Urban Regeneration

Heart of the City – Derby

Based in and around Derby’s award-winning, historic Cathedral Quarter, the Heart of the City scheme is the linchpin of a dramatic rejuvenation of Derby’s city centre. Derby has seen over £4 billion invested into the city since 2005 from the public and private sectors.

The Heart of the City scheme is seen as the major regeneration project to radically transform the city centre economy. Development plans include regeneration of the Market Place, including the Assembly Rooms site, and refurbishment of the Victorian Guildhall Theatre as well as the surrounding streets as the cultural heart of the city. 2021 saw the opening of the £18m refurbishment of the Silk Mill as the award-winning Museum of Making. 2024 will see the opening of the Victorian Market Hall, having undergone a £35m refurbishment.

As part of the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, Derby City Council (in partnership with the University of Derby and Derby Theatre) have secured £20m for a pioneering purpose-built learning theatre called ‘Assemble’ which will bring 250,000 new visitors to Derby each year and generate an additional £1.7m for the local economy. Derby City Council is procuring a development partner to help deliver this vision.

Elsewhere, Cale Street, owners of the Derbion shopping centre, have submitted outline planning permission to create over 1,000 new homes and commercial space at the Eagle Quarter (875 homes and ca. 25,000 sq ft of commercial space) and Bradshaw Way (ca 420 homes, 50,000 sq ft of office space and 5,100 sq ft of commercial space).

The Heart of the City scheme also includes opportunities for further investment at Becketwell – the £200m prime regeneration site in the city centre, which has already attracted investment for a new 259-unit Built-to-Rent scheme (set to open in Summer 2023; to be operated by Grainger plc) and a new 3,500-seater performance venue (to be operated by market leader ASM Global and set to open in 2025). This scheme also offers investment opportunities for Grade-A offices, hotel, PBSA, retail and leisure development.

Key facts

  • £1.4bn invested in city centre in past 10 years
  • New 3,500-seater Performance Venue to open in 2025
  • £20m secured from the Levelling Up Fund for ‘Assemble’
  • Leading operators Grainger plc and ASM Global signed up to Becketwell
  • Home to UNESCO World Heritage Site, including new £18m Museum of Making
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Opportunity location

Why invest in Derby & Derbyshire?

For over three hundred years Derby has been home to innovators and thought leaders. We are the UK Capital for Innovation, with global names and their extensive supply chains underpinning our strong economy. Rolls-Royce’s global civil aerospace and defence campuses are here, whilst Alstom is part of our significant rail cluster – Europe’s largest. SmartParc will create a world-leading sustainable food manufacturing hub and we are leading the way in future fuel technologies, using our advanced manufacturing expertise to revolutionise the way low-carbon energy is used.

Derby’s location at the heart of the UK has been instrumental to the city’s success. Over 80% of Great Britain can be reached within a four-hour drive, thanks to the region’s excellent connectivity links. Derby’s proximity to East Midlands Airport (the UK’s largest pure freight hub) ensures that goods can easily be moved internationally via air.

Over the past 10 years, £3.1bn has been invested into Derby with a further £1.7bn of known investment in the pipeline including projects which will revitalise the city centre: over 2000 new homes by 2025; a new 3,500-seater Performance Venue by 2024; and a new University campus and Business School for 6,000 students by 2030.

Insight for investors

  • Type of investment sought: Development funding, end-user occupiers for commercial office and retail/leisure, PBSA, hotel
  • Target investor(s): Investment partners; end user occupiers
  • Value and cost info: £400m+
  • Timescale: 2021-2031
  • Delivery timescale: 1 – 5 years, 5+ Years
  • Planning status: Outline planning granted for Becketwell; approval for demolition of Assembly Rooms granted with conditions; Outline planning sought for Eagle Quarter/Bradshaw Way.
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Primary promoter

Derby City Council/ Marketing Derby