Latest News | 29 June 2022

City targets Levelling Up cash for three key sites

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Derby City Council is targeting government cash to support the redevelopment of three key sites in the city centre.

A new theatre on the Assembly Rooms site, a premium hotel at Becketwell and the redevelopment of the Friar Gate Goods Yard into work and living space, are the three projects the council is considering putting forward for Levelling Up Fund support.

Subject to sign-off from the city council’s cabinet, which meets on Tuesday, the three sites will be submitted to receive funding as part of the second round of the Levelling Up pot.

All three redevelopments have received support locally and each one will be sponsored by a Derby MP.

Councillor Chris Poulter, leader of the city council, said: “We know to level up Derby, tinkering around the edges is not going to be enough.

“We need to deliver a step change to create a successful and dynamic city centre.

“These three projects can unlock Derby’s potential. Linking with other redevelopments already in the pipeline they will give confidence to local businesses, investors and external funders. This will lead to further investment into the city.”

On the Assembly Rooms site, a new learning theatre called Assemble would be constructed, in partnership with University of Derby.

The city council would lead the development of the venue, which would be operated by Derby Theatre, which is a subsidiary of the university.

According to the council, the project would increase theatre attendance by 83,000 and attract an additional 25,000 visitors to Derby each year. It would also generate a net additional £1.7 million per year for the local economy.

A Levelling Up Fund bid of £20 million is proposed for this project.

The new premium hotel at Becketwell would form part of the overall £200 million regeneration of the area, which is being delivered by St James Securities.

It would capitalise on visitor demand from the delivery of the 3,500 capacity Becketwell Performance Venue, as well as business stays.

A Levelling Up Fund bid of up to £15 million would be needed to help deliver the project.

Paul Morris, development director at St James Securities, said: “We are delighted to be working with the city council to bring forward the delivery of a much-needed upper mid-scale hotel to the city and are working with the council on their bid for Levelling up Funding.

“Phases one and two of the Becketwell scheme are already underway, with 259 one and two-bedroom build to rent apartments set to come on stream in early 2023 and demolition work in progress for the exciting new 3,500 capacity performance venue.”

Finally, money is being sought for Friar Gate Goods Yard and Bridge – a high profile regeneration opportunity being brought forward by Clowes Developments.

The development proposals consist of a mixed-use development, including workspace, residential units and green space.

The council will apply for funding to renovate the listed Friar Gate Bridge to create new public space.

The Levelling Up Fund bid for Friar Gate Goods Yards and Bridge will be between £14 million and £16 million.

Thomas Clowes, director at Clowes Developments, said: “Accessing Levelling Up funds for the regeneration of Friar Gate Goods Yard would be a massive step forward.

“The funding would help to springboard the regeneration of this iconic and historic Derby landmark.”

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