Placemaking and regeneration expert LCR has completed the £2.8m acquisition of Midland House, further accelerating Derby’s city centre regeneration plans.
The high-profile 19th Century heritage building sits adjacent to Derby railway station amid an area earmarked for regeneration by Derby City Council to create a new, more effective gateway to the city centre.
The acquisition was made possible with the support of £500,000 funding from Derby City Council. LCR and the City Council are now working to bring forward a regeneration masterplan for the station area as part of the wider regional growth story. The plans will then be subject to consultation with residents, local businesses and other key stakeholders.
The c.55,000 sq ft building was originally the headquarters for Midland Railway and has also served as a free school. Local residents may associate the building with its most recent use as a COVID vaccination centre.
Midland House forms a key component of regeneration plans for the area, with the building linking multiple plots of underutilised land ready for regeneration. The sale of the building to government-owned LCR ensures that the heritage of the building will be protected and serve as a focal point for the wider regeneration of the city.
The transformation of Derby has gathered pace in recent years, with the Castleward and Derbion projects among those aiming to provide new housing, amenities and public realm. The news also follows the confirmation that Derby will be the home of the headquarters for Great British Railways.
Karl Drabble, Regional Director at LCR, said: “It is an exciting time to live, study and work in Derby, with plans to transform the city and its surrounding areas already moving at pace. News of Great British Railways’ arrival will only galvanise these, and it’s crucial that the area around Derby station, which has long been under-loved, provides a gateway that is symbolic of the direction the city is heading.
“We’ll be working hand-in-hand with Derby City Council to kickstart plans to regenerate the area, and the iconic Midland House will play a crucial role. Residents’ and visitors’ experience will sit at the heart of efforts to revitalise the area, and in partnership with the council, we want to ensure that the area is an exciting space for people to live and work again.”
Rachel North, Deputy Chief Executive (Communities and Place) at Derby City Council commented: “The news of the acquisition of Midland House by LCR is particularly welcome now that Derby has been confirmed as the new home of Great British Railways. It is an important building close to Derby station and its heritage will be protected. As well as having a proud rail history, Derby has an exciting future.
“The planned regeneration will help build the potential of the city’s Railway Conservation Area and continue to make Derby a more attractive place for residents, businesses, tourists and investors.”
Pinsent Masons advised on the acquisition for LCR.