£200m development boost


Derby’s number one regeneration priority took a significant step forward this week as Bondholders St James Securities and Derby City Council exchanged contracts, triggering a planning application for a £200m mixed development that received 89% of support in a recent public consultation.

The scheme – which includes £8.1 million in Local Growth Fund investment from Bondholder the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – covers the former Debenhams store, Pennine Hotel, NCP Car Park and Laurie House at Becketwell. The first phase comprises a high quality new public square and 342 Build to Rent apartments.

Paul Morris, director of St James Securities, commented “We were delighted to be chosen by Derby City Council in March 2018 to deliver a truly comprehensive and badly needed major regeneration scheme for Derby city centre and are hopeful of a successful determination to this application by the end of 2019.”

Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council added “The area has been in need of regeneration for years and this is a fantastic step in our plans to transform Derby’s city centre.”


Phase one of the regeneration scheme comprises plans for 342 Build to Rent apartments on the site of the former Debenhams store on Victoria Street and a new public square on the site of the current United Reformed Church as the centre piece of the development.

The residential development will comprise of two buildings, the tallest of which will extend up to 19 storeys in height. This building will contain 246 apartments over a ground floor café and restaurant overlooking the new square.

The smaller building will house 96 apartments with a convenience store at ground floor fronting Victoria Street. In response to local feedback, this building has been carefully designed to retain the curve of the existing buildings to the Victoria Street frontage. Both buildings will have rear-decked car parking.

View 1 No UoD Logo.jpg

The new multi-purpose public square will be the centrepiece of the proposed development and will be delivered as part of the first phase of development. The planning application will also be supported by a request to include a range of other complementary uses of the site, including up to 25,000 sq m of new grade A offices, innovation centre and leisure to complement the residential and a planned multi-storey car park with a smaller more intimate courtyard public square called Summerhill
Yard to reflect that part of the site’s historic street name.

Marketing Derby will be supporting the application following a presentation by St James Securities to the Economic Development Advisory Group. MD John Forkin said “The proposals were really well received by business and the public. They are ambitious enough to transform not only Becketwell, but the wider St Peters Quarter which has suffered decades of decline. Derby has waited too long for a solution and we must grab this opportunity with both hands.”

When showcased at a public consultation hosted by St James Securities in March, the plans received overwhelmingly positive feedback with 89% of respondents in full support of the project.

The vision for the wider site is to create a whole new part of the city centre with its own distinct character and identity. This will take the form of a series of buildings, spaces and views that will enhance the attractiveness and vitality of the city.

The regeneration is expected to bring numerous benefits to the city, including a repopulation of both office workers and residents to the city centre which will help boost activity outside of traditional retail hours.

It is also hoped that the substantial levels of investment proposed at Becketwell will provide confidence for further new investment in surrounding areas of the city centre.

Commenting on the recent developments, Paul Morris, director of St James Securities, said: “I am absolutely delighted that contracts have now been signed and put in place and am proud to say after months of consultation the Planning Application has been formally submitted.

“We are hopeful of a successful determination to this Application by the end of 2019, which will enable us to make a start on site late spring 2020.”

St James Securities have completed many successful projects of this scale, including St Paul’s Place in Sheffield and the award-winning Round Foundry in Leeds.

The work on the demolition of the former Debenhams building is set to start in September 2019, with construction work on the first phase of development set to commence in 2020.


University opens new Rail Innovation Centre

A £1.4m rail innovation centre at Bondholder the University of Derby has been unveiled to the industry to help transform rail travel in the UK.

 Exterior view of the Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering (IISU)

The University of Derby’s Rail Research and Innovation Centre (RRIC), at Lonsdale House in Derby, was developed thanks to a £902,600 grant from fellow Bondholder D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.

The funding has allowed for the purchase of three technology ‘demonstrators’ to help improve innovation and productivity within the rail industry: Advanced Rail Composite Design and Manufacture; Rail Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence; and Future Rail Propulsion.

It is hoped that the RRIC will upskill upwards of 80 rail sector employees, while also supporting around 80 supply chain businesses, 15 new collaborative research projects, and shepherd 20 companies through innovation funding applications by 2022.

Professor Warren Manning, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the University of Derby’s College of Engineering and Technology, said: “We are grateful to D2N2’s Local Growth Fund for the support it has given the University of Derby to develop this superb facility."

“The Rail Research and Innovation Centre will provide expertise and technology with the capacity to transform the development of rail transport, allowing organisations to get the best value out of data and find better ways of decarbonising the railways."

“Secondly, it will provide opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises in the rail supply chain and associated industries to collaborate with us in innovative and exciting ways. This will help to put them at the cutting edge of the industry, unlocking opportunities for them not just regionally and nationally, but potentially across the world too.”

Tom Goshawk, D2N2 LEP Capital Projects Manager said of the opening: “The Rail Research and Innovation Centre project has provided an excellent opportunity for D2N2 LEP to invest in the important rail industry in Derby."

“Transport Equipment Manufacturing is a sector of great importance to the D2N2 area and this investment enables greater efficiencies and enhances the inward investment offer to rail supply chain businesses in the region."

New year, new era for LEP

At this year's Marketing Derby Annual Business Event Sajeeda Rose, newly appointed Chief Executive of Bondholder D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership outlined the role of the LEP and its priorities.

Sajeeda told delegates that the New Year sees the start of a new era for D2N2 LEP with a newly appointed Chief Executive in Sajeeda, a recently appointed Chair in Elizabeth Fagan, former MD of Boots as well as Deputy Chair, David Williams who is also Chair of Bondholder Geldards. It also has an aim to increase the representation of private businesses on its board to strengthen the business voice.

The D2N2 LEP is the 5th largest LEP by population and works in partnership with public and private sector to enable growth.

The LEP has just set a 10 year strategy for long-term growth with key priorities to improve productivity and innovation in the region as well as to support skills and education.

She said "We are proud to say that the Growth Hub element of the LEP has supported over 7,000 businesses in the 4 years it has been operating and have supported many great projects. This showcases true collaborative working."

Sajeeda welcomed the work of Marketing Derby and its contribution in attracting inward investment and jobs into the area.

D2N2 supports the presence at MIPIM and has recently become a Marketing Derby Bondholder.