A flagship 10-storey residential development in Nottingham has celebrated a key construction milestone — with the steel structures on Queen’s Road reaching their highest point.
The 348-apartment Queen’s Road scheme, which is located next to Nottingham Train Station, was brought forward by blocwork, a Joint Venture partnership between Network Rail and bloc Group who secured planning permission in 2019.
In 2020, Grainger plc, the UK’s largest provider of private rental homes, agreed to acquire the scheme through a forward agreement and add it to its portfolio of UK rental developments, its first in Nottingham. Construction activity started in early 2021, led by GRAHAM.
Reaching up to 10-storeys in height, the development, known as the Barnum, will transform the frontage of Queen’s Road adjacent to the train station. Designed by Nottingham-based Franklin Ellis Architects, the Build to Rent scheme will provide a range of homes and resident amenities.
Residents will benefit from access to a shared residents lounge, gym, private dining room and roof terrace. At street level, there will be space for small businesses and a café, which will be accessible to the public.
A mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments will broaden the choice of homes for renters in the city and appeal to a wide range of people looking to live within easy reach of the attractions of Nottingham city centre.
The new public spaces being created will feature attractive paving and tree planting, with widened pavements, enhancing the vista along one of Nottingham’s most prominent roads.
To mark the scheme’s latest milestone, a Topping Out ceremony was held on site on 17 June. Representatives from Bloc Group, Network Rail, Grainger, GRAHAM, Franklin Ellis Architects, and Walker Sime gathered to celebrate the occasion where they were joined by Cllr Ayoola from Nottingham City Council.
Robin Dobson, group property director, Network Rail, said: “As a strategically important site in the UK, we are proud to be partnering with Grainger to deliver much needed high quality homes on this brownfield site. This is a partnership that focuses on the Government’s strategy to accelerate the rollout of housing to drive local economic growth.
“It’s a project that demonstrates the pivotal role our railway can play in unlocking sites which deliver growth. We’re delivering it through a public and private partnership, an approach we’ll be looking to replicate in other towns and cities across the country. It will provide long-lasting benefits for the local community and the region.”
Helen Gordon, Chief Executive, Grainger plc, said: “We’re thrilled to have reached this milestone for our Barnum scheme – the first of its kind for Nottingham and our first Build to Rent scheme in Nottingham, one of our key target cities. We are really looking forward to seeing the development brought to life over the coming months – bringing high quality homes and a commitment to excellent customer service to renters in Nottingham.”
Richard Thomas, director at Bloc, said: “Working with our partners to bring forward The Queen’s Road development has been particularly exciting because it will provide a quality of accommodation and facilities not currently available in Nottingham. The host of facilities on offer for residents will see us establish a permanent residential community in the area, with the development managed for the long-term to maintain the quality of construction and management of the building. The Barnum scheme is a landmark development in Nottingham and is sure to play a large role in developing the city’s southern gateway into a vibrant area and a top destination for city living.”
Cllr Ayoola at Nottingham City Council said: “It’s great to see the Queen’s Road development reach such a major milestone. The project is a great example of how we can realise the objectives set out within the Adopted Local Plan. The mix of apartment sizes within the development will help to better meet the needs of our diverse population whilst encouraging our aspiring talent to remain in the city.”
Ronan Hughes, regional director at GRAHAM, added: “Queen’s Road is a great project for us to be working on, revitalising this prime site at the heart of Nottingham. It’s pleasing to reach such a significant milestone and start to see the scheme really taking shape. We’re confident it will have a hugely positive impact on the city and we look forward to finishing the job and delivering a scheme we can all be proud of.”
The scheme is expected to complete by early summer 2023.