A performance venue is the key focus of the emerging City Centre Masterplan 2030.
The Council’s strategic property advisors have produced a feasibility study which concludes a performance venue is deliverable in Derby and that the best location is the Assembly Rooms site - in the heart of the city centre.
They carried out extensive consultations with six of the UK largest and most successful entertainment management companies – four of which expressed keen interest in operating a new performance venue in Derby.
The first option was for a 3,000-seat efficient and flexible venue focusing on live music and comedy.
The second option was for a highly configurable venue that could be arranged either as a 2,800-seat auditorium for music and entertainment event or converted to a 1,600-seater theatre. It would also have a 400 capacity flexible space that could be used as a VIP lounge or conference space.
Options 1 and 2 are viable and would be self-funding, requiring no Council subsidies. The option selected would determine on the amount of grant funding that the Council can secure.
All of the entertainment management companies that were approached also found these options attractive.
The Council has applied for grant funding to the Local Growth Fund (LGF3) for £8.6m for Phase 1 of the project. LGF3 funding was announced during the Autumn Statement but the project application results are yet to be detailed.
Demolition is expected to take place as part of phase 1 and could take up to 12 months. Phase 2 will be either Option 1 or 2 and these will take about four years to secure funding, sign an operator, design the facility, gain planning permission and construct the building.