£10m boost for Derby Riverside scheme

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Derby City Council is poised to accept a £10m grant to create more homes in the city, along with commercial space that could accommodate 1,000 jobs.

Last summer, it was announced that the city would receive the Capital Flood Defence Grant in Aid funding from The Environment Agency for its Our City Our River (OCOR) project.

But a period of time was needed to establish that the grant’s conditions and obligations were acceptable. Now, the council’s Cabinet is set to formally accept the cash.

According to the council, the funding will make a significant contribution towards the completion of the OCOR package, which includes the creation of a new riverside park called Derby Riverside, on the east side of the River Derwent, around Stuart Street, Phoenix Street, and Exeter Place.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transportation, said: “We’re delighted to formally accept this substantial investment towards the next phase of our flood alleviation works for Derby.

“This is brilliant news and will help to achieve the next stage in our Our City Our River flood alleviation project, focusing on major regeneration of the east side of the River Derwent in the city centre.”

The city council has said that to make Derby Riverside a reality, over the next two years further design work will be carried out, along with a refresh of the planning consent.

The land would then be acquired, through a Compulsory Purchase Order if required, in order to progress the redevelopment and mitigate flooding in the area.

Councillor Holmes said: “The events of November, 2019, highlighted the importance of the work that has already been achieved and also what needs to be done as part of our Our City Our River project.

“Over 1,200 properties were protected from the flood water and protecting homes and businesses is extremely important.

“To do this, major changes will need to be made to the east of the river, opposite the Silk Mill, creating regeneration opportunities in the city centre.

“Major regeneration of this part of the city will also support Derby’s Economic Recovery Plan and promote reinvestment into the heart of the city.

“Historically, as a city, we’ve not embraced the River Derwent and have certainly not made the most of it as a natural asset.

“This proposed regeneration work will help Derby embrace and turn towards the river.

“I believe the proposals will change our city centre and open up new spaces and opportunities for residents, visitors and businesses.”

Emma Howard-Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, said: “For every £1 spent improving protection from flooding and coastal erosion, we avoid around £5 of property damages.

“The long-term commitments will make homes, businesses and infrastructure more resilient to the accelerating impacts of the climate crisis.

“Many communities are all too familiar with flooding and now the risk is increasing for others too.

“The Environment Agency is champing at the bit to deliver on the Government’s investment with better and greener, flood schemes.”

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