Real Ideas Organisation finalist in the UK Social Enterprise Awards

The Real Ideas Organisation have been shortlisted in two categories in the UK Social Enterprise Awards.

The Awards, organised by Social Enterprise UK, the national body for social enterprise, recognise excellence and outstanding achievements by social enterprises along with those who lead them. Around the United Kingdom there are over 70,000 social enterprises, who contribute £24 billion to the economy each year. RIO are based in the South West with offices in Plymouth, Liskeard and Bristol.

Continue Reading


Audio Tour comes to Devonport Guildhall and Column for Visitors

A new self-guided audio tour was launched on Wednesday at the Devonport Guildhall and Column.

The audio tour, which was created by the Real Ideas Organisation, was designed to allow visitors to learn all about the history of the Guildhall and Column. Working alongside RIO to create the audio tour was The Media Workshop, Plymouth City Museum and local historian Chris Robinson. To provide a fascinating insight into the former uses of the two graded buildings, along with historical information about the local area.

Continue Reading

ADP Riot Tour heads to Devonport Guildhall

The Aftermath Dislocation Principle (ADP) will be on displayed at Devonport Guildhall later this month.

Created by acclaimed artist Jimmy Cauty the model village will open its doors to visitors across the United Kingdom. Located in a specially converted shipping container, the model can be found at the sites of historic riots. Last summer, the ADP had an appearance at Dismaland. From Saturday 20 – Friday 26 August, the ADP Riot Tour will be showcased at Devonport Guildhall.

It will showcase a vast diorama detailing the aftermath of a major disturbance. Devonport experienced this in 1801 when a wheat shortage and raised bread prices caused crowds to seize bread and meat. The event’s organisers hope the experience will be a peaceful and thought-provoking one. The model village will be an small scale of 1:87.

The ADP Riot Tour will open to the public from Saturday 20 August with a Private View for invited guests on Friday 19 August. For more information head over to their website HERE or their official Twitter page HERE.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photo Credit: Thomas Mayer


Devonport Market Hall consultations for residents

People living in Devonport are invited to have their say regarding the future of the Devonport Market Hall.

Drop-in sessions will be taking place later this month at the Redrow shop units on Phelps Road, Devonport. With local residents and businesses invited to say their opinions regarding the future developments. The Grade II listed building is set to become Plymouth’s new space for digital arts, research, education and visitors in an increasingly digital-focused environment when it is planned to open Summer 2017.

The development work is being led by the social enterprise company Real Ideas Organisation. The same company who are also responsible for the restoration of Devonport Guildhall and Column. The proposed development will be a significant moment for Devonport, with the area featuring office, lab and teaching space. As well as conference facilities, a cafe bar and a range of cultural and learning activities.

Ed Whitelaw from RIO said, “Two of the problems we’re trying to solve are around how we work with people to support skills and the regeneration of the city, to do that well we need to listen to people.”

The consultation sessions will take place on Thursday 21 July, 3-7pm and Thursday 26 July, 5-8pm. For more information on the Market Hall, visit HERE and follow them on Twitter HERE.

Marine Academy Plymouth’s Super Summer Showcase Returns

This Friday, Marine Academy Plymouth (MAP) will host the Super Summer Showcase, a carnival-themed event.

This year’s event will follow on from the success of their event last year. There will be activities for all ages such as a bouncy castle, sumo wrestling and a special visit from a Plymouth Argyle footballer. Local businesses have been invited to attend the event to be on hand for any potential enquiries from young people who are thinking about their future.

The Super Summer Showcase will also feature live performances from students who attend the secondary school. A group of students from Year Twelve and Thirteen have joined together to plan and promote this event. The group have chosen to call themselves Unity, with a main priority of running an event that unifies the community.

It also symbolises the teamwork that is required to run a big event like the Super Summer Showcase. Their hard work will continue into the big day as they will be on hand to help run the activities. The event has been put together as part of the student’s Creative Skills Initiative. The programme is delivered by the Real Ideas Organisation as a strand of the Creative Employment Programme.

The programme is designed to enhance the link between education and the workplace in the cultural sector. Young people who take part in these programmes gain valuable employability skills and work with successful organisations to gain practical work experience.

Claire Honey, consultant for the Real Ideas Organisation, who has been working alongside the students to organise the event, said, “I have had the pleasure of working with Unity over the last few weeks to design an amazing event.  I am very proud of what they have achieved in a short space in time – they have shown real professionalism and commitment to creating something exceptional for their school and community.”

The Super Summer Showcase will take place on Friday 15 July at Marine Academy Plymouth, running from 1pm to 4pm.

RIO to debate Plymouth’s future after Brexit

The Real Ideas Organisation will host a special event later this month at Devonport Guildhall to debate the future of Plymouth and the South West after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

On Thursday 23 June, people across the United Kingdom, visited their local polling station to vote leave or remain in the EU Referendum. A day later it was confirmed that the UK would leave the EU after 52% of the population voted leave.

‘Nexit – what now for Plymouth and the South West?’ is aiming to voice the opinions of people right across the city in solutions for the future, including young people. Featuring guest speakers Molly Scott-Cato MEP and John Harris, political and culture writer for The Guardian. Everyone who attends the event will have their say with interactive sessions throughout the evening.

Lindsey Hall, Chief Executive of RIO said: “Politics is in crisis and the repercussions from the result of the referendum are being felt socially, politically and economically. For many people, it feels like the country is being torn apart. If we want a politics and economy that puts all of us first, it’s time to come together and start building alliances. We need a democracy that listens and responds and that puts the people in control.

“We will not get there by shutting people out and perpetuating divisions, but by building bridges, alliances and common cause. This event will explore ways to create more progressive partnerships at a local and regional level and how we as people, neighbours, business and organisations can be proactive, focus on pressing issues and flip the debate to one that builds a more equal, sustainable and democratic society.”

Taking place at 6pm on Wednesday 2o July at Devonport Guildhall, entrance is free to the public. With people wishing to attend must register their interest via Eventbrite.

Wurlitza return to Plymouth in Piccadilly performance

The Wurlitza are returning to Plymouth next Saturday when they perform to the soundtrack to Piccadilly at Devonport Guildhall.

Piccadilly is a film and live music experience which is set in London in the 1920s. Which takes place in the early club land scene of Soho and the immigrant district of Limehouse, a tale of dancing, love, jealousy and revenge. The piece captures the division between high and low society.

The five piece band from South East Cornwall first performed November last year at the Grade I listed venue, performing Diary of a Lost Girl. The silent film music composers are excited at the prospect of returning for their second performance. This time their show will be in aid of Open Hearts Open Borders and Plymouth’s Aid for Syria Appeal, which supports Syrian refugees who have fled to Plymouth for safety.

Wurlitza offers audiences a new experience through their performances by providing soundtracks to silent films which include elements of jazz, classical and contemporary music. With each performance carefully choreographed and taking into account the mood and themes of the various scenes.

The performance of Piccadilly will take place at Devonport Guildhall on Saturday 16 April at 8pm, with doors opening from 7:30pm. Tickets are only £10 each and are available by calling 01752 395028 or emailing

Photo Credit: Wurlitza

Plymouth to celebrate one of its most famous sons

A Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) project will celebrate the life and work of Sir Joshua Reynolds, one of Plymouth’s most famous artists, on Friday 4 March.

Sir Reynolds was born in Plympton, St Maurice in 1723, after establishing his first studio in Devonport he went on to become one of the 18th century’s most prominent artists and is widely recognised as ‘Britain’s greatest portrait painter’. Reynolds’ legacy to the nation stretched beyond painting as in 1760 as a prominent member of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts and Commerce and Manufactures (RSA) and other leading artists, he staged the first exhibition of combined artists in the UK at the RSA’s house in London.

Following his success, Reynolds went on to found the Royal Academy of Arts, becoming the organisation’s first president. To this day, the exhibition continues with the Royal Academy becoming the nation’s most prestigious cultural organisation.

Support from HLF and a range of other funders, in 2014 the City Museum and Art Gallery acquired an early self-portrait and an Italian sketchbook belonging to Reynolds. The partnership has undertaken a major community engagement programme to help raise awareness of Reynolds’ early career.

Working in partnership with the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO), Arts Council England South West (ACE) and Redrow (West Country) two events will be held this Friday at the Devonport Guildhall. The afternoon will see the opening of an exhibition of nearly 650 photographs taken by children who either live or go to school in Devonport. Students from Devonport High School for Boys, Mount Wise Community Primary School and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School have worked on a project with photographer Tim Mills, exploring ideas around the theme of identity.

There will be an awards ceremony where children will receive Arts Award certificates and four Fine Arts students from Plymouth College of Arts and Plymouth University will be awarded ‘Redrow Joshua Reynolds RSA Fellowships’ recognising not only the quality of their work but also their contributions to a wider Plymouth society.

Chair of RSA South West, Ed Whitelaw said, “The RSA has a 250 year history of using ideas to enrich British society, Joshua Reynolds is one of many famous names who has flourished within the organisation, these fellowships are just one way we can support a new generation of creative civic leaders for the 21st century.

“The exhibition opening and awards ceremony will also be accompanied by the unveiling of the Joshua Reynolds blue plaque which will eventually be installed on the new extension of Devonport’s Market Hall, the city’s new space for digital arts.”

Sales Director at Redrow, Andrew Addison added, “We’re delighted to have been ongoing sponsors and supporters of this exciting project, and we are so pleased to have played a part in bringing new audiences to view some of Joshua Reynolds’ original work. We are proud to have been involved in the restoration of the Devonport Market Hall for a number of years now which is helping breath new life into this part of the city’s heritage.”

The exhibition launch, certificate and awards presentations and plaque unveiling will take place from 3pm-5:15pm. With the exhibition open to members of the public from 5 to 29 March, supported by the South Devon Decorative and Fine Arts Society. For more information and to book visit

RIO welcomes Cornish creative agency to Devonport Guildhall

The Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) have given Liskeard-based company Voice Group a permanent home in Devonport Guildhall.

Since renovating Devonport Guildhall in 2010, RIO have given the Ker Street landmark a new lease of life, reinventing it as a social enterprise hub and community venue.

“We’re delighted to have such a successful company as Voice Group joining us at Devonport Guildhall,” says Ed Whitelaw, Head of Enterprise and Regeneration at RIO. “This is clear evidence of the positive early impact of the work to develop Devonport Market Hall as a new kind of digital hub, further putting Plymouth’s digital and creative industries on the map.”

Voice Group are a full service creative agency, with an in-house team of designers, developers, copywriters and project managers. The company are best known for their mobile-friendly website design and development but they are equipped to take on all manner of marketing projects from business cards to across-the-board rebrands.

“We’re excited about Plymouth’s future,” said Nick Dell’anno, creative director at Voice Group. “With projects like Devonport Guildhall, RIO’s new digital hub at Devonport Market Hall next year and Ocean Studios at Royal William Yard, not to mention two flourishing arts universities. There are so many plans afoot here that will hopefully result in new economic growth, and we want to be a part of that.”

The Cornish agency has no plans to leave its home location. The firm is already looking for interns to join them, with their arrival to the city being good news for locals trying to find a way into the industry.

“So now, as well as being able to offer our skills and experience to Plymouth businesses, we’ll also be looking to bring some Plymouth-based creatives in to work with us,” said Nick. “We have much better access here to the young creative talent coming out of the city, so hopefully we can help stop Plymouth losing so many young people to London and Bristol.”