Talks taking place on future of Nottingham's former Debenhams building

Calls for clarity on future plans grew louder when the Government gave the former Debenhams building Grade II listed status last April. Credit: BPM Media

Talks are taking place on the future of Nottingham's former Debenhams building, nearly two years on from the department store's closure.

A new investment management company recently took on the building, on behalf of Long Row Properties Limited, which has owned the site since 2017.

The company, Longmead Capital, has confirmed that it has approached Nottingham City Council to discuss future proposals for the former Debenhams building - with the council saying it wants to bring the site "back to life."

Debenhams entered administration in April 2019 and, after attempts to find a buyer failed, the 240-year-old retailer went into liquidation.

The Boohoo Group saved the assets and brand, but the move to online-only meant that Nottingham's store closed in May 2021.

The entrance to the building on Long Row has been boarded up since then.

Calls for clarity on future plans grew louder when the Government gave the former Debenhams building Grade II listed status last April.


The history of the building dates back to 1846, when the Dickinson brothers opened a drapery store on the corner of Long Row and Market Street.

The business was eventually sold to Mr W Griffin and J.T. Spalding, who purchased several neighbouring buildings due to the success of their department store.

The facade of the store was then rebuilt in the 1920s and the family first accepted an offer from Debenhams in 1944.

It did not trade as Debenhams until 1973, when the department store chain rolled out a nationwide re-brand.

Hilary Silvester, the executive chair of Nottingham Civic Society, said: "It's important that we have some progress because this is a very prominent building in Nottingham given its location in relation to the Council House."

Altum Capital had previously managed the building on behalf of Long Row Properties, with this role now being carried out by Longmead Capital.

The confirmation that talks are taking place comes amid growing calls for progress on the historic building, but Longmead Capital has warned that drawing up plans for the future will be a "lengthy process".

A spokesperson for Longmead Capital said: "Longmead Capital, the investment managers for the former Debenhams building in Nottingham, have approached the council to discuss potential future proposals for the property.

"The discussions are at an early stage but given the scale and sensitive nature of the site the process is likely to be lengthy, however the owners and council are keen for the process to involve public consultation once initial thoughts have been developed."

Other calls for clarity on the future of Debenhams have come from the East Midlands Chamber, whose Chief Executive has said that the department store's closure in 2021 left a 'gaping hole' in the heart of Nottingham.

A Nottingham City Council spokesperson said: "The former Debenhams store is an iconic building situated in a prominent part of the city centre. We hope to be able to work with the new [investment management company] in due course to bring it back to life."