The Spot is a well-known space adjacent to intu shopping centre located at the southern end of St Peters Street. It was once characterised by public toilets and a clock tower.
Once a thriving traditional 'high street', it experienced a downturn during the global financial crisis of the 2000's. There was a decline in the number of shops and shoppers which then had a knock-on effect on the immediate surroundings ranging from the cleanliness of the area to the quality of the buildings.
The concept to modernise The Spot dates back to 2012 when a public consultation called for The Spot to be made a priority area for regeneration in order to contribute to a retail, social and entertainment revival of the area.
The project was backed by businesses in St Peter's quarter area which asked the Council to prioritise this area for regeneration.
Studies show that high-quality urban spaces influence investment decisions and consumer behaviour, resulting in increased footfall of up to 40% and retail turnover of between 10% and 25%? Other benefits of public spaces, such as this one, are numerous:
This renovation is about the rejuvenation of this area as a vibrant place for entertainment, social gathering and street trading in order to breathe new life back into an area that was once a vibrant high street.
In July 2013, Derby City Council, QUAD and St Peters Quarter BID published an open design competition to appoint an artist to design suitable artwork for the renovated area.
A public consultation event was held on 22nd August 2013 on St Peters Street. A set of four consultation boards were exhibited, providing the public with information on the concept of a new design for ‘The Spot’. The public were asked a number of questions both relating to the existing situation and the design proposals.
The feedback received was largely positive, reaffirming the decision to open the space up to be more flexible for a variety of events as well as allowing greater priority toward pedestrian access/usage of the area in general. A number of suggestions as to how the scheme could be improved were also made.
Using ballot papers the public voted for their design of choice. DPQ emerged as clear winners, with 58% of the votes.
Their design of the rings is inspired by Derby’s tradition of excellence in ingenuity, innovation and engineering and uses four interwoven rings to create a dynamic artwork which references the idea of motion.
The form is derived from a continuous loop created from four helixes folded in on itself. The final form is both structurally efficient and aerodynamic and creates clean and contemporary lines.
A less conspicuous art piece is the Pride of Derby Timeline which chronicles key events in Derby's history from 1721 to 2015. This was designed by Smith of Derby.
The Spot has been transformed into a distinctive and accessible public area for meeting, trading and entertainment. We have used high quality materials, rationalised the amount of street furniture, installed cycle parking and introduced innovative new seating and artwork.
The total cost of the project is £1.26m of which D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership provided match funding of £750,000 and the Council £510,000 from its capital programme.
Work started in March 2016 and was completed on 14th October 2016. The public space was officially opened by the Mayor of Derby.