23rd Aug 2023 — Trent Basin – Collaborative Regeneration

Trent Basin – Collaborative Regeneration

SWA have been working with Blueprint Regeneration since 2016, designing multiple phases of this exemplar new neighbourhood at Trent Basin. Located on a brownfield site adjacent to the River Trent in Nottingham, it is a project borne of collaboration and innovation, with a holistic approach to sustainability and community underpinning each decision.

With the completion of Phase 3 imminent and Phases 4-8 gaining planning approval earlier this year, we thought it would be a good point to look back and celebrate some of the project’s milestones during SWA’s involvement!

Visualisation of the main street in Phase 3
Diagram showing the different Phases of the Trent Basin neighbourhood: Phase 1 by Marsh Grochowski; Phase 2 by Marsh Grochowski; Phase 2A, 3 and 3A by SWA; Phases 4-8 by Proctor & Matthews, SWA and Turner Works
Aerial view of Phase 4+ [copyright Proctor and Matthews]


Phase 3, designed by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, is due for completion later this summer. Following completion of RIBA Stage 4A by SWA, it was delivered on site by Marsh Grochowski and Focus Consultants under a Design and Build Contract.

Phases 4-8 gained planning approval in April 2023. The masterplan for this Phase was developed by Proctor & Matthews, supported by BBUK’s landscape strategy. House types and elevational treatments were developed collaboratively by P&M, SWA and Turner Works. SWA’s house types drew on the principles established in our work on earlier Phases, ensuring continuity across past and future elements of the neighbourhood.


Phases 4-8 were submitted for Planning Approval following an Award-winning digital engagement process developed by Deetu.


Phase 3A was submitted for and gained Planning Approval. Designed by SWA, this Phase forms an important interface between Phase 3, the Basin waterfront public realm and a new primary school being delivered by the DfE.

Elevation studies to support the PH3A Planning submission
Eleanor Brough presents SWA's work on PH2A [photo: RIBA/Northlight Images]


Collaborative design work on Phases 4-8 takes place, a true test of our virtual working arrangements implemented during the pandemic!


Phase 3 gains planning approval and SWA begin to develop technical proposals for delivering the scheme.

Phase 2A is completed and Trent Basin is selected as one of three exemplar housing projects by RIBA East Midlands, Eleanor Brough presents SWA’s work at a RIBA event in Leicester.

Aerial view of Trent Basin Phases 1 and 2 completed, Phase 2A by SWA featuring the corner house is in the foreground


Trent Basin is part of Project SCENe (Sustainable Community Energy Network), an initiative which brings together all the companies involved in the energy supply chain with the homeowners. Energy generated by rooftop PV is stored in an on-site battery and redistributed to homes or back to the grid depending on supply, demand and energy costs. In 2018 the battery was turned on and the system became operational. A Community Information Model displays interactive historic and real time data on energy use in the Trent Basin’s Hub space.


SWA start work on Phase 3. Drawing on the design principles and material palette developed in earlier Phases, we developed a design concept for a new street and Basin frontage which priotised walking and cycling. Engagement with residents from earlier Phases provided an important opportunity to learn and reflect and for the neighbourhood to evolve.

Interactive display for the Project SCENe Community Information Model
Early sketch study for the custom build Corner House in Phase 2A


SWA start work on Phase 2A. We developed a strategy for the River frontage and designed new house types including the unique ‘Corner House’ which was marketed as custom build, allowing the new owner to tailor internal specification to their own requirements. We engaged with Phase 1 and Phase 2 architects Marsh Grochowski to benefit from lessons learned and bring across several common details and material accents.