As part of the Government’s initiative to protect homes and businesses from flooding, Derby is set to receive a £10million investment for the Our City, Our River (OCOR) project.

The funding, which will go towards the creation of a new riverside park will transform the east side of the river around Stuart Street, Phoenix Street, and Exeter Place, creating a new area of the city, Derby Riverside.

The scheme would not only support the ongoing OCOR flood alleviation programme but also support the creation of more homes in the city and commercial space for 1,000 jobs.

To achieve this, further design work and a refresh of the planning consent will continue over the next two years. Following this, the land would be acquired, through a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) if required, in order to progress with the redevelopment and to help to mitigate flooding in this area.

Cllr Matthew Holmes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transportation, said:

We’re delighted to receive this substantial investment towards the next phase of our flood alleviation works for Derby. This is brilliant news and will help to achieve the next stage in our Our City, Our River flood alleviation project, focusing on major regeneration of the east side of the River Derwent in the city centre.

The events last November highlighted the importance of the work that has already been achieved and also what needs to be as part of our Our City Our River project. Over 1,200 properties were protected from the flood water and protecting homes and businesses is extremely important.

To do this, major changes will need to be made to the east of the river, opposite the Silk Mill creating regeneration opportunities in the city centre. Major regeneration of this part of the city will also support Derby’s Economic Recovery Plan and promote reinvestment into the heart of the city.

Historically, as a city, we’ve not embraced the River Derwent and have certainly not made the most of it as a natural asset. This proposed regeneration work will help Derby embrace and turn towards the river. I believe the proposals will change our city centre and open up new spaces and opportunities for residents, visitors and businesses.

We’d like to thank the Environment Agency for their ongoing support throughout the Our City, Our River project.

Work to regenerate this area has already begun with the installation of four new flood gates to Exeter Bridge and Derwent Street as well the repaving and realigning the road of the bridge.

This investment will help support the city’s plans for Derby Riverside and city centre regeneration, whilst maintaining short-term confidence amongst local businesses and external investors.

The proposal to create a new park is another boost for the city centre following last week’s announcement of plans to build a multi-million pound performance venue in the Becketwell area.

Developers engaged with projects worth more than £450m to regenerate the city centre have also vowed to press on with their schemes despite the coronavirus crisis and the city council has submitted a £23.7million bid for funding for further improvement projects under the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.

The wider Government scheme will mean that 336,000 properties in England will be better protected from flooding by 2027 with a record £5.2bn investment alongside an immediate £170million cash injection to accelerate flood scheme construction.

Homes and businesses across the country will be better protected and more resilient in future after the government revealed its long-term plan to tackle the risks of flooding and coastal erosion.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

Last winter I saw for myself the misery and upheaval that flooding can bring to lives and livelihoods and I said we would do more to help people. This long-term plan will help push back the flood waters and protect hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses and livelihoods. Our record investment will also stimulate economic growth across the UK as we build back better.

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said:

For every £1 spent improving protection from flooding and coastal erosion, we avoid around £5 of property damages. The long-term commitments announced today will make homes, businesses and infrastructure more resilient to the accelerating impacts of the climate crisis. Many communities are all too familiar with flooding, and now the risk is increasing for others too. The Environment Agency is champing at the bit to deliver on the Government’s investment with better, and greener, flood schemes. Detail about how we will do this is set out in our strategy.

You can read more about the city’s flood alleviation work on our website – https://www.derby.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/regeneration/our-city-our-river/