Derby’s River Gardens are to benefit from major re-landscaping as part of the ‘Our City Our River’ (OCOR) project.

The £95million OCOR project has been developed to reduce flood risk through long-term, and sustainable economic development, creating a high quality riverside, linking the city centre with the river.

As part of this, the River Gardens will be undergoing a makeover, with work including new paths for pedestrians and cyclists, tree and ornamental planting, as well as new grassy areas. There will also be the opportunity to deliver a performance area in the gardens, with informal tiered seating as part of the landscape proposals.

‌‌ Councillor Martin Rawson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economy said:

“Regeneration and development is a major priority for Council and our partners. There is a clear and long standing desire to use potential investment within the river corridor as a catalyst for the regeneration, and we’re confident that regenerating the River Gardens is going to bring a new lease of life to the area. A performance area is a brilliant use of the space; I’m look forward to seeing what performers we get taking to the stage!”

Existing flood defences for the city are reaching the end of their design life, meaning a massive impact on the city in the event of a flood. In Derby, the Environmental Agency predicts that approximately 2200 properties are at risk from flooding in a severe flood event – a figure that does not take into account the potential impact on businesses and infrastructure.

To improve flood defences, the process across the city will involve raising ground levels, as well as building flood walls. This stage of the OCOR  flood defence and regeneration project, called Project Munio,  will benefit riverside areas near Pride Park, Exeter Bridge, Full Street Magistrates Court, and of course the River Gardens.

Councillor Asaf Afzal, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods & Public Protection commented:

“The River Gardens are a real hidden gem in the city; we are very lucky to have so much beauty right on our doorstep. I have walked around the Gardens and spoken to people who love the area, and praise it for being a peaceful spot that they really enjoy visiting.

“That said, the Gardens have had a lot of unwarranted press recently, and I want to reassure residents that we are continuing to work with our partners to combat antisocial behaviour.

“The River Gardens are not a crime free area but I really would stress that neither are they a crime hotspot. As with all cities, Derby experiences criminal activity. The Council House already has CCTV to cover its curtilage, as well as public area CCTV cameras in the area, which monitors the area 24/7.

“The regeneration of the area will be extremely positive, and I look forward to getting out and seeing people make use of new space with their family and friends.”

Work on the River Gardens is expected to begin in mid-2019 and take around six months to complete, with full details to be confirmed nearer the time These works are to be part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

To date, significant funding support has been provided by the Environment Agency, DEFRA, as well as funding from D2N2’s Local Growth Fund.

More information about the OCOR project is available in the Our City Our River webpage.