Midlands & East Anglia

Feeding a new development for Derby

 A brand new restaurant has opened in the heart of Derby on the site of the Raynesway Commercial Park, a 180-acre development located behind Derby’s Pride Park football ground.

The Blue Jay pub is the latest restaurant in a successful chain of eateries from Marston’s PLC and has created approximately fifty new jobs. The area was formerly a waste transfer site and the training ground home of Derby County Football Club and is currently undergoing extensive redevelopment.

Although the park currently houses a number of industrial units, the land will be sold to create new developments. Works carried out so far in the surrounding area include the construction of a new roundabout and the creation of a new road to extend the route through to the A52.

Work began on the £1.7m Blue Jay project in April 2011 and the 26-week project was completed in September 2011. The only difficulties encountered on the site were due to the poor ground conditions, which were caused by waste material from a recycling facility that had previously existed on the site.

To rectify this problem, the ground was deep piled in order to create an even surface for the Blue Jay to be built on. Despite the influence of this on the early construction phase, work remained on schedule and the restaurant opened without a hitch in October 2011.

Marston’s Inns and Taverns Estates Director, Ed Hancock, said: “We’re extremely excited about our latest pub, which we hope will build a great reputation locally – offering top quality pub food and an unrivalled selection of drinks, including cask ales from our own breweries across the country.”

Sheffield’s White Design was the architect for the project, whilst Wildgoose Construction was the main contractor. Both companies have partnered together on previous projects for Marston’s PLC and will continue to work on the company’s expansive programme of new pubs.

The Blue Jay was constructed using traditional brick and block with a timber frame and roof. It was designed specifically with a mix of materials to create a unique look amongst future developments around the site.

White Design UK Limited Director, Chris Head, explained:

“Our intention was to use those three materials to give the impression that The Blue Jay has been extended over recent years.

“However even on a project like this one for Marston’s we still look at the surrounding area of the site so that it fits in with the landscape. It’s a principle that we adhere to at each site when we are looking at the local brickwork and the local vernacular architecture.

“This means the footprint can still change in order to maximise key features and particular aspects of the site, such as sunlight and ecological constraints. We always try to maximise the orientation by directing windows, patios and gardens on the southern aspect to pick up the sun.  All the service areas are situated to the north of the building.”

Although classed as a single-storey building, the site includes upstairs accommodation for the use of the live-in manager. The inside of the pub was built to a set model agreed by Marston’s PLC, making the layout similar in style to other traditional public houses in their portfolio of inns and taverns. This includes an internal ‘Kids Zone’ play area – designated for the under 5’s age group – which is situated in the family area of the pub.

An additional formal area has been created with full height timber panelling. This creates a distinction between the different aspects of the pub and includes a carvery style dining area. In total, the restaurant provides covers for 250 diners.

The exterior finish of the Blue Jay Pub is brick with a rendered front entrance and a traditional tiled roof. Photovoltaic solar panels are included on the roof, whilst the site also features an outside play area for older children.

External works included the creation of a car park and a roadway to link the development to a nearby roundabout.

One of the final touches added to the site was the inclusion of a time capsule, buried within the surrounding grounds of the Blue Jay Pub.

Wildgoose Construction Marketing Manager, Phil Hughes, said:

“Children from a local Derbyshire school were involved in burying the time capsule on the site and this is something that Marston’s PLC incorporates as part of all of its new builds. The capsule will then be unearthed in 50 years, so it is something of real interest to the local kids in the community and creates a lasting piece of history for the area.”

In addition to working on this restaurant, Wildgoose Construction has worked on a number of other establishments for Marston’s PLC – leading to the formation of a successful partnership.

Phil added:

“We are one of three framework contractors building public house restaurants for Marston’s and this is the third that we have completed.

“Although people would technically call them pubs, projects like this are built to be dining experiences for the whole family.

“Over the next two years we will be working with Marston’s on a number of new restaurants and we are currently at various stages on another half a dozen sites around Carlisle, Preston and Stoke. As it stands at the moment, we are currently undertaking work on a new site in Hull.”

Wildgoose Construction Managing Director, Tim Walker, added: “Marston’s is both a leading name and brand within the industry and it is a testament to their brand strength that they are undertaking this investment and we are proud to be part of that success.”

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