Latest News | 12 May 2022

Demolition work begins for next phase of £200m Becketwell scheme

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Work has started to demolish buildings to make way for the next phase of the £200 million Becketwell regeneration scheme.

St James Securities, the company delivering the scheme, has appointed Cawarden as demolition contractors for the project, who have started preparing for the structural demolition work on the site of the former Pink Coconut nightclub, NCP car park, Padley House, and Dubrek Studios.

The buildings will make way for a new 3,500 capacity performance venue, which will be operated by leading venue management and services company ASM Global.

The performance venue represents the second phase of the overall Becketwell scheme. The first phase involved the demolition of the former Debenhams store and Central United Reformed Church, in Victoria Street, to make way for 259 build-to-rent apartments and a new public square.

Dan Murray, construction director at St James Securities, said: “It’s great to see work start on phase two of the Becketwell regeneration scheme, which is set to create an exciting and vibrant city centre, where people will want to live, work and enjoy their leisure time.

“Our programme currently remains on track, with construction work on the performance venue set to commence in January 2023, with completion and handover to ASM Global in late 2024.”

A soft strip of the interior of the Pink Coconut is currently underway to segregate the building’s contents. It is anticipated that as much as 95% of the fixtures and fittings will be recycled.

Scaffolding is set to be erected shortly, followed by the commencement of the robotic demolition of the first three stories, which will be taken down floor by floor.

Cawarden’s specialist high-reach demolition machine will arrive on site in June/July to start the structural demolition of the existing buildings, including the Pink Coconut which was an iconic venue in the 1980s and 1990s.

Final clearance of the site, including erection of the perimeter hoarding for redevelopment, is set to finish in autumn.

William Crooks, managing director of Cawarden, said: “We have already successfully completed the demolition of the former Debenhams building and the church next door and look forward to delivering another key milestone in preparing the site for the much-needed Becketwell regeneration scheme.”

The new performance venue, which will be owned by Derby City Council, will be a fully flexible, scalable space capable of staging a range of concerts, stand-up comedy, family shows, musical theatre, conferences, and exhibitions.

The main auditorium will have a maximum capacity of 3,500 and offer a range of different event configurations including a fully seated layout for up to 2,100.

Along with a busy concert and entertainment programme, the venue will also host a wide range of business events.

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

It is also expected to create 200 new local jobs, generate more than £10 million per year for the area and provide the impetus to kick-start further investment in surrounding areas of the city centre.

Construction on the performance venue is set to commence in January 2023, with completion and handover to the operator in late 2024.

Future planned phases of the Becketwell scheme include the potential for 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 and purpose-built student residential.

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