About Devonport Guildhall

Find out more about Devonport Guildhall and the team of people behind it who run this historic building as a social enterprise.

About Devonport Guildhall

RIO acquired the near derelict Grade I listed Devonport Guildhall in 2007 and quickly set about securing the funding required to turn the dream of creating a social enterprise hub into a reality. RIO has a proud track record of setting up and running creative, innovative and award winning social enterprises. From breathing new life into historic buildings, to developing qualifications and even baking artisan bread, RIO‘s portfolio of successful social enterprises businesses puts it’s theory of change into practice and showcases it’s creative ethical business thinking.

With a grant of £1.75million from the Government’s Community Assets Fund and with help and support from Plymouth City Council and the former DRCP, RIO refurbished the Guildhall and reopened to the public in 2010 as a social enterprise hub and community venue.

Devonport Guildhall is now home to a number of successful social enterprises and is also the head office for RIO. As well as providing offices for social enterprise, the Guildhall serves the community as a venue for conferences, events, weddings and entertainment. In 2013 RIO opened Column Bakehouse – a hugely successful artisan bakery – in the Guildhall’s former mortuary, and refurbished and reopened Devonport Column as a visitor attraction.

Stats and Facts

  • Grade I listed building
  • £1.75 million investment
  • Home to six social businesses
  • 35,000 visitors per year
  • Created and sustains six jobs
  • Devonport Column now a visitor attraction