Ocean Studios Forum






Picture Perfect Partnership for Ocean Studios

Fotonow CIC will be RIO’s first new tenants at Ocean Studios thanks to a deal which will see them make Royal William Yard their new home, taking on office space, the photography studio, dark room and media suite. Fotonow will also work with RIO to create an exciting programme of workshops, short courses and activity at Ocean Studios to promote creativity through photography and filmmaking.

RIO – the Real Ideas Organisation – officially took over the running of Ocean Studios in April 2017, with a commitment to keep supporting makers and creatives in the city as well as using its social enterprise model to ensure Ocean Studios is sustainable and prosperous in years to come. 

Claire Burgess, Head of Enterprises for RIO, said: “We are very excited to be working with Fotonow and to welcome them to a new home at Ocean Studios.  We have always admired their fusion of creative practice and social enterprise and that, along with their impressive track record of working with a wide range of people to share skills and empower others to use photography and film, makes them a perfect fit for the ethos of Ocean Studios."

Matthew Pontin from Fotonow said "The move is really fantastic for the company, Plymouth is our home and we've been looking for the right space to nurture creative opportunities. Over the years we've had some brilliant support, especially when we moved the company to Devonport (where we aim to continue to grow projects) and from everyone at Hamoaze House. The timing to move and manage the media facilities at Ocean Studios is indeed perfect, as Fotonow has some big plans in the months and years to come. We're ready for the challenge, working with RIO, meeting Ocean Studios artists and welcoming many new people to come and participate in our activity in the months ahead.”

Fotonow will move into their new suite of studios in June and will take on the commercial running of the photography studio, media suite and darkroom at Ocean Studios. For more information on commercial photography or use of these spaces please contact; info@fotonow.org Details about Fotonow's workshop activity programme at Ocean Studios will be announced in the coming weeks and will be published at www.fotonow.org



Bakehouse success on the rise as expansion plans are announced



Column Bakehouse, the successful artisan bakery started at Devonport Guildhall, has announced plans to open a second café outlet and a ‘Bakehouse Stores’ shop inside Ocean Studios at the prestigious Royal William Yard, Plymouth. 

The Bakehouse which is run by pioneering social enterprise RIO – the Real Ideas Organisation – was opened in 2013 and has grown from strength to strength, cementing its position as Plymouth’s premier artisan bakery, supplying a range of restaurants and trade customers as well as operating the popular café and shop at Devonport Guildhall.

When RIO took on the running of Ocean Studios at Royal William Yard in April 2017, the potential for a second Column Bakehouse café and shop quickly became apparent.

RIO’s Head of Enterprises Claire Burgess explains: “Having grown a successful retail and wholesale bakery business from Devonport Guildhall we have been looking at options for a second outlet for some time.

“When we took on the management and running of Ocean Studios back in April, we began to explore how a Column Bakehouse café and Bakehouse Stores could work within the venue and support the community of makers as well as contribute to the food offer for visitors on the Yard.

“We’re incredibly excited to be bringing Column Bakehouse to Ocean Studios, the café will bring more of the great, fresh food that customers have been enjoying at our café in

 Devonport, with a hearty helping of our handcrafted artisan bread, with eat in and takeaway options available.  The Bakehouse Stores will stock the staples that visitors and residents on the yard might need, all of which are either locally sourced – including our artisan bread – or from social enterprise suppliers.”

"We are delighted to welcome Column Bakehouse to Royal William Yard,” said Emily Handslip, Director, Urban Splash. “Royal William Yard has become the best place to work, rest and play in the South West. We’re really excited about the bakery opening at Ocean Studios - it will be a fantastic addition to the Yard food offering.” 

Column Bakehouse Stores is set to open in June, with the Column Bakehouse café at Ocean Studios opening in July. 



FEB 2017


Real Ideas Organisation in talks to take on Ocean Studios

RIO – the Real Ideas Organisation – has today [Wednesday 28 February 2017] revealed that it is in talks to take on the management of Ocean Studios, the creative space for local makers situated on Royal William Yard.

RIO is working with Plymouth City Council and Arts Council England who both 

support RIO taking the helm to offer expertise and support as it enters its next phase of growth and development.

Based in the south west, but with international reach, RIO is an award winning social enterprise, well known for its track record of successfully managing creative, multi-use spaces in historic buildings. Now in its 10th year, RIO first worked with Plymouth City Council back in 2007 when it took on the renovation and management of Devonport Guildhall, which it has run successfully, without revenue funding, since 2010. RIO also works closely with Plymouth Culture and together are keen to see a Creative Industries Plan developed for the city to support those working in the sector.

Lindsey Hall, Chief Executive of RIO, she said: “We are delighted to be in talks with Plymouth City Council and Arts Council England with a view to supporting Ocean Studios in the next phase of its growth and prosperity.

“Ocean Studios has already established itself as an important part of the city’s cultural landscape. It is a fantastic facility for both established and emerging artists and as part of a strategy to better support Creative Industries in the city we believe there is huge potential for Ocean Studios to grow, develop and prosper, whilst maintaining its vision as an accessible creative space for Plymouth.”

Dom Jinks, Director of Plymouth Culture said: “RIO has a strong track record in managing cultural assets in the city, including the renovation of Devonport Guildhall and the upcoming Devonport Markethall transformation.

“RIO supports the creative industries to flourish and is a key partner in Plymouth’s continued cultural growth.”



About RIO

RIO has a strong and proven track record of working with Plymouth City Council, having collaborated on high profile public projects including Devonport Guildhall, Devonport Column and the Market Hall. RIO’s social enterprise business acumen has seen it make a success of Devonport Guildhall and Column, and set up the award winning Column Bakehouse; RIO builds strong business and commercial bases for its projects, setting them up for success. 

RIO is also an Infrastructure Support Organisation for Arts Council England, working with cultural organisations and practitioners right across the south west. RIO has more than a decade’s worth of experience supporting arts practitioners across a wide range of disciplines, including visuals arts.

The experience of offering cultural support, teamed with the social enterprise business model it runs, makes RIO an ideal partner to support Ocean Studios on the next steps in its journey.

For more information visit www.realideas.org