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News Release


JLL appointed to help make Drake's Island boutique hotel a reality

PLYMOUTH, November 23 2017 –  JLL has been appointed by Rotolok, owners of Drake's Island, Plymouth - an incredible piece of history which has remained untouched for almost 30 years - to invite potential partners to become involved in its regeneration.

Planning permission was granted earlier this year for a hotel and spa development, and Rotolok are now interested in considering a hotel operator or joint venture partner to help turn the vision into a reality.

JLL will be marketing Drake's Island hotel regionally, nationally and internationally and strongly believes this is a unique opportunity to be involved in transforming one of the South West's most exciting and unusual developments.

Named after Plymouth's most famous patron and situated in the heart of Plymouth Sound, Drake's Island hosted a military fortification in Tudor Times. More recently, it was home to a youth adventure training centre between 1963 and 1989 but the island has since been unoccupied.

John Kinsey, director at JLL in Exeter, said: "It's difficult to over-state the importance of Drake's Island as a unique piece of British history but it's also a place which today's Plymouth community also holds close to its heart.

"Finding the right partner to make our client's exciting vision happen is central to the project and we expect this opportunity to generate a lot of interest.

"The priority is to bring this island back into sustainable use and Rotolok is open minded about how this is achieved – whether by developing the site themselves, with a joint venture partner or by leasing it to a hotel operator to manage it."

Rotolok's plans will see the development of the existing jetty which will lead to a dramatic 'arrival building' that will welcome guests and transport them via a glass elevator to the hotel reception.

The Barrack block and former Governor's house will be transformed into luxurious guest areas, a restaurant, spa and 25 bedrooms while the separate Casemates Building, designated as a scheduled ancient monument, will be home to 18 world class suites.

Sean Swales, managing director at Rotolok, said: ''Since planning consent was granted in April, we have employed a full time Project Co-Ordinator, Bob King, to work with our professional team to move our plans forward. We have been working with fervor dealing with the pre-commencement and pre-occupation conditions. Our first construction task has been to deal with the jetty, creating safe access to the Island and we hope to have these works completed in early 2018.

"At the stage we have now reached, we have decided to see if any specialist operators would like to join us in this exciting regeneration project. We are very proud of our boutique hotel in Antigua, Sugar Ridge, and we are determined to repeat the high-quality finish and excellent customer service standards for Drake's Island. Plymouth's waterfront is beautiful, we have an opportunity for Drake's Island to become a must visit UK destination and create something unique within Plymouth Sound.''

Mark Daley, director of LHC Architecture said: "The opportunity to work on such an iconic project doesn't come along every day and Drake's Island is one on which we can employ our wide breadth of skills as a practice. We were first commissioned back in 2010 and it's great to see it making some real progress."

JLL is now commencing the process and after a period of marketing will call for initial expressions of interest.