Business groups back plans for outdoor food and drinks market in heart of Derby city centre

Businesses are backing plans to create a new outdoor food, drink and artisan traders’ market in Derby city centre.

John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, has told Derby City Council they supported the plans to transform St Peter’s Churchyard – just off St Peter’s Street.

He said the area was currently a haven for serious anti-social behaviour.

He said: “The proposal will bring significant economic benefits to an underused part of the city.”

The market plans include 14 kiosk-style stalls, seating areas and a performance area in a currently unused area of green space.

Helen Wathall, Chair of the St Peters Quarter BID, which represents hundreds of local businesses, has also written in support saying the scheme has the “potential to support rejuvenation and bring additional vibrancy to the area.”

Historic England, however, has written to oppose the application, claiming it would “have an adverse impact on the character and appearance of the area”.

Marketing Derby’s submission states: “The proposed development will contribute to the objectives of the Derby Recovery Plan and fits with the city’s core recovery themes to maintain confidence, diversify and decarbonise.”

Marketing Derby said it understood that a number of traders have already expressed an interest in taking space at the new market, which, if given the go-ahead, could be up and running next year.

Mr Forkin wrote: “This proposed change of use will create a destination alongside the thoroughfare which will eventually link the Becketwell regeneration area with the main city centre shopping district including the Derbion centre, bringing an increased and redefined footfall to the area in support of the daytime and night-time economies.

“The proposal will bring variety to the city centre offer and vibrancy to the St Peters Quarter.

“The venue for traders of food, drink and artisan products will create important employment in the city and encourage innovative start-ups and existing SMEs to expand and grow, further boosting the city’s economic recovery, post-Covid.

“The presence of this development as part of the regeneration of the city, will help raise the profile of Derby to the people of Derby and improve the visitor economy, ultimately encouraging additional inward investment across the city.

“Locally, it will also help boost and maintain the confidence of the business community which has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.”