The owner of a Derby construction firm has revealed his pride at being contracted to lay the bricks of what is set to become one of the city’s most iconic buildings.
Following a lengthy tender and vetting process, Pride Park based Hodgkinson Builders was offered the task of constructing the brickwork for the landmark apartment building on the site of the former Debenhams store in Derby’s Victoria Street.
The 11-storey, red brick building, forms part of an extensive £200m regeneration development of the city’s Becketwell area around Duckworth Square.
Hodgkinson moved onto the site last week to begin the 12-month job of building one of the tallest and most long-awaited structures in Derby.
With almost the entire external ‘envelope’ of the building showcasing the Derby firm’s bricklaying skills for many decades to come, owner and managing director Ian Hodgkinson says the contract represents far more than mere bricks and mortar for him.
“It will certainly be a landmark building for Derby,” he said. “It’s a hugely prestigious job for us - and to be given the opportunity to build this in my hometown is immense.
“It’s a genuine legacy. Something we can see every day and will always be proud of doing for Derby.”
Ian said that the work, commissioned by the Becketwell regeneration project’s main contractor GMI Construction, would not only provide lots of work for his skilled team, but would also provide a golden opportunity for training much-needed apprentices.
“Given the sheer size of the project and the length of time we will be working on it, a good apprentice could, in theory, learn their trade on this job alone,” said Ian.
“With skills shortages in almost every area of construction, we’ll certainly be taking every opportunity we can to bring more young people into the trade. It will benefit the construction industry as a whole, as well as increasing the skill-base in Derby city.”
He added that Hodgkinson Builders was now looking to recruit a number of apprentices now that the contract had got underway.
Although Hodgkinson Builders has constructed countless properties since the company was founded by Ian more than 30 years ago, the Becketwell project represents one of the biggest single structures it has built – and probably its biggest ever in Derby.
The former Debenhams site will eventually house 259 apartments – with a mixture of studios, one and two-bed units. The area’s overall regeneration is also set to include a 3,500-capacity performance venue, offices, multi-storey car park and a public square on the site of the now-demolished Central United Reformed Church.
For more information about the firm, visit www.hodgkinsonbuilders.com.