City council set to loan Government-owned developer £500,000

Midland House

A city council is to loan a London developer £500,000 in a move it says could transform the area around an East Midlands railway station.

Derby City Council has approved a recommendation to provide a £500,000 loan to property and regeneration firm London and Continental Railways (LCR), which wants to buy Midland House, near to Derby Midland Station. The council says the deal could spark “significant” regeneration of the city’s Railway Conservation Area.

Built in the early 1870s, Midland House was originally the headquarters of the Midland Railway. Along with Midland Hotel and the remaining Railway Cottages, it is one of the city’s rail heritage buildings on the west side of Derby rail station.

The building is currently owned by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) who have declared it “surplus to requirements”.

The former industrial land between the River Derwent and the railway lines on the east side of Derby station has now developed into Pride Park, home to many rail-related businesses, including East Midlands Railway.

The council says the sale of Midland House could spark a similar transformation to the west side of the station, where it believes there is now renewed interest in the potential of the area.

LCR is wholly owned by the Department for Transport (DfT) and works in partnership with local authorities, Network Rail and Homes England. The company has a track record transforming underused public sector properties, particularly around railway stations and transport hubs. The company also delivered a new business park at the former Rail Technical Centre (RTC) in London Road, Derby.

Councillor Chris Poulter, leader of Derby City Council said: “The opportunity to support the purchase of Midland House, an important building in close proximity to the station, is really good news. Any step towards the improvement of the area around the railway station is most welcome.

“This is another example of how we have supported regeneration development in the city. The investment should tie in well with other improvements expected, through developments around main stations within the HS2 programme.

“Before Easter we should know where the headquarters of Great British Railways will be located which, if Derby is indeed selected, would further add to the potential improvements, to what is a crucial development area of Derby.”

Andrew Ferguson, partnerships and property director at LCR, said: “Derby’s rail station is a crucial gateway to the city and we’re collaborating closely with the City Council to deliver enhancements to the area. Plans to regenerate land around the station have residents’ and visitors’ experience at their heart. As a placemaking specialist LCR is committed, like the Council, to utilising the area’s disused assets to create exciting spaces for people to live, work and play.

“The acquisition of Midland House will play a key role in connecting other sites primed for regeneration. Together, they will form an area that will boost public value for Derby’s residents and businesses.”

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