Tuesday, August 16, 2022

New City Masterplan set to transform University estate

A vision for how the University of Derby intends to develop its city centre footprint and improve connectivity between its sites has been launched.

The City Masterplan, which has been devised in conjunction with Matthew Montague Architects, focuses on the development of the area around One Friar Gate Square, Ford Street, Bridge Street, Agard Street and Nuns Street, in Derby.

The overall ambition is to create two distinct but linked areas in the city: an Academic Zone, centred around the University’s current Sir Peter Hilton Court site, and an Enterprise Zone, based around the Princess Alice Court halls of residence and Enterprise Centre area.

In addition to the proposed new Derby Business School, the Academic Zone will have the capability of delivering additional learning space, Union of Students’ facilities, catering, and student residential space, as well as staff and lettable office accommodation.

The Enterprise Zone will aim to deliver a mixed-use development comprising commercial lettable and business start-up/grow-on space, as well as provision for retail, entertainment and student residential space.

The Masterplan supports the University’s ongoing commitment and contribution to the inclusive and regenerative growth of Derby city and its surrounding area, encouraging enterprise and innovation collaboration with businesses and expert academics.

It aligns with the University’s aspirations to develop further as a civic institution with an increased city centre presence and enhanced connectivity across the University’s estate, delivered through the creation of greener and more connected routes from the city out to Markeaton Park, and the University’s sites at Markeaton Street and Kedleston Road.

The plan has been created to be flexibly phased, with the University’s new Business School, proposed to be built in the city centre and set to open in 2024, being the first part to kickstart the development.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Derby, said: “Derby is a city with huge momentum and as its only university we are committed to supporting and driving forward its ongoing regeneration, making a long-lasting positive impact on the communities within it and helping to enhance its overall offer.

“The links between the two areas we have identified are critical to developing a vibrant hub that creates a safe and welcoming space for students, staff and the wider public, and enables them to feel connected and involved in our city. This is an exciting time for both the University and the city as we move towards realising our ambitions, and we look forward to working closely with stakeholders as our plans develop.”

Matthew Montague, Principal Architect at Matthew Montague Architects, said: “The Masterplan is ambitious and a fantastic opportunity to help shape the future development of the University and the city. With a phased development these plans can come to fruition, and we are delighted to be involved.”

Daniel Evans, Lead Architect of the Masterplan, added: “The concept for design focuses on simplicity, vibrancy, safety and sustainability. It draws on Derby’s industrial heritage and uses it to create a modern environment, keeping spaces open day and night.”

Last May, the University announced its vision for a new iconic Derby Business School. The building is projected to be the study base for over 6,000 students by 2030, who will benefit from a transformative learning environment delivering teaching, research, innovation and skills aligned to regional, national and global needs. A public consultation on the plans was held at the end of 2021 and a planning application is expected to be submitted in March.

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