Investment News | 14 December 2021

Construction work moves apace on Becketwell first phase

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Construction work is moving at pace on the first phase of the £200 million Becketwell regeneration scheme.

Steelwork is now in place for a new 11-storey apartment block, which is being built on the site of the former Debenhams building, in Victoria Street.

Construction of the 259 one and two-bedroom build-to-rent apartments began almost five months ago and contractors GMI Construction remain on track for completion by early 2023.

The apartments form phase one of the redevelopment of the Becketwell area and will be forward funded, acquired and operated by Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord.

The new building aims to echo the elegant, curved style of the original Debenhams building, which was built in 1962 and designed by Evans, Cartwright and Woollatt.

Phase one will also see the construction of a new public square at the former site of the Central United Reformed Church, work on which is set to commence in September 2022.

Demolition of the former Debenhams store and Central United Reformed Church, as well as other properties in Victoria Street was completed in May, with construction work commencing later that month.

Planning permission has also been recently granted to bring forward phase two of the scheme, which will feature a new 3,500-capacity performance venue on the site of Laurie House offices and the former Pink Coconut nightclub, which will be operated by ASM Global, the world’s leading provider of entertainment experiences.

Demolition work is set to commence in February, with construction work to commence in January 2023 and completion and handover to the operator in late 2024.

Future planned phases of the scheme include a range of other complementary uses of the site, including new grade A offices and commercial space, a hotel, and a multi-storey car park.

Dan Murray, construction director at St James Securities, which is delivering the Becketwell scheme, said: “We’re delighted to see the progress of construction work on this landmark regeneration scheme, which will breathe new life into an area which has been challenged for many years and give hundreds of people the chance to live in high-quality homes in the city centre.”

Councillor Steve Hassall, cabinet member for regeneration, decarbonisation, strategic planning and transport at Derby City Council, said: “Watching the progress being made on the site is really very exciting, not only in terms of seeing this project being delivered, but for the much-needed improvement and regeneration of what was a neglected area of the city.

“The Becketwell development is one of the cornerstones of our economic recovery plan as we seek to reinvigorate the city centre.”

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