Funding. News. Place Projects - 11 March 2021

Demolition work starts ahead of phase one of the £200 million Becketwell project

The £200m regeneration of the Becketwell area of Derby city centre has moved a step closer, after demolition work started on the former Central United Reformed Church and properties on Victoria Street.

Funding for the Becketwell project includes £8 million in Local Growth Fund investment from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership. Demolition of the former Debenhams store, which occupied part of the site, was completed last summer. This latest demolition work will clear the way for the most significant development project in Derby city centre since the Westfield Centre in 2007.

GMI Construction have been appointed main contractor for the project, with Derby-based specialist contractor, Cawarden, carrying out the physical work onsite.

Scaffolding and fencing has been erected to the perimeter of the site and a soft strip of the church and former shops is currently being carried out, which includes the removal and recycling of all interior fixtures and fittings. Asbestos removal works are also taking place.

Cawarden’s specialist high-reach demolition machine has arrived on-site, which signifies the start of the structural demolition works. 98% of the building materials will be recycled on-site and used in the new development, diverting waste away from landfill. Strict noise, dust and vibration monitoring and environmental controls have been put in place to minimise the impact of the works on surrounding properties and businesses.

Demolition work should be completed by May 2021, with completion of the first phase of the scheme expected by early 2023.

Future plans for the site

Detailed planning permission was granted for phase one of the landmark Becketwell scheme in January. Phase one of the scheme includes the construction of 259 build to rent apartments on the site of the former Debenhams store. The centrepiece of the development will be a multi-purpose public square on the site of the former Central URC, which will also be delivered as part of phase one.

Work is already underway to bring forward a second phase to comprise a new 3,500-capacity performance and conference venue on the site of Laurie House offices and the former Pink Coconut nightclub.

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 and a hotel.

More than 2,000 jobs are expected to be created by the development. It is also hoped the scheme will provide the impetus to kick-start further investment in surrounding areas of the city centre.

Commenting on the start of demolition works, Councillor Matthew Holmes, Derby City Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transportation, said:

“It’s terrific to see such strong progress being achieved on a scheme which is vital to helping create an exciting, vibrant and successful city centre – one where people will want to live, do business, shop and enjoy their leisure time.

“Becketwell has been a regeneration priority for many years. We look forward to continuing to work with St James Securities to deliver a project which will transform the fortunes of the area and bring wider benefits to Derby as a whole.”

Dan Murray, construction director at St James Securities, said:

“The start of demolition works on the former Central URC and shops on Victoria Street takes us a step closer to seeing phase one of the Becketwell regeneration scheme become a reality”.

William Crooks, managing director of Cawarden added:

“We successfully completed the demolition of the former Debenhams building last year and the demolition of the church next door marks another key milestone in preparing the site for the much-anticipated Becketwell regeneration scheme.

“As a local specialist contractor, it is great to be back on-site in Derby helping to bring exciting regeneration plans for our home city to life.”

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