Place Projects - 24 January 2018

Derby picks its new music and performance venue

A new 3,000 seat music and performance venue is now a step closer for Derby City Centre.

Derby City Council formally agreed the new Derby music and performance venue project could go ahead, at a budget-setting meeting last night (January 24). The new venue – to replace the Assembly Rooms, which has been closed since a major fire there in March 2014 – will cost an estimated £32million.

Anticipated funding for the venue includes Council borrowing and a further £8.6million from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), subject to Derby City Council submitting a detailed business plan.

D2N2 is the private sector-led LEP for the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire area. It works with partners to grow its area’s economy and create jobs. It has a £200m-plus allocation of Local Growth Fund money from Government to part-fund infrastructure projects which directly support the local economy, which the performance venue promoters would apply to.

A new Derby music and performance venue, as part of a Derby City masterplan, was one of a number of projects listed in the D2N2 Growth Deal 3 bid publication (PICTURED), launched at the D2N2 LEP Annual Conference in July 2016, which set out what the LEP hoped to do with Local Growth Fund Round 3 money it was then bidding for from the Government.

The new performance venue will provide theatre space, room for music gigs and be a business conference facility.

A four week public consultation to choose what kind of new facility the city should have was launched in November 2017, receiving 1,006 responses. Respondents said it should be a regeneration priority, to allow Derby to offer a good range of culture options in the city centre.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economy Cllr Martin Rawson said: “Derby is already the 3rd fastest growing city-economy in the UK.  This new venue is a game changer and a catalyst for further investment that will help us build our economy for the benefit of all.

“This option will also complement plans by the University of Derby for expansion of the Derby Theatre and, from a financial perspective, the Music & Performance Venue is the best investment for the Council.”

Peter Richardson, Chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “As well as places to work and do business, places of music, performance and culture are also important parts of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire area and its economy. The D2N2 area has some fantastic cultural offerings and I am confident that this music and performance venue will be another gem in the cultural crown of our area, as well as providing an economic boost to Derby through the creation of a new visitor attraction.”

The next steps are to choose a project contractor, develop an outline design for the new facility, for promotors to submit a full business case to bid to draw on D2N2 LGF funding, and also to explore additional funding opportunities from public and private sources.

A full planning application for the new venue is due to be submitted in 2019, with demolition and construction due to begin in 2020. The current expected opening date opening date for the venue is 2022/23.

Further information about the D2N2 LEP and its work can be obtained from D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 957 8749 or email: sean.kirby@d2n2lep.org 

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