Investment News | 14 April 2021

Demolition paves way for £200m Becketwell first phase

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Work has started to demolish buildings in Derby city centre to make way for the first phase of the £200 million Becketwell regeneration scheme.

Specialist contractor Cawarden, which last summer demolished the former Debenhams store occupying part of the site, has started pulling down the neighbouring former Central United Reformed Church and shops in Victoria Street.

St James Securities, the company delivering the Becketwell development, received detailed planning permission for the first phase from Derby City Council in January.

It will consist of 259 build-to-rent apartments where the former Debenhams store stood, while a multi-purpose public square will be created on the church site.

Dan Murray, construction director at St James Securities, said: “The start of demolition works on the former Central URC and shops in Victoria Street takes us a step closer to seeing phase one of the Becketwell regeneration scheme become a reality.

“Our programme currently remains on track start works in May, with completion at the start of 2023.”

Work is also already underway to bring forward a second phase to comprise a new 3,500-capacity performance and conference venue on the site of Laurie House offices and the former Pink Coconut nightclub.

Future planned phases of the scheme include a range of other complementary uses of the site including up to 25,000 sq metres of new grade A offices and commercial space and a hotel.

More than 2,000 jobs are expected to be created by the development. It is also hoped the scheme will provide the impetus to kick-start further investment in surrounding areas of the city centre.

Funding for the Becketwell project includes £8 million in Local Growth Fund investment from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

The £45 million performance venue element of the scheme will offer fully flexible space, capable of staging shows, comedy acts, bands and conferences, with secondary space of up to 400 capacity and is scheduled for completion in 2024.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Derby City Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transportation, said: “It’s terrific to see such strong progress being achieved on a scheme, which is vital to helping create an exciting, vibrant and successful city centre – one where people will want to live, do business, shop and enjoy their leisure time.”

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