Derby City Council has moved the City Centre Masterplan forward by exchanging contracts for the purchase of the former Debenhams building on Victoria Street and six related properties on Green Lane and Macklin Street. At the same time, it also exchanged contracts for the sale of Eagle Market to intu.
The purchase of the 110,000 ft2 (10,200m2) former Debenhams building is expected to be finalised by the end of March.
These key pieces of real estate will act a catalyst to regenerate the Becketwell area of Derby, through a public- private partnership approach.
Derby City Council started the process of consolidating land two and a half years ago – September 2014 - with the purchase of Duckworth Square. The land assembly will be completed with the purchase of the former Debenhams building and related properties.
Market research and soft market testing in 2016 has shown that Becketwell is suitable for a mix of development uses including residential, leisure and retail.
The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – the private sector-led partnership which promotes economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – has provided a £4m facility for the purchase and preparation of the site for regeneration.
Deputy Leader of the Council, Martin Rawson, who has responsibility for regeneration, said: “We are confident that together with the private sector we can turn this neglected part of the city into a vibrant, thriving residential and leisure district.
“This area has been crying out for modernisation and development. There have been years of market failure to revive this part of the city due to fragmentation of property ownership and other factors, the Council is now taking the lead to rectify these problems in order to stimulate investor confidence.
“The acquisition of this building is a key event which will allow us to move full steam ahead with a holistic regeneration plan for Becketwell. I will be taking a recommendations to March Cabinet on the way forward for this under-used area that has blighted this part of the city for decades.”