Duckworth Square, located in the brownfield site in the heart of Derby City Centre, was once the site of a major shopping centre and was one of the major hubs of retail activity in the city. It fell into decline in the 1980s following the departure of the main 'anchor' store in the Duckworth Square Shopping Centre. When tenancies continually failed and units remained vacant for years, demolition became the only option in 2003.
A number of private-sector initiatives to redevelop the area failed leading the Council to intervene.
The Council purchased the land in 2014, engaged strategic property management consultants, Cushman and Wakefield, to conceptualise feasible regeneration options for the area. They reported that the area would be suitable for commercial, retail, residential and leisure uses.
The specialist leisure consultants, IPW, have said that that an ice rink would be feasible for Duckworth Square because the East Midlands region is under-served by ice facilities, Derby exceeds the criteria required for a permanent ice rink and major leisure operators have expressed an interest in the Derby market.