Manston Investments Ltd has obtained Planning and Listed Building Consent to re-purpose its property at 8-9 Irongate in central Derby.
The property – still known to many in Derby as “the former Bennetts Department store” – became vacant just before the Covid lockdown, when the former business went into administration. The building amounts to over 36,000 sq ft over 4 floors and an extensive basement. It has been adapted many times since it first became a department store in the late 19th century, to provide the labyrinth of space people remember from the old “Bennetts” days.
With the help of a local team comprising architects JSA Consulting, cost consultants Armsons Barlow, and heritage planners Urban Fabric, the approved scheme will provide a range of accommodation much better suited to town centre uses post Covid. Partial demolition at the rear of No.8 will allow for secondary access and a goods receiving area: this will also facilitate better daylighting to the upper floors. Internally, the former large single occupier space will be divided to cater for a spectrum of independent uses.
The approved plans show two smaller independent ground floor units fronting Irongate and suited to retail, food and beverage or other leisure uses. There will be an independent suite of offices to the rear, and a first floor with potential for open plan or serviced office use. The upper floors show 8 residential units.
Allowing for the proposed demolition, the building will offer a total area in its proposed format, of approximately 30,000 sq ft
Manston Investments noted “this has been a lengthy process due to the historic single use nature of the building, and also the Grade 2 Listed status of No.9 Irongate. Re-purposing the floorspace to more readily attract a range of current day uses has been a complicated task, but we are delighted that a way forward is now clearer.”
John Forkin – Managing Director of Marketing Derby commented:
“We are delighted to see that planning has been received from Derby City Council and look forward to working with Manston Investments in shaping a new chapter for a wonderful building that has played an important role, both in Derby’s heritage and in its future”.