Latest News | 13 May 2021

Grainger to fund build-to-rent element of £200m Becketwell scheme

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St James Securities, the developer behind the £200 million Becketwell regeneration scheme in Derby city centre, has revealed the name of the company that will fund the build-to-rent element of the project.

Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed provider of private rental homes, has agreed to forward fund, acquire, and operate the build-to-rent element of the scheme at a cost of £37.375 million.

The first purpose-built, build-to-rent scheme in Derby, the development will comprise of 259 one and two-bedroom apartments, offering resident amenities, plus two commercial units.

Oliver Quarmby, managing director at St James Securities said: “We are delighted to be working with Grainger on this major build-to-rent scheme, which will deliver much-needed residential accommodation in Derby city centre.

“Grainger is a well-established operator in the sector, with an amazing track record of delivery and a tremendous reputation with tenants.”

Helen Gordon, chief executive of Grainger, said: “This acquisition in Derby is an exciting addition to our growing portfolio of high-quality rental homes in the Midlands – and our first scheme in Derby, a city which meets our strict investment criteria.”

The apartments, which will be built on the site of the former Debenhams store on Victoria Street, will form part of the first phase of the Becketwell scheme and will be adjacent to the new public square, which is the centrepiece of the development and will also be delivered as part of phase one.

The build-to-rent scheme will feature a rooftop terrace and ground floor amenity space.

There will also be a manned reception, gym and separate co-working space, which will serve as an alternative to working from home. Secure car parking, bike store and electric car chargers will also be provided.

Grainger is a market leader in the UK build-to-rent and private rented sector.

This is its first investment in Derby and forms part of its national strategy.

Oliver said: “To have a FTSE 250 investor on-board with the Becketwell scheme is a massive vote of confidence in Derby.

“It will act as a catalyst to drive subsequent phases of development on the wider Becketwell site.”

Helen said: “Demand for high-quality rental homes in the city continues to grow and this scheme will add greater scale to our Midlands cluster, improving our ability to drive efficiencies while delivering a great service to our customers.”

Construction work on the apartments is set to star shortly, with completion by early 2023.

Work is already well 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 up to 25,000 square metres of grade A offices and commercial space, a hotel, and a multi-storey car park, with a smaller more intimate courtyard public square.

The regeneration of the long-neglected Becketwell area of Derby 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.

More than 2,000 jobs are expected to be created by the development.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, deputy leader of Derby City Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see this important component of the Derby Recovery Plan moving ahead at such a crucial time.

“This huge investment by Grainger shows the confidence in Derby as a city to build back better.

“The ambitious development at Becketwell will diversify the economy and is a prime example of how we are creating a modern, smart city, with jobs for the future.

“We are proud of the vital role Derby City Council played in assembling the land and securing the D2N2 LEP investment enabling this collaboration with the private sector.”

Sajeeda Rose, chief executive of the D2N2 LEP, said: “We are pleased to see the progress being made on the site and will continue to support Derby City Council on the scheme to deliver the comprehensive regeneration of the Becketwell area of Derby, contributing to our region’s economic recovery and growth.”

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