Gary Stringer, our Marketing Manager and Derbian, reflects on another exciting year for the city.
As a Marketing Derby Bondholder, one of the key messages we’ve been hearing at their events this year is that Derby is undergoing a renaissance, evidence of which is apparent when one sees the cranes across the city skyline. A number of schemes are well under way that will see the city centre transformed, with new homes, new cultural centres and more green and blue spaces. This year’s London Embassy and Annual Business Event both provided excellent opportunities to network with other local business leaders and hear first-hand from the companies investing significantly in the city, and wider region.
City Centre Living
As our urban spaces evolve, Derby is no exception to a push for more city centre living.
Construction work has been completed on Fox House, a £35 million scheme, that forms part of the Nightingale Quarter, the residential redevelopment of the former DRI Site from Wavensmere Homes. Fox House, containing 209 apartments is the second stand-alone apartment building to complete at the £175 million scheme, with 35 houses also built this year. In total, the keys to 395 new Nightingale Quarter homes have been handed over during 2023.
Looking ahead, Wavensmere Homes together with Wilson Bowden Developments recently submitted a full planning application to build Cathedral One, which will consist of 186 one- and two-bedroom apartments . The nine-storey building will be constructed on vacant land bounded by Full Street to the west and the River Derwent to the east.
And at a Marketing Derby Bondholder event earlier this year, Wavensmere announced ambitious plans to transform Friar Gate Goods Yard to create 276 houses and apartments, and over 110,000 square feet of commercial space in the city centre, on the long derelict site.
2023 also saw the launch of the city’s first ever purpose-built build-to-rent apartments scheme, The Condor. Grainger Plc is the UK’s largest listed provider of private rental homes, and The Condor is their first scheme in Derby, representing a significant investment in the city. Built as part of the first phase of the £200 million Becketwell regeneration scheme, The Condor features 259 new build-to-rent apartments, located on the former Debenhams site in Victoria Street, and is named after one of the first engines built by Rolls-Royce in 1918, Rolls-Royce Condor III.
Becketwell sets out its stall
Forming part of the second phase of the Becketwell regeneration, it is exciting to see the new Performance Venue taking shape. The 3,500-capacity entertainment and events venue, will be owned by Derby City Council and leased to and operated by ASM Global. Bowmer + Kirkland are hard at work on site, which is scheduled for completion in January 2025. The venue should prove an exciting addition to Derby’s cultural offering, creating a new city centre destination, as will the refurbished and refocused Derby Market Hall.
An iconic landmark in the city centre, the Market Hall is currently undergoing a £35 million refurbishment. Derby City Council see this investment as an opportunity to transform the Grade II listed building into a contemporary and vibrant destination that will attract visitors from the region and beyond. By linking Derbion and St Peter’s Quarter to the Cathedral Quarter and Becketwell, the transformed Market Hall is intended to serve as a flexible space used for entertainment and restaurants as well as markets and will prove another attractive destination for the influx of new city centre residents.
A Derby Renaissance
These are exciting times for the city, and it’s residents, those born and bred here in Derby and those attracted by all that a modern 21st century can offer, including exemplary educational institutions, including the University of Derby and Derby College Group, and the opportunities presented by our hi-tech economy, most especially in aerospace and rail and increasingly in nuclear and green energy.
These developments and others underway, and in the pipeline will be undoubtedly bring more vibrancy to both the city centre, and the wider region, and help fuel the ongoing Derby renaissance. Watch this space!
Images from Derby Festé, the outdoor festival which attracts over 30000 visitors to Derby.