Plans to regenerate Derby city centre take major step forward

Derby city centre

Plans to regenerate Derby city centre have taken step forward with Derby City Council announcing a partnership made up of VINCI Developments UK and ION Developments as its preferred strategic development partner.

Graham Lambert of VINCI UK Developments, Cllr Nadine Peatfield of Derby City Council, Steve Parry of ION Developments

The move follows an announcement in early 2023 when the council announced that it wanted to work with a development partner to create a “cohesive” masterplan for the regeneration of several city centre sites.

Now, following an expression of interest process and procurement exercise through the Pagabo Developer Led Framework, VINCI and ION have been invited to develop more detailed plans for the cultural heart of the city.

Initial plans include a cultural quarter which will offer a range of leisure, commercial and community facilities, connected to a new business and residential district, incorporating the Bold Lane area and Northern Quarter.

The plans outline a new cultural, commercial, and creative public space on the site of the former Assembly Rooms. The building will have spaces for meeting, working and creating above restaurant and commercial space.

The plans are set in a redeveloped Market Place which will create new and improved green spaces, including “pocket parks”.

The scheme also aims to create “green and blue corridors” to improve connectivity between open spaces, such as Cathedral Green and the River Derwent and encourage more active travel across the city centre to underline the city’s net zero ambitions.

Councillor Nadine Peatfield, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Centre, Regeneration, Culture and Tourism said:

“Derby is a city of growth and economic significance, representing a regional economy of around £15bn, but despite all this our city centre does not reflect our status as an industry leader.

“We’re on a journey to transform Derby into a vibrant city centre with culture at its heart, creating a go-to destination which not only attracts visitors from outside of the city but also offers an affordable place for our citizens to enjoy. Attracting potential strategic development partners such as VINCI and ION is a huge step forward in bringing this ambitious vision to life.

“Both VINCI and ION hold a wealth of knowledge and experience and we’re very much looking forward to working with them on plans for our city centre’s exciting future.”

Steve Parry, managing director of ION Developments, said: “We are delighted to be selected alongside VINCI Developments to work up these exciting plans for Derby City Council and the people and businesses of Derby.

“Together, we will use our extensive experience to create a thriving city centre location that offers a blend of cultural, community, and commercial space to meet Derby’s needs, both now and long into the future.”

Graham Lambert, managing director of VINCI UK Developments, said: “Derby as a city has much to offer and potential to be harnessed. We share the ambition of the Council, the local community and businesses, in seeking to revitalise the cultural core of the city.
“The council has laid the foundation for this, and we will create community led assets, flexible and diverse spaces and a quality business district that compliments the inward investment in the city.

“We are proud to be chosen by the Council as partner for this important strategic project and look forward to working collaboratively with the Council and local stakeholders”.

Avison Young has worked alongside the Council in a strategic property advisory role.

Laura Loftus, director and contract lead at Avison Young, said: “We are delighted to have supported the Council in developing the brief and the procurement process for this project. VINCI and ION have clearly demonstrated their ambition on the scale and pace of the development, and their track record in sustainable regeneration provides a clear indication that the Council’s objectives and ambitions can be met through a series of well-planned developments which frame the future revitalisation of the City Centre.”

Jonathan Parker, development director, Pagabo, said: “We’re delighted to see such an influential regeneration scheme getting underway with help from our specialist Developer Led Framework, to support Derby City Council’s ambitious plans, following a further competition process.

“The scheme will take place over various sites in the city centre and promises to bring huge benefits to the local community. We can’t wait to follow the scheme as it progresses.”

VINCI and ION will now work with the council, local businesses and community stakeholders over the next six months to develop their vision and submit their plans for the city centre.