Construction work is underway on phase one of the £200m Becketwell regeneration scheme.
Developers St James Securities, representatives from main contractors GMI Construction, funders Grainger plc and other key stakeholders joined together at a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of piling works on the site of the former Debenhams store on Victoria Street.
Phase one of the scheme includes 259 one and two-bedroom Build to Rent (BTR) apartments, which will be forward funded, acquired and operated by Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed provider of private rental homes.
The centrepiece of the development will be a new public square on the site of the former Central United Reformed Church, which will also be delivered as part of the first phase.
Demolition of the former Debenhams store and Central United Reformed Church and properties on Victoria Street was completed in May 2021. Detailed planning permission for phase one was granted in January 2021 and demolition work started in March 2021. Work on phase one of the site is set for completion by early 2023.
Work is already underway to bring forward a phase two of the scheme, which will feature an exciting new 3,500-capacity performance venue on the site of Laurie House offices and the former Pink Coconut nightclub, which will be operated by ASM Global, the world’s leading provider of entertainment experiences. A public consultation has recently taken place, with a planning application set to be submitted next month.
Future planned phases of the scheme include a range of other complementary uses of the site including up to 25,000 sq. m of new grade A offices and commercial space, a hotel, and a multi-storey car park.
The regeneration of the Becketwell area is expected to bring numerous benefits to the city, including a repopulation of both office workers and residents to the city centre, which will help boost activity outside of traditional retail hours.
It is also hoped that the substantial levels of investment made at Becketwell will provide confidence for further new investment in surrounding areas of the city centre.