PROPERTY The future looks bright for Derby

“Restart, revive and renew” is the message behind a new vision for the post-Covid future of Derby. The ambition was outlined at the

2020 Derby Property Zoommit by Paul Simpson, chief executive of Derby City Council. More than 200 people joined the

online summit on 14 July to hear about the latest work of the city’s economic recovery task force.

‘We need to empower communities to have a stake in their economy’

His presentation emphasised the

need to meet the health and economic challenges by delivering on the city's existing investment pipeline, as well as seeking support from government for additional resources for enhanced sustainable transport infrastructure, business support schemes, job creation through a diversified economy and residential schemes. The strength of the city’s public-

private partnership approach to recovery in Derby was highlighted. Focusing on the future of the city

centre, and coming just a few days after the announcement to build a new 3,500-seater performance venue as part of the regeneration of the Becketwell area, Paul said: “We need to encourage more people to come to Derby city centre. We need

Becketwell Arena is a key part of Derby’s regeneration plans

to diversify our offer – there is so much more we can do.” Marketing Derby – the Queen’s

Award for Enterprise-winning investment promotion agency for Derby and Derbyshire, and organiser of the event –secured retail guru Bill Grimsey as a speaker. In his review of the high street,

“Build Back Better”, Bill comments on how Covid-19 has accelerated the demise of town and city centres as retail destinations and how they can thrive in the future.

He argues they need to

rediscover their community purpose with a renewed sense of localism. He told attendees at the event of

the need to "build back better, build back different" in a passionate appeal to revitalise town centres in the post-Covid world. “We need to empower

communities to have a stake in their economy and the development of their centres,” he said. “All stakeholders should contribute – this is now localism on steroids.”

Regeneration is a positive Turn

A major regeneration project in Nottingham – one of the largest city centre redevelopment schemes in Britain – has taken a step forward after plans for the opening phase were unveiled. Conygar, the developer of The Island Quarter site,

a derelict patch of land located to the east of the London Road roundabout that was once home to a Boots factory, has submitted a planning application for phase 1A to Nottingham City Council. The first segment of the £650m development, called

Canal Turn, will include a three-storey pavilion spanning 22,000 sq ft on the waterfront with panoramic views. It will feature two restaurants, an events space and a large rooftop terrace.

Conygar has also proposed building a bandstand

and creating significant amounts of public space – all of which will open up the canal basin area and enhance one of Nottingham’s most under-utilised features. Outline planning consent on the 40-acre site,

which has been derelict since 1994, was granted in April 2019 and this marks the first detailed planning application of the project. Richard Watson, director of Conygar Nottingham,

said: “The site will create a worldwide destination for Nottingham, which will provide year-round interest and community facilities that can be used from dawn until dusk.”

Bill has also called for more

attractive public realm to be introduced with accessible green spaces and for centres to be designed with pedestrians and cyclists in mind. A panel drawn from Marketing

Derby’s bondholders – featuring architect Maber, law firm Smith Partnership, and developers St James Securities and Urban Sister – gave unique insights and perspectives on the shaping of post-Covid city centres.

To Infinity... and beyond!

Leaders in Derby have launched a bid for Government funding to build an advanced manufacturing research centre in the city – creating 70 jobs and helping to reboot the local economy after the coronavirus crisis. The £20m project would

establish a home on Derby’s Infinity Park for the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), which helps companies develop new techniques and processes to win contracts in the nuclear sector. It also tackles manufacturing

Artist's impression of the pavilion at Canal Turn

challenges in automotive, rail, aerospace, renewable energy and other high-value sectors. The site would also be a

base for the University of Derby’s Institute of Innovation in Sustainable Engineering, which has a reputation for innovation and the application of new and smart materials.

business network August/September 2020 67

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