Plymouth Sound National Marine Park seeks first CEO

Plymouth Sound

The hunt is on for an interim chief executive to steer Plymouth’s vision of a National Marine Park.

Partners across the city created the UK’s first ever National Marine Park in 2019 and the ‘Park in the Sea’ was awarded £9.5 million earlier this year from the National Lottery Heritage Fund Horizon Awards to fully develop the idea.

Now the search is on for an interim chief executive officer to set up all aspects of the park, shape a city wide programme, support the community and stakeholder engagement and help make the park vision become a reality.

Council leader Nick Kelly said: “Plymouth is home to the first ever National Marine Park. The City Council have already done incredibly well to win considerable funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund Horizon Awards and I’d like to thank all of the lottery players who have helped us to make our dream a reality.

“We are on the cusp of something incredible but we must ensure that the park is sustainable into the long term. We need someone at the helm able to make sure all the Sound’s users – those who work or play in it, on it and under it feel part of this journey.”

The ‘Park in the Sea’ aims to

  • Support the ongoing enhancement of our world class natural environment and heritage landscape
  • Get the entire city and surrounding communities involved with the Sound
  • Increase access to our heritage so everyone can enjoy the benefits
  • Provide new employment opportunities and career pathways in sustainable future ocean jobs
  • Position Plymouth as a UK top day-visitor destination
  • Champion health and wellbeing with a new generation of engaged volunteers, communities and champions.
  • Support the positive transition to net zero carbon by 2030.

Over the next two years the interim chief executive will guide the NMP into being a legal entity in its own right, to further develop relationships with over 100 organisations involved in the Sound and establish a marine parks operating model.

Cllr Tudor Evans, Leader of the Opposition, said: “This really is a unique position to create something quite special.

“The breadth of those involved, from the fishing industry to wild swimmers, conservationists to the harbour authorities and the Royal Navy, means there are a lot of different interests that must incorporated and it’s exciting that very soon we’ll have someone in position to bring this forward.”

In July the City Council NMP project team outlined its ambition to create five ‘gateways’ to the park, each with a particular focus that will inspire more people to explore, connect and enjoy the sea. They include:

  • Tinside –  for health and wellbeing activities
  • National Marine Aquarium – a hub for nature and the environment
  • Mountbatten – active recreation
  • Mount Edgcumbe – learning about the Sound’s epic history including over 600 wrecks that lie beneath the waves
  • Smart Sound – digital harnessing the power of the latest digital technology

Big conversations are in the pipeline over the next two years with a full engagement programme to be developed to ensure everyone has their say in what they would like to see as part of the National Marine Park

From the lone angler to fishing crews, swimmers to marine scientists, the park will ultimately be shaped by those who enjoy it and those looking to get closer to the ocean.

Find out more with details on how to apply here.

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