First ideas to enhance the city centre's northern gateway

Published: 8 March 2022

Aerial view of Derby

The northern gateway links to the Cathedral Quarter

Very initial ideas are being put forward for how regeneration could enhance a key entrance into Derby city centre. The Council plans to hold a stakeholder event in the near future for all local interested parties.

The ‘northern gateway’ is the area bordered by Queen Street, King Street, Cathedral Road and the A601 St Alkmund’s Way, including Chapel Street, and is a link to the Cathedral Quarter.

Currently much of the land in this area is owned by Derby City Council, including the building occupied by Deda, Queen’s Leisure Centre and Chapel Street multi-storey car park.

It was decided earlier this year by Councillors to cease operating Queen’s Leisure Centre when the new Moorways Sports Village opens in the Spring. Chapel Street car park is one of the city car parks that will be included in an upcoming review of Council-owned car parking provision. This will re-assess the demand for and provision of car parking spaces across the city.

This has offered the opportunity to review how this part of the city centre is used and to consider whether some redevelopment could make the area a more vibrant entry point into the city centre.

Deda is an important and valued cultural partner in Derby, and as a Council we are working with Deda to look at renewing their lease on a long term basis, which would give them a more secure basis for applying for ongoing arts sector funding. It would also help Deda realise their vision to secure funding to make their building in Chapel Street more environmentally friendly.  Their current lease will soon be due for renewal.

The Council has commissioned Lathams architects to look at options for the northern gateway area, which will be outlined for the first time at a Finance, Assets and Digital Cabinet Member Meeting on 14 March.

All the options assume that residents, The Bless, The Flowerpot public house and Deda will be retained, with increased vibrancy in this part of the city centre likely to be around increased student accommodation and activity.

The first option considers more student accommodation in the area, on the site of the current Chapel Street car park and Queen’s Leisure Centre, with new public green space and squares.

The second option also focuses on the housing provision for students, whilst also including new housing with residents’ parking along with the new public realm.

The third option suggests temporary uses for Derby City Council’s main areas of land, with artist studios and co-working space on the site of Chapel Street car park, and a temporary event venue on the site of Queen’s Leisure Centre.

A comprehensive scheme which looks at all the options for regeneration in the area is considered as the best way forward. The Council has recently appointed Avison Young as professional property advisers and there is now an opportunity for them to review the entire site, looking at existing restrictions, conservation issues and current land ownership to consider what is most appropriate for the city and the best way to deliver it.

Councillor Jonathan Smale, Cabinet Member for Finance, Assets and Digital, said: “We are at the very start of looking at how we can enhance this key gateway into the city centre, which will make the most of the cultural attractions that we already have to offer and to make it a more vibrant area to live in, and walk through.”

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