Latest News | 20 June 2023

Construction begins on new city centre performance venue

Reach Events
Grainger Plc
Derby City Council
St James Securities
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Construction work has begun on a brand-new £45.8 million performance venue in the heart of Derby city centre.

Construction group Bowmer + Kirkland has started work on the 3,500-capacity entertainment and events venue, which represents phase two of the £200 million Becketwell regeneration scheme.

Built on the site of the former Pennine Hotel, Laurie House offices, multi-storey car park and Pink Coconut nightclub in Colyear Street and Padley House in Becket Street, the new building will be owned by Derby City Council and leased to and operated by ASM Global.

Councillor Baggy Shanker, leader of the city council, said: “This is an important step forward in finally delivering the new venue Derby needs, which will deliver real, tangible benefits for businesses, residents and visitors.

“Creating a city centre for all is one of our priorities and this new and flexible space is a key part of bringing vibrancy and pride back to our city centre.”

Christian Parnell, regional director at Bowmer + Kirkland, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been appointed to build Derby’s exciting new entertainment and events venue.

“2023 marks Bowmer + Kirkland’s first 100 years and it is fitting that we are beginning work on a major scheme, which will bring life back to a once vibrant and prominent area of the city.”

Bowmer + Kirkland, which won the contract to deliver the performance venue, took over the site at the start of the month and practical completion is scheduled for January 2025.

The venue is expected to significantly add to Derby’s cultural offering, with a larger, more flexible space than the city centre has had in the past.

It will be a scalable space capable of staging a range of concerts, stand-up comedy, family shows, musical theatre, exhibitions, and business events.

The venue is set to host over 200 cultural and commercial events each year and attract an additional 250,000 visitors to Derby.

It is also expected to create more than 200 new jobs and generate more than £10 million for the local economy per year.

Bowmer + Kirkland is one of the UK’s largest and most successful privately-owned construction and development groups.

Over the past five years, the company has secured projects with a value of almost £3 billion.

Paul Morris, director of St James Securities, which is delivering Becketwell, said: “We are delighted to have concluded this agreement with Bowmer + Kirkland, a local company with a nationwide track record of working on award-winning projects for an extensive portfolio of developers, public sector clients and blue-chip companies across a broad range of sectors.”

In February last year, Peveril Securities, the development arm of the Bowmer + Kirkland Group, were appointed funding and development partners for future phases of the Becketwell scheme.

Ralph Jones, managing director of Peveril Securities, said: “We are pleased to be investing in the future of our home city of Derby and look forward to supporting St James Securities to deliver the landmark arena and future phases of the Becketwell regeneration.”

Paul said: “In a very difficult inflationary climate where materials and labour costs have increased substantially, St James Securities has worked extremely hard with B+K through the design development and tendering stage to ensure the project would be delivered well within the fixed price contract with Derby City Council.

“I won’t pretend it’s been an easy process to get to this stage; however, I am very proud of the entire professional team involved in this project who have worked tirelessly to ensure that we’ve worked around the many challenges we faced along the way.

“There have been a few naysayers who have sought to publicly criticise us and suggest we would either throw the towel in or return to the council seeking more money.

“This is simply not how we operate and once we agree a price, as we did with Derby City Council, then we stand by it.

“We have a wealth of experience in delivering complex, award-winning regeneration schemes and having the financial backing of Peveril Securities has further strengthened our ability to take on these challenges and win.

“The skill set of a dedicated and experienced team, such as the one we have pulled together for the performance venue, allows us to work in a way that central government or local authorities are not able.

“This is a great example of how the private and public sectors can work in partnership to deliver complex schemes at a fixed price with the private sector absorbing all the development and construction risks, which in this project have been substantial.”

The performance venue represents phase two of the overall Becketwell regeneration scheme.

Phase one, which comprises Grainger Plc’s 259 one- and two-bedroom build-to-rent apartments, is nearing completion, alongside Springwell Square, which will serve as a multi-purpose space within the development.

Future planned phases include the potential for a range of other complementary uses of the site including a hotel, further residential accommodation, a multi-storey car park and purpose-built student residential.

Bowmer + Kirkland are the main event partner for this year’s Derby Property Summit.

Organised by Marketing Derby, the event, which has the theme of curating our cities of the future, will take place at Reach Events on 12 July and feature a number of top keynote speakers as well as a panel debate.

For more information visit Events | Marketing Derby.

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