As part of the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and to meet the challenges of the 21st century, Derby City Council has created a new ambition document which outlines ideas for a bold, transformational vision for Derby city centre.
The new document sets out ideas and ambitions for the city centre to inspire a conversation with the people of Derby to share their own ideas. These conversations will be the basis for a new city centre consultation, if approved by Cabinet members at May’s special Cabinet. The proposed conversations will initially run for 12 weeks.
The vision will focus on longer-term ideas and interventions that will transform the city centre and secure its future as a vibrant place that people can feel proud of and want to visit. It will recognise the challenges facing all city centres, not just Derby, and provide an over-arching ‘direction-of-travel’ that will inform future plans and actions.
Officers have spent some time engaging with key stakeholders and seeking to learn from best practice from across the UK. This has included visiting comparable cities where regeneration activity has led to successful transformation and speaking to those responsible for both planning and delivery.
Cllr Steve Hassall, Cabinet member for regeneration, decarbonisation, strategic planning and transport, said: “We want to have a conversation with Derby residents, businesses and stakeholders about what they want Derby to be in the future. Our aim is to produce an exciting vision for the future of Derby city centre, supported by a robust delivery plan.
“Whilst we need to take urgent action now to deal with the immediate challenges and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we also need a longer-term plan that addresses the structural issues that face the city centre, of which can’t be solved overnight. This ambition document is unique and outlines possible ways we can transform Derby and create a successful city vision.
“We aim to achieve this by working closely with our Team Derby partners and to get a greater understanding of what our residents and businesses would like and need to see in their city centre. These conversations will be the first step towards creating a new vision which will restore its position as the heart and soul of Derby.”
This is the first time a city-wide future regeneration conversation has taken place since the creation of the City Centre Masterplan in 2016, which has brought about exciting developments including the Our City Our River project and the Becketwell development. However, the vision will be distinctly different to previous masterplans, setting out overarching principles and a framework within which more detailed plans and strategies can be developed.
Conversations around the ambition will inform the development of the new City Centre vision, which is due to be published in 2023.
The report will be discussed at Cabinet next Wednesday. If approved, the consultation will commence at the end of the month on the Let’s Talk Derby website. The conversation will initially last for 12 weeks over the summer for residents to share their ideas and give feedback.