New Business School

The consultation period took place from 29 November to 12 December 2021. For the latest updates on the new Business School, please see our latest news pages.


Welcome to this exhibition of the University of Derby’s emerging proposals to build a new Business School at Agard Street, opposite One Friar Gate Square.

The new building will, in combination with One Friar Gate Square, provide a new home for the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences within a City Centre Hub.

Artist’s impression of building entrance
Artist’s impression of building entrance

University vision

The University is seeking to construct a new, iconic Business School in the centre of Derby which will be a landmark building for the University and the city. The existing Derby Business School is currently based at its Kedleston Road site and the new location will support the University’s ambition to have a greater presence in the city centre.

Aerial view of wider site plan
Wider Site Location Plan

As well as supporting student growth and diversity, and increasing physical capacity to accommodate the University’s future space needs, the new Business School will also improve research and development opportunities, innovation and enterprise collaboration between students, entrepreneurs, D2N2 businesses and business school staff to enable business growth and unlock new market opportunities internationally.

Aligning with the University’s sustainability strategies, the building is aspiring to be net zero carbon in construction and operation.


We intend to submit a planning application to Derby City Council for the proposed development in January 2022. Following receipt of planning permission, the development is planned to commence in November 2022 with the building set to open in September 2024.

Artist’s impression of the view along Agard Street
Artist’s impression of the view along Agard Street
Artist’s impression of the Atrium
Artist’s impression of the Atrium

The site

Existing opportunities and constraints outline on map with a colour coded key

The site, which is currently a public car park and part of the University’s Sir Peter Hilton Court student accommodation, is situated on the corner of Agard Street and Ford Street. The site is previously developed land.

Sir Peter Hilton Court is currently vacant, having reached the end of its serviceable life as student accommodation. It is proposed that the complex is demolished to make way for future university development in this location, including the new Business School.

Markeaton Brook is present to the north of the site and is culverted under the site. A number of trees are present within the site, focused along the boundary of the car park and Sir Peter Hilton Court and along the south side of Markeaton Brook.

Neighbouring buildings vary significantly in their age, height, use and architectural style. Agard Court student accommodation to the south is the tallest building within the immediate context of the site, extending to 9 storeys.


Aerial site map of the proposed new Derby Business School
Aerial site map of proposed new Business School

National and local planning policies strongly support the redevelopment of previously developed sites with a focus on making the most efficient use of land.

The proposed development site is partially located within the City’s Central Business District, where commercial development is encouraged, and the University District, where the Council will support development associated with the University of Derby, where proposals promote the area as a distinct and recognisable part of the City.

The site is located adjacent to the Friar Gate Conservation Area to the south. There are also a number of listed buildings within close proximity of the site.

The proposal

An aerial diagram of the proposal in context
An aerial diagram of the proposal in context

The proposed development provides a part 5, part 7 storey Business School building set within a high quality public realm that improves pedestrian permeability. This development will be the first phase of the wider redevelopment of Sir Peter Hilton Court as a City Centre Hub for the University with a close connection to the wider business activities within the city centre.

The buildings front entrance positively addresses the corner of Agard Street and Ford Street and has a direct relationship with the adjacent One Friar Gate Square. Opportunities to enhance the physical crossing between the buildings to create an integrated campus are being explored.

The building is within a highly sustainable location with excellent connectivity to the University’s other campuses and the city centre. Therefore, the development is to be car-free except for accessible parking. Ample secure cycle storage is proposed alongside space for the future provision of active travel initiatives.

Four annotated drawings show City Centre Hub Connectivity, Pedestrian Routes, Biodiversity and Vehicular Routes
Top left: City centre hub connectivity, Top right: Pedestrian routes, Bottom left: Biodiversity, Bottom right: Vehicular routes

Landscape and ecology

Landscape plan with annotation
Landscape plan with annotation
Hard landscape, external furniture and ornamental planting
Hard landscape, external furniture and ornamental planting

Landscape strategy

The proposed Business School offers the opportunity to enhance the public realm along Ford Street and Agard Street with a generous arrival space at the front of the building and new street planting.

To the rear of the building a publically accessible urban space is proposed that provides a generous plaza which significantly improves permeability between Ford Street and Agard Street. This plaza is expected to be a flexible space with its use responding to the seasons and university calender. It will provide opportunities for seating, gathering and public events.


The brook offers an important wildlife corridor with a variety of animals and plants surviving within an inner-city environment. There are opportunities to improve the condition of the waterway, introduce access from the south bank and make the brook a more integral component to the development.


Ecological surveys have identified that the ecological value of the existing site is limited to the brook where the dense tree cover provides a good commuting route for wildlife, including bats. This feature is to be retained and strengthened.

Opportunities to increase the biodiversity value of the site through native planting, natural drainage features and habitat boxes will be maximised. The University of Derby is a member of the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Campaign and features to help hedgehogs will be included within the site.

Building proposal

Architects drawings showing the South Elevation from Agard Street and the East Elevation from Ford Street with a key showing other key buildings in the area
Annotated drawings showing the South Elevation from Agard Street and the East Elevation from Ford Street

View Floor plans

Appearance and sustainability

Entrance Elevation
A cross-section of the Entrance Elevation

The form and materiality of the building has developed to reflect Derby’s architectural vernacular and heritage whilst also presenting an aspirational, engaging and technology-driven appearance.

Rigid symmetry in both mass and window alignment reflects the classical proportion of the local historic buildings.

A robust, earthy palette of materials and precise detailing reflects Derby’s industrial heritage whilst the use of metal and large expanses of glazing compliments the modernisation of Derby City Centre and the neighbouring One Friar Gate Square.

The openness of the building and glazing creates transparency between the public realm and the university, whilst promoting a civic presence and user well-being.


The University of Derby recognises the climate change and ecological emergency. As a responsible institution, we intend to grow and develop sustainably. The new Business School is proposed to be net zero carbon in construction and operation, aligning to the University’s sustainability strategies and its low carbon expertise and research agenda.

Its location close to halls of residence means that students can walk or cycle easily, creating healthier commuting options as part of the overall goal of an active campus.

Collage of a Rain garden, Photovoltaic panels, Interior greenery, Solar Cells and Hedgehog homes
Top left: Rain garden, Top middle: Photovoltaic panels, Top right: Interior greenery. Bottom left: Timber, Bottom middle: Solar cells, Bottom right: Hedgehog homes

Have your say

Your feedback is important to us.

We are pleased to involve students, staff, the local community and local businesses in the design and planning process. We would welcome your views on the emerging proposals.

Your comments, ideas and suggestions will be considered by the project team and have the potential to influence the final proposals as the scheme is developed in more detail.

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The consultation period has now concluded. For the latest updates on the new Business School, please see our latest news pages.

This consultation can also be viewed as a PDF document: New Business School - Public Consultation (PDF).

All images remain the property of Stride Treglown, are for illustrative purposes only and are to be used in the context of this consultation only.