Derby City Council are pleased to confirm the appointment of professional services firm WYG to design the new housing development at the former Aida Bliss factory on City Road, Derby.

The council acquired the site in 2018, principally to enable the construction of a new flood wall across the site as part of the ‘Our City Our River’ (OCOR) scheme. With the wall now completed the Council is now moving forward with redeveloping the rest of the site to accommodate affordable public housing.

The new development aims to regenerate this long disused site within a flood zone, recognising its important heritage, within the Little Chester Conservation Area, and in the buffer zone for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

The scheme will provide the council with around 60-80 units of accommodation of various sizes, retaining the Victorian City Road facade with a design that strives to achieve high standards in sustainability and energy management.

A vital element of the project will be ensuring that the Chester Green and wider community have every opportunity to give feedback on designs as they emerge. Key stakeholders, including the Darley Neighbourhood Board, the Little Chester Residents Association, and the Chester Green Community Group are invited to take part in the project as it evolves.

It is hoped that construction on the site will begin in early 2022 following the planning and procurement process.

WYG – which later this year will adopt the name of U.S-based parent company, Tetra Tech – is providing a multi-disciplinary team covering architectural design, heritage, energy and sustainability, engineering and construction services, ecology and traffic. The team has won numerous awards for their design and conservation work in bringing historic buildings back to life, including the 2017 Planning Award for Best Use of Heritage in Placemaking, and the 2019 Regeneration category at the RICS Wales Awards

Councillor Roy Webb, Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Housing said:

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to appoint WYG to this project. I’m looking forward to working with such an experienced and professional team and seeing their designs in the coming months.

“The Aida Bliss site is a huge opportunity for us to make use of this protected riverside location.  We must do it right, and I’m sure we will.”

WYG’s project lead, Kate Paterson, added:

“ WYG are delighted to have been selected to work alongside Derby City Council and local resident groups on the re-development of this important heritage site. Through a fully integrated, collaborative approach, we hope to deliver a high quality sustainable scheme which is sensitive to its setting and neighbouring properties.”

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