Grainger makes £37.4m swoop for Becketwell residential scheme

How the development will look

St James Securities, developer of the £200m Becketwell regeneration scheme in Derby, have announced that Grainger, the UK’s largest listed provider of private rental homes, has agreed to forward fund, acquire, and operate the build to rent (BTR) element of the scheme in a deal worth £37.4m.

The first purpose-built, BTR scheme in Derby, the development will comprise of 259 one- and two-bedroom apartments offering resident amenities, plus two commercial units.

The apartments, which will be built on the site of the former Debenhams store on Victoria Street, will form part of the first phase of the Becketwell scheme and will be adjacent to the new public square, which is the centrepiece of the development and will also be delivered as part of phase one.

The BTR scheme will be a high-quality offer and will feature a rooftop terrace and ground floor amenity space. There will also be a manned reception, gym and separate co-working space, which will serve as an alternative to working from home. Secure car parking, bike store and electric car chargers will also be provided.

This is Grainger’s first investment in Derby and forms part of its national build-to-rent and PRS investment strategy.

Construction work on the apartments is set to commence shortly, with completion by Spring 2023.

Work is already well 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, a hotel, and a multi-storey car park, with a smaller more intimate courtyard public square.

More than 2,000 jobs are expected to be created by the development.

Oliver Quarmby, managing director of St James Securities, said: “We are delighted to be working with Grainger on this major BTR scheme which will deliver much needed residential accommodation in Derby city centre. Grainger are a well-established operator in the sector, with an amazing track record of delivery and a tremendous reputation with tenants.

“To have a FTSE 250 investor on-board with the Becketwell scheme is a massive vote of confidence in Derby and will act as a catalyst to drive subsequent phases of development on the wider Becketwell site.”

Helen Gordon, chief executive of Grainger, said: “This acquisition in Derby is an exciting addition to our growing portfolio of high-quality rental homes in the Midlands, and our first scheme in Derby, a city which meets our strict investment criteria.

“Demand for high-quality rental homes in the city continues to grow, and this scheme will add greater scale to our Midlands cluster, improving our ability to drive efficiencies while delivering a great service to our customers.”