Plans to build a 3,500 capacity performance venue in Derby’s Becketwell area are set to win council backing.
Plan for Derby performance and conference venue
The council has revealed it will now sign a £48m fixed-price deal with developer St James Securities to deliver the project set to spark the regeneration of the run-down area of the city.
The new entertainment and conference venue will be located in the heart of the city centre on the site of the former Pink Coconut nightclub.
It is expected to be a significant attraction for Derby by adding a much-needed new ‘Cultural venue’ but also supporting the important regeneration of a long disused site linking the Intu Shopping centre and the Cathedral Quarter.
A council meeting will be asked to rubber stamp the deal next week.
The new performance building forms part of St James Securities’ ambitious £200m plan plan for Becketwell.
Work expected to start in May on build to rent project
Detailed planning permission has been granted for the first phase of this plan which will see construction of 259 build to rent flats on the site of the former Debenhams store on Victoria Street.
Builder GMI Construction is believed to have been selected to start work on this project next month.
A new public square on the site of the former Central United Reformed Church will form the centrepiece of the development and will also be delivered in the first phase.
The second phase will comprise the performance and conference venue.
Future planned phases of the scheme include a range of other complementary uses of the site including up to 25,000 sq m of new grade A offices and commercial space, a hotel and a multi-storey car park.
It would be amazing to scale down the Ring Road just a little, get rid of the horrific spaghetti junction there, and expand the city centre into and along the river side, make use of an amazing asset that Derby doesn't seem to want to do anything with.
Likewise the area along the river at Duke Street; either make one big park or develop it all, the piecemeal development at the moment just turns its back on the river and wastes all that space.
Over the years there has been plenty of ideas to develop the area, nearly 20 years ago Derby CityScape put forward ambitious ideas for the area called North Riverside - all the usual stuff, apartments, 4 star hotel, conference centre etc - but nothing has come of it. Mainly for two reasons.
1. Like you say the inner ring road. The Darwin loop is a very wasteful bit of road that minimises the possible developable area. Also the impact of the inner ring road has meant it is not that desirable for apartments etc. There have been plans to reconsider the Darwin Loop, essentially designing it out but a few years back that was met with negativity by highways agency. And Any costs to do it would be sunk into the developers costs and make any developments less viable.
And then more importantly no. 2. The river itself and the fact that the whole area is in a flood zone which is seen as a bigger problem these days. So the council managed to get serious funding from the Environment Agency to put flood prevention measure in place in place along the Derwent starting at Darley Abbey then coming south into the city centre. It’s a 10 year plus programme and some works have been done around Duke Street and the next stage is the North Riverside area. Until the majority of the works are completed development would not be sustainable or viable.
There are now plans in development to have a mini apartment district fronting onto a new riverside park which would be built as part of the flood alleviation measures.
In summary the thinking is that the flood alleviation measures should start to unlock the area for development.
in terms of scaling down the spaghetti junction bit of the ring road then I agree. It is not now the main through route through Derby than it was and is seriously over engineered. However I doubt there is funds to seriously do this at the moment, although I think Darwin Place loop could be downgraded fairly easy. There was also thoughts to use it differently potentially with public transport / electric buses / trans utilising some of the underpasses.
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