Heart of the City Derby





Urban Regeneration

Heart of the City – Derby

Based in and around Derby’s award-winning historic Cathedral Quarter, the Cultural Heart of the City scheme is the linchpin of a dramatic rejuvenation of Derby’s city centre.

Derby has seen over £4 billion invested into the city since 2005 from the public and private sectors and schemes completing in 2025 include the £35m Victorian Market Hall, creating a hub for F&B, pop-ups and makers and traders; a £45m 3500-capacity performance venue, funded by Derby City Council and to be operated by ASM Global; and a £70m University of Derby business school as part of a new £150m city centre campus.

Derby was shortlisted as one of the eight locations for the 2025 UK City of Culture and in 2021 saw the opening of the £18m refurbishment of the Silk Mill as the Museum of Making, as part of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. The new Cultural Heart of the City scheme includes an outline masterplan for the site of the Assembly Rooms to create a new multi-purpose development, containing leisure, hotel, commercial and community facilities, alongside regeneration of the Market Place.

The scheme also includes opportunities for regeneration at Becketwell – the £200m prime regeneration site in the city centre – alongside the new performance venue and residential offer. Further development opportunities include residential (including Build-to-Rent), and retail and leisure occupiers are sought for new units.

Key facts

  • £1.4bn invested in city centre in past 10 years
  • New 3,500-seater performance venue to open in 2025
  • £20m secured from the Levelling Up Fund for ‘Assemble’
  • Leading operators Grainger plc and ASM Global signed up to Becketwell
  • Home to UNESCO World Heritage Site, including new £18m Museum of Making
  • St James Securities are the developers for Becketwell, VINCI/ION Developments have been appointed as preferred developers by the City Council
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Opportunity location

Why invest in Derby?

For over 300 years Derby has been home to innovators and thought leaders. We are the UK Capital for Innovation, with global names and their extensive supply chains underpinning our strong economy. Rolls-Royce’s global civil aerospace and defence campuses are here, while Alstom is part of our significant rail cluster – Europe’s largest. SmartParc will create a world-leading sustainable food manufacturing hub and we are leading the way in future fuel technologies, using our advanced manufacturing expertise to revolutionise the way low-carbon energy is used.

Derby’s location at the heart of the UK has been instrumental to the city’s success. Over 80% of Great Britain can be reached within a four-hour drive, thanks to the region’s excellent connectivity links. Derby’s proximity to East Midlands Airport (the UK’s largest pure freight hub) ensures that goods can easily be moved internationally via air.

Over the past 10 years, £3.1bn has been invested into Derby with a further £1.7bn of known investment in the pipeline including projects which will revitalise the city centre: over 2000 new homes by 2025; a new 3,500-seater performance venue by 2024; and a new University campus and business school for 6,000 students by 2030.

Insight for investors

  • Type of investment sought: Development funding, end-user occupiers for commercial office and retail/leisure, PBSA, hotel
  • Target investor(s): Investment partners; end user occupiers
  • Value: £400m+
  • Timescale: 2021-2031
  • Delivery timescale: 1 – 5 years, 5+ Years
  • Planning status: Outline planning granted for Becketwell; approval for demolition of Assembly Rooms granted with conditions
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Primary promoter

Derby City Council/Marketing Derby