A £1.9million project to reinvigorate Derby city centre’s main streets and its economy will be funded by Derby City Council and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

The City Council’s 15-year City Centre Masterplan has identified factors limiting the centre’s economic growth – such as declining shopper footfall, and fragmented public spaces restricting pedestrian and cyclist movement in and around it – and has come up with solutions to address these, including the Connected Cycle City & Placemaking Project.

Improvements will be made to the environment in and around city centre main streets and public spaces including St Peters Street, Albion Street, Exchange Street, Osnabruck Square, the East Street Bridge, and to provide improved cycle connections between the city centre and the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site area.

The improvements, to be delivered in six phases between this year (2017) and the end of 2019, will include:

  • Re-furbish St Peters Street, harmonising this key retail street and introducing time bound cycle access
  • Review, replace, and where possible increase the on-street retail and food offer in Albion Street and Osnabruck Square, in a more contemporary manner
  • Improve Albion Street to encourage private sector investment and secure new retail jobs
  • De-clutter Exchange Street to improve legibility, views and vistas towards the Market Hall
  • Replace the current pelican crossing with a zebra crossing in Albert Street, strengthening pedestrian connectivity
  • Establish the Derby Walk of Fame to celebrate the success of Derby people.

The £1.9m costs of the works will be met by £1.65m from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – from its Local Growth Fund allocation, which is used to co-fund infrastructure projects which will directly aid economic and jobs growth in its area – and £250,000 from Derby City Council.

Overall, it is estimated that the project will create more than 1,000 metres of new and improved cycle routes (and legalise cycling through the city centre via St Peters Street, before 10am and after 5pm), improve 3,000 square metres of the city centre’s public realm and support 35 new jobs.

Phase One of the project (beginning later in 2017) will involve works to St Peters Street followed by Albion Street and Exchange Street in Phase Two. All land affected by the project is owned by Derby City Council.

D2N2 is the private sector-led Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community and voluntary services which promotes economic and jobs growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Peter Richardson, Chair of the D2N2 LEP, said:

“A strong and vibrant city centre is vital to an area’s economy, if it is to attract new investors and retailers, and create jobs. That is why we have worked closely with Derby City Council on this ‘Placemaking’ project and are investing significantly in it.”

Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Regeneration and Economy, Martin Rawson, added:

“I am delighted that D2N2 has agreed to part-fund this project, which will improve the public realm in the St Peters Quarter and other parts of the city centre. Together with other projects under the City Centre Masterplan these will transform Derby into a vibrant and successful city centre, which in turn will drive the local economy. Quality public spaces create attractive environments for people to live and work in, as they provide a sense of ownership and pride. They also influence investment decisions and consumer behaviour, and I am very happy that D2N2 share this vision for a vibrant and successful city centre.”

The Placemaking project and its funding are set to be formally approved at a meeting of Derby City Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday April 12.

A copy of the Derby City Centre Masterplan 2030 can be read online and more on the work of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and how it is using its Local Growth Fund to help grow its area’s economy is available at its website.