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Nightingale Quarter in Derby City Centre Shortlisted for 2024 Housebuilder Awards

Nightingale Quarter residents planting their gardens

The Nightingale Quarter in Derby city centre is a finalist in the 2024 national Housebuilder Awards. The shortlisting for Best Community Initiative is for the scheme’s community garden – a new collaboration between developer Wavensmere Homes and Community Interest Company Down to Earth Derby.

There have been a record number of entries for this year’s Housebuilder Awards, which will celebrate its 20th year at a glittering ceremony on 31st October at the Intercontinental London – The O2.  Berkeley Group, CALA, Redrow, and Vistry, are amongst the other residential developers shortlisted for the coveted Best Community Initiative category.

The Nightingale Quarter is in the final stages of construction. The redevelopment of the former Derbyshire Royal Infirmary has brought about the regeneration of the 18.5-acre Florence Nightingale-designed hospital site, which had lain vacant for a decade before it was acquired by Wavensmere Homes in 2019. The £175m project comprises a new community of 925 houses and apartments, a large co-working space, residents’ gymnasium, a cycle path, the highly-acclaimed Pepperpot restaurant, and over six-acres of open space.  

During the past six months, a £40,000 community garden has been planned, landscaped and planted by residents living at the development, working together with Down to Earth’s team. The newly created magnet for nature and wildlife features an interactive garden and allotment space, which is being enjoyed and maintained by locals of all ages, including groups of school children from nearby St James’ C of E Junior School.

Being shortlisted for the 2024 Housebuilder Awards is testament to a significant collaborative effort from Down to Earth Derby, Nightingale Quarter residents, and our design and construction team. This national award shines a spotlight on the importance of community and how meaningful initiatives can create a real difference for local people.

Having welcomed Down to Earth’s mentor Sir Tim Smit – co-founder of the Eden Project – to officially unveil the garden only last week, we are excited about the opportunities to continue making a positive impact to local people at our upcoming regeneration schemes.

James Dickens, Managing Director of Wavensmere Homes

The Nightingale Quarter garden includes fruit and vegetable beds, a woodland zone for forest school sessions, rainwater capture systems, a bug hotel, and birdhouse. The Down to Earth team will continue to run monthly sessions where residents are encouraged to discuss gardening tasks and share tips.

Planting and tending to the garden is giving us and the neighbours a reason to get outside and interact with each other. I’m enjoying learning about gardening, especially what to plant, prune and pick as the seasons change.

Eve Waysome, Nightingale Quarter resident

Down to Earth Derby is behind the city’s widely-acclaimed Electric Daisy attraction. By connecting the urban community with nature-based activities and a diverse events programme, it has become a nationally recognised symbol of the ambitious regeneration and revitalisation of the burgeoning East Midlands city.

Derby is becoming an outstanding symbol of regeneration, famous across Europe. As the Nightingale Quarter community garden was not a planning obligation, we are very grateful to Wavensmere Homes for the investment, commitment and shared vision. Collaborative nature projects like this bring people together to learn about flora and fauna, and the joy that comes with growing seasonal fruit and vegetables.  I am encouraging all those involved to see that the success of this pilot may ignite a national appetite for funded community gardens.

Sir Tim Smit, mentor to Down to Earth Derby

Wavensmere Homes was recently crowned Housebuilder of the Year – and also won Deal of the Year – at the 2024 Insider Midlands Residential Awards. The firm is poised for continued growth, with upcoming projects including the £75m redevelopment of Friar Gate Goods Yard in Derby city centre, and the £150m Wolverhampton Canalside South opportunity, which is set to add over 500 homes to the burgeoning city centre.

Eco-friendly technologies, such as air source heat pumps and solar PV panels – together with design features that promote energy efficiency and environmental stewardship – are incorporated into the design of all planned projects. The latest technology and thoughtful design not only lowers residents’ energy bills and carbon footprint, but also minimises the environmental impact of Wavensmere’s new developments.

Nightingale Quarter’s marketing suite and two show homes are open from 10am – 5pm Monday through to Saturday, accessed off 128 London Road, Derby DE1 2QQ. For further information, or to book an in-person, or virtual appointment, call 01332 321 255, or email

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