Demolition work has commenced on the £200m Becketwell regeneration project at Derby’s city centre, with the work directed at the properties on Victoria Street and former Central United Reformed Church.
The project’s main contractor is GMI Construction, while Derby-based specialist contractor Cawarden is in charge of on-site physical work. Last summer, Cawarden demolished the former Debenhams store, which was occupying an area of the site.
The current demolition work, with the help of Cawarden’s specialist high-reach demolition machine, will make way for Derby city centre’s most significant project, since 2007’s Westfield Centre development.
Stringent control over dust, noise and vibration have been placed to minimise impact on the environment, surrounding properties and businesses.
Most of the building materials from the demolished structures will be reused and recycled, with the remaining material to be crushed and left on-site, helping divert waste away from landfill while reducing vehicular traffic in the city.
Demolition is expected to be over by May 2021, while the first phase of the project is expected to be completed around early 2023.
The development’s key attraction, which will also be delivered during phase one, will be a multi-purpose public square, which will be where the former Central URC was located earlier.
Further phases of the scheme include up to 25,000 sq. m of new grade A offices and commercial space, along with a hotel.
St James Securities construction director Dan Murray commented: “The start of demolition works on the former Central URC and shops on Victoria Street takes us a step closer to seeing phase one of the Becketwell regeneration scheme become a reality.
“GMI Construction has worked on multiple award-winning projects for an extensive portfolio of developers, public sector clients and blue-chip companies across a diverse range of sectors and we are delighted to have them on-board.
“Our programme currently remains on track to start of works in May, with completion at the start of 2023.”
Derby City Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transportation Councillor Matthew Holmes said: “Becketwell has been a regeneration priority for many years. We look forward to continuing to work with St James Securities to deliver a project which will transform the fortunes of the area and bring wider benefits to Derby as a whole.”
GMI Construction group managing director Andy Bruce said: “We are delighted to be continuing our strong relationship with St James Securities and starting work on this significant project. We’re proud to play a part in the Becketwell regeneration scheme.”
Cawarden managing director William Crooks added: “We successfully completed the demolition of the former Debenhams building last year and the demolition of the church next door marks another key milestone in preparing the site for the much-anticipated Becketwell regeneration scheme.
“As a local specialist contractor, it is great to be back on-site in Derby helping to bring exciting regeneration plans for our home city to life.”
The Becketwell project is funded by £8m in Local Growth Fund investment from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, local authorities, the private sector-led partnership of business, skills and training providers and community and voluntary services that works to promote economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, and Nottinghamshire, among others.
The current demolition work, with the help of Cawarden’s specialist high-reach demolition machine, will make way for Derby city centre’s most significant project. Credit: Katy Mackenzie/Unsplash.