Castleward takes shape as businesses move in

Derby’s £100 million Castleward redevelopment is taking shape after three local businesses moved onto the site.

QUAD, Music Shed and Café Loco are utilising vacant space within Castleward, which is currently being redeveloped by regeneration specialists Compendium Living.

Compendium Living is helping QUAD enjoy a temporary expansion after allowing the independent charity to take up an 18-month residency at a disused chocolate factory on Siddals Road.

The former Derwent Lynton factory, covering 20,000 sq ft, will be used by the independent charity for a range of art and film activities.

Dave Bullock of Compendium Living comments: “We want the regeneration of Castleward to bring benefits to the city as soon as possible and we are proud to be able to support QUAD by inviting them to use the Chocolate Factory.

“We are delighted that this previously unused space is being put to good use for the city and are proud to have sponsored QUAD’s biennale FORMAT International Photography Festival, which became the first event to be held in the new venue and was as a result the biggest and best yet.

“It is our vision to bring positive change to the heart of Derby and we are committed to engaging with the local community to ensure Castleward offers benefits to residents and businesses in the area.”

The disused factory, which has been empty for over a year, stands within the 30 acres of land between Derby Midland Station and Westfield shopping centre, which is undergoing a £100m redevelopment.

Keith Jeffrey, Chief Executive Officer at QUAD, comments: “Compendium Living has supported QUAD by letting the former factory site on very advantageous terms to enable a variety of uses which will complement the aspirations that we share for the new Castleward.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to expand the range of art and film activities we are able to offer, as well as allowing us the space to try new ideas that we simply can’t accommodate at QUAD.

“The first event we hosted here was the sixth FORMAT International Photography Festival, a world class exhibition presented in partnership with the University Of Derby, but we will also be open to local artists wanting to exhibit their work.

“Compendium Living is very forward thinking and very innovative, and it is great to see Castleward becoming somewhere that has a real sense of place.”

Rehearsal and recording studio the Music Shed has relocated to John Street from its original base in Canal Street.

Gez Addictive, owner of The Music Shed, comments: “Relocating the Music Shed has opened up the chance of expansion, as our new premises are far bigger than our previous base in Canal Street.

“We have created a new café and are now renting out areas of the premises, plus we have been able to give the new space a bit of a facelift.

“Our location is key for our customer base and it was vital for us to stay within the Castleward area, as having close links for public transport is important for those who use our services, while being close to the city centre is handy for local venues and promoters.”

Café Loco has also re-located to John Street from London Road.

Suzanne Searston, owner of Café Loco, comments: “It’s been a good move for us and a much better option than if we had stayed at our previous location, where we felt like we were being left behind.

“Our premises are now larger and as it was previously used as office space, we’ve been able to make the space our own which has made it feel so much nicer.

“A lot of our regular customers have followed us to John Street, which is great, and being so close to the Music Shed has brought in extra trade; in fact, we are now open later and on Sundays in order to accommodate the extra custom.”

Work on phase one of the redevelopment, which covers approximately five acres of land, has recently begun and will include 163 residential units, approximately 16,500sqft of commercial space, a boulevard and a new urban park.

In total, Compendium Living’s plans for Castleward include 800 new homes and 34,500sqft of commercial space, while the existing footpath leading from Derby Midland Station to Westfield will be transformed into a contemporary, tree-lined boulevard.