP's broader infrastructure enhancement strategy. Teignmouth Maritime Services (TMS), the Devon-based contractor, has received piles for installation over the next six weeks. This process aims to reinforce the West Wharf, elevating its load capacity and facilitating the handling of general cargo and containers. Simultaneously, it paves the way for a state-of-the-art Passenger Boarding Bridge, catering to both ferry and cruise operations.

Julian Walker, Regional Director at ABP, emphasizes the significance of these infrastructure upgrades. The project not only bolsters the long-term resilience of Millbay Docks but also aligns with ABP's commitment to enhancing connectivity, fostering economic activities, and supporting the broader community.

The initiative is a testament to ABP's proactive role as a port operator, contributing to the economic vitality of the region. The reconstruction of the West Wharf is expected to benefit businesses operating within the Freeport, offering streamlined access to sea routes for importing raw materials and exporting finished products.

Richard May, CEO of Plymouth and South Devon Freeport, expresses enthusiasm about the project's commencement, highlighting its potential to optimize port operations, diversify cargo types, and consider new routes. This aligns with the overarching goals of the Freeport initiative, aiming to enhance connectivity, stimulate trade, and promote long-term economic prosperity.

Council Leader Tudor Evans recognizes Millbay Docks as a pivotal port gateway for the Freeport, acknowledging the significance of witnessing the first wave of Freeport funding manifest in the enhancement of this critical asset. The project not only contributes to global trade ambitions but also injects vitality into the local economy.

Jacob Young MP, Minister for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities, underscores the development's role in leveling up opportunities for people in port areas. The government-funded project not only enhances connectivity but also aligns with the broader vision of creating local jobs and fostering economic growth.

ABP remains committed to transparent communication with the community, actively working to minimize disruptions during construction. The project represents not only an investment in maritime infrastructure but also a commitment to playing a positive role as a corporate citizen within the city.


ABP's launch of the Millbay Docks transformation heralds a new era in maritime infrastructure development, driven by the UK Government's seed capital program. The reconstruction of the West Wharf signifies a commitment to fortifying the port's future, enhancing connectivity, and fostering economic growth. As the first funded project under the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport initiative, this endeavor exemplifies ABP's dedication to innovation and sustainable port operations, positioning Millbay Docks as a key player in the region's maritime landscape.

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