Very initial ideas are being put forward on how regeneration could improve a key entrance into Derby town centre. The Council is planning to organize a stakeholder event for all local interested parties in the near future.
The ‘North Gate’ is the area bounded by Queen Street, King Street, Cathedral Road and the A601 St Alkmund’s Way, including Chapel Street, and provides 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, the Queen’s Leisure Center and the Chapel Street multi-storey car park.
It was decided earlier this year by councilors to cease operating the Queen’s Leisure Center when the new Moorways Sports Village opens in the spring. The Chapel Street car park is one of the car parks in the city that will be included in an upcoming review of Council-owned parking supply. This will reassess the demand and supply of parking spaces in the city.
This offered the opportunity to examine how this part of the city center is used and to consider whether redevelopment could make the area a more dynamic entry point into the city centre.
Meanwhile, the Council is working with Deda to consider renewing their long-term lease, which would give them a more secure basis to apply for continued funding from the arts sector. It would also help Deda achieve his vision of securing funding to make his Chapel Street building more environmentally friendly. Their current lease is soon to be renewed.
Council has instructed Lathams Architects to review options for the north entrance area, which will first be outlined at a meeting of finance, assets and digital cabinet members on March 14.
All options assume that residents, The Bless, The Flowerpot public house and Deda will be retained, with increased vibrancy in this part of the city center likely to be around increased housing and student activity.
The first option envisions 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 spaces and plazas.
The second option also focuses on providing housing for students, while also including new housing with parking for residents as well as the new public realm.
The third option suggests temporary uses for Derby City Council’s main grounds, with artists’ studios and co-working space on the Chapel Street car park site, and a temporary event venue on the Queen’s Leisure Center site .
A comprehensive scheme that examines all regeneration options in the area is considered the best way forward. Council recently appointed Avison Young as their professional property advisers and they now have the opportunity to survey the whole site, looking at existing restrictions, conservation issues and current land ownership to determine what is most appropriate for the city and the best way to deliver it.
Councilor Jonathan Smale, Cabinet Member for Finance, Assets and Digital, said: “We are at the very beginning of looking at how we can improve this key gateway to the city center , which will make the most of the cultural attractions we already have. to offer and to make it a livelier neighborhood to live in and explore.