Law firm shows support for new public garden

Smith Partnership has provided free legal advice to help community interest company Down to Earth Derby transform a disused site in Derby into a new public garden.

Danielle Upton, Commercial Property Partner at the firm, drew up the lease agreement with Derby City Council, which allowed Jamie Quince-Starkey, Founder and Director of Down to Earth Derby, to begin work on the  Electric Daisy project.

The project has involved the transformation of a disused site near Sadler Gate and the Bold Lane Car Park.

An outdoor garden venue has been created in the first phase, which opened to the public on 24 June.

This will be followed by food outlets, outdoor dining areas, events space and a nature-themed cocktail bar named Electric Daisy, subject to planning permission.

Jamie, who has the backing of the Eden Project for his ambitious nature-based urban regeneration plans, said he would not have been able to get this far without the free legal expertise given by Smith Partnership.

He said: “The lease agreement had to be very thorough and detailed, and it is definitely something we needed professional a commercial property lawyer’s help with.

“As a community interest company, we don’t have huge amounts of funds and wouldn’t have been able to pay for that advice, so we are extremely grateful for the relationship we have with Smith Partnership.”

Danielle created the detailed lease agreement, which must set out the intentions for the land in the future, including subsequent phases of work for dining areas and entertainment.

She said: “What they are doing is fantastic and it’s not something we have seen much of in and around Derby.

“This really drives forward their nature-based urban regeneration and obviously that is only a good thing for the city.

“Smith Partnership is very anchored in the city and so we want to support this work.

“I also think this is the first project of many, potentially, and if we can do it well in Derby then it could be rolled out to other cities and that would put Derby on the map.”

In addition to support with property matters, Smith Partnership has also provided general legal and business advice, with Partner of the law firm, Claire Twells, joining the business advisory board of Down to Earth Derby.

She said: “Jamie is so passionate about the city and his plans to regenerate it using nature.

“His vision is fantastic, and I am pleased to offer my experience to help Down to Earth Derby turn ideas into reality.”

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