Major progress on Derby events venue plans


Derby new venue Image: SJS

A major step has been initiated towards Derby (City in England, UK) having a performance venue once again after a planning application was submitted to the City Council.

Derby has been sans an entertainment center since a fire incident breaking out in a plant room on top of the car park, adjoining the City’s Assembly Rooms in the Market Place, closed the venue in the year 2014.

The ‘Derby Telegraph’ stated that developers St James Securities have submitted the application for a £45 million 3,500-capacity entertainment and events venue in the Becketwell area of the City.

It will sit on the site of the former Pink Coconut nightclub and Laurie House offices in Colyear Street.

The ‘Derby Telegraph’ further stated that the planning application is set to be considered at the October meeting of the Derby City Council Planning Committee and will be accompanied by a range of technical documents covering matters such as traffic generation and car parking, noise, flood risk, and ecology.

Subject to planning consent being granted, work on the performance venue is set to commence in early 2022, with handover to the operator in 2024.

The purpose-built venue will be a fully flexible, scalable space capable of staging concerts, stand-up comedy, family shows, musical theater, conferences, and exhibitions.

The main auditorium will have a maximum (seated and standing) capacity of 3,500 and will offer a range of different event configurations, including a fully-seated layout for up to 2,100.

Along with a busy concert and entertainment program, the venue will also attract a wide range of business events.

The new performance venue will be owned by the Derby City Council and will be run by world class operator ASM Global, the world’s leading provider of entertainment, sports and exhibition experiences around the globe.

It is anticipated the venue will host more than 200 cultural and commercial events each year and attract an additional 250,000 visitors to Derby.

It is also expected to create more than 200 new local jobs, generate more than £10m per year for the area and increase levels of investment in surrounding areas of the City Centre.

The application has been submitted shortly after a public consultation event was held in the virtual mode last month, which showed support for the center and the majority of people said they wanted to see music events taking place there.

Oliver Quarmby, Managing Director, St James Securities, observed, “A new large-scale venue is a key component of Derby’s masterplan for the City Centre which has been developed collaboratively between the public and private sectors and we are tremendously excited to be working on this ambitious scheme to bring an outstanding, modern performance venue to the City. We have created a great scheme which will fill a significant gap in the City’s cultural landscape. This flexible venue will cater for major music and comedy acts as well as a strong program of theater content. The conference and events capability will support the growth of the business community in the region.”

Added Quarmby, “The performance venue is set to ‘turbocharge’ the entire Becketwell scheme, allowing us to bring forward a new multistory car park and hotel and will be key to the future reinvigoration and repositioning of the Derby City Centre.”

Work is already underway on Phase One of the Becketwell scheme, which includes the construction of 259 build-to-rent apartments on the site of the former Debenhams store in Victoria Street and a new public square, with completion by Spring 2023.

Future planned phases of the scheme include a range of other complementary uses of the site including up to 25,000 sq. m of new Grade A offices and commercial space, a hotel and a multistory car park.

Councilor Matthew Holmes, City Council Deputy Leader, noted, “This application submission marks another important milestone in Derby’s recovery plan and culture-led regeneration. The City is turning a corner and in the not too distant future, we will have a state of the art events and entertainment venue.”

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