Businesses back Becketwell

Bondholder business owners and key stakeholders from across the city are throwing their support behind plans for the regeneration of Becketwell.

An outline planning application has been submitted by Leeds-based developer St James Securities, comments on the scheme are being accepted and businesses are backing the plans.

Letters of support have been received in favour from Bondholders including Smith Partnership, Smith Cooper, CWC Group, Derby QUAD, JSA Architects, BB&J, David Brown Commercial, Cathedral Quarter BID, Wathall's, Staton Young, Nielsen McAllister, Salloway Property Consultants and Compendium Living.

John Forkin of Marketing Derby says: “This is a one-off opportunity to tackle the single biggest regeneration priority for the city, and if plans are not approved it is likely it will remain derelict and neglected for decades.

“It is imperative that Derby continues to revitalise the centre to deliver Derby City Council’s Masterplan. The proposed Becketwell regeneration improves vibrancy, brings derelict buildings and vacant land back into use and supports the city centre economy, whilst relieving pressure on green belt land. There are no other viable, fundable proposals that could bring about the transformation this site so desperately needs.”

Phase one of the regeneration scheme comprises of 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 Reform Church.

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.

The outline planning application is supported by a request to include a range of other complementary uses of the site, including up to 25,000m2 of new grade A offices, innovation centre and leisure to complement the residential and a planned multi-storey car park, with a smaller courtyard public square called Summerhill Yard to reflect that part of the site’s historic street name.

Kevin McGrath, managing partner of the Smith Partnership says “St James Securities have put forward an exciting vision for Derby’s longest-standing and most in need, regeneration site. Whilst the outline element gives a flavour of what could happen, the detailed submission for close to 300 apartments on the Debenhams site is a concrete plan that represents a major step forward for Becketwell.”

Andrew Bock, director of developers CWC comments "For in excess of 10 years we have had to cope in an area that has been in decline ever since the Debenhams department store closed. These proposals represent the best chance to regenerate this immediate area and offer our buildings, and neighbouring buildings, the best chance to attract new tenants and encourage the population of Derby back into the area.”

David Nelson, senior partner at accountants Smith Cooper adds "The Becketwell area has become a mecca for anti-social behaviour, feels unsafe and is a very poor advertisement for a City Centre that is trying to regenerate itself and attract investment. The proposed development would, I believe, breathe much needed life into the City Centre and hopefully convince future investment.

Dave Bullock, managing director of Compendium Living, developers of the Castleward scheme in Derby says “It is very heartening for Derby that an investor has the vision, appetite and capacity to take on such a challenging strategic site, and I am convinced that SJS’s design approach, with its local influences and bold city vernacular, will prove transformational, and that the mixed uses proposed will bring a significant economic injection to a part of the city that has been crying out for it for years.”

To submit your comments on the Becketwell planning application, citing the benefits that a revitalisation of this area of the city centre would bring for the surrounding businesses and community, please email Developmentcontrol@derby.gov.uk.

Bondholders’ Angel support


The Derby business community has joined forces to support the Knife Angel and spread the message 'Don’t Carry Knives'.

The Knife Angel will be in situ outside Bondholder Derby Cathedral from 3rd to 30th October, and all are encouraged to visit the monument to appreciate the message it carries.

Derby Cathedral is encouraging everyone to share their photographs and message of support on social media using the hashtag #DERBYKNIFEANGEL. You can also follow Derby Knife Angel on Facebook and Twitter

The following Bondholder companies are just a sample of those who have come together to support the Knife Angel’s message of intolerance to violent crime.

G Wathalls and Sons
Bowmer & Kirkland
Work Wallet
Derby Cathedral
Derbyshire Police
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Derby City Council
Mercia Image
Smith Partnership
Ask The Chameleon
Loates HR
Marketing Derby

Rachel Morris, Diocesan Secretary & Cathedral Chapter Steward at Derby Cathedral, would like to extend her thanks to everyone who has supported the Knife Angel to date.


Bespoke bereavement service

Bondholder Wathall’s has launched a bespoke support programme to enable businesses and organisations to better help colleagues come to terms with bereavement.

The company currently offers the four-week support and education programme for members of the public at various times throughout the year.

Feedback from business owners has prompted Wathall’s to now offer Dandelions Bereavement Support either in the workplace or an external venue nearby.

Managing director Helen Wathall is the fifth generation of her family to run the company which has been established in Derby since 1858.

Wathall’s has won several awards for its contribution to local communities – including bereavement support - and Helen was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list last year for her work to support local business communities.

She explained: “Dandelions Bereavement Support has run very successfully for the general public for several years.

“During that time I have been approached by companies and organisations of all sizes suggesting that this programme would be an excellent way for them to better support their staff.

“The programme is designed for small groups of people who are at various stages in their bereavement process. Some have lost a loved one recently and others have been struggling with bereavement for some time but are now ready for support.

“It is not formal counselling but the opportunity to be part of a group that explores the grief process and emotional pathway and helps people come to terms with adjustments to life as it is now and the ‘new normal’.

“Our aim of bringing this into the workplace is to break down the taboos of talking about death and encourage everyone to be more open about their feelings.

“This will help employers recognise the support they need to put into place for individuals and better help them to return to being happy and productive in the workplace.”

For more information about Dandelions Bereavement Support, please contact Wathall’s www.wathalls.co.uk


Wathall's MBE


Helen Wathall, Managing Director of Derby’s longest established independent funeral director, Bondholder Wathall’s, has been awarded an MBE by HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, at an investiture held at Buckingham Palace.

Miss Wathall was awarded the MBE in the New Year’s Honours list for her services to business and the local community.

She said “It was a huge honour to be awarded an MBE. It was a lovely day and something that we will all never forget.”

Helen Wathall is the fifth generation of her family to run Wathall’s which has offices in Macklin Street, Alvaston, Borrowash, Ashbourne and Burton.

She has worked in the family business since she was 18 and has been Managing Director since she was just 29 - taking over the reins of the company on the death of her father Bill.

Over the generations, the Wathall family has always been part of the local community whether that is leading Derby’s war effort in the Forties to being an active member of the local business community to action improvements in St Peters Quarter.

Most recently Wathall’s, has presented a cheque for £1,230 to Derby Stroke Club.

The money was donated by those who attended Wathall’s annual Service of Remembrance and Hope at Bondholder Derby Cathedral in the run up to Christmas to remember loved ones who have passed away.

Wathall’s choose a different charity to receive the donations and selected Derby Stroke Club in recognition of their work to support people who have themselves suffered a stroke or are caring for a family member.