Performance Venue

 Performance types


Derby has been without a performance venue in the city centre since a fire at the Assembly Rooms in 2014 and plans are being developed to create a £32m Music and Performance on the site of the Assembly Rooms. The 214-space Assembly Rooms car park is also to be replaced with a larger facility with more than 400 spaces.

Our ambition is for the 3,000 capacity Music and Performance to be the cultural flagship facility to anchor an emerging cultural hub in the heart of the city which includes venues such as the Guildhall Theatre, Quad, Déda, the Silk Milk and the Derby Museums, all of which are in the Cathedral Quarter.
With more shows and a larger capacity auditorium, this will be a game-changer that will transform the Market Place into a vibrant night-time hub of leisure activities.

Feasibility studies have confirmed that there is a market demand for a larger purpose-built flexible venue in the city centre. The work also estimated an annual audience of 322,000, creation of 395 full time jobs and a financial benefit of around £9.6 million to the local economy.

The delivery of a new performance venue forms part of the key pledges that were announced in early March 2017.

Public support

The Music and Performance Venue emerged as the favoured of four venue option in a public consultation held in late 2017. Of the 1006 people who responded, 43% supported the Music and Performance Venue, 28% opted for refurbishment of the Assembly Rooms, 22% wanted a Lyric Theatre and 7% wanted a Hybrid option.

Of further significance, music was the single most popular form of event. There was also very strongly held views that a new venue must be delivered within five years and that this must be a regeneration priority so that Derby can offer a good range of culture options in the city centre.

Next steps

The Council has been allocated £8.6m of local growth funding – subject to the submission of a detailed business plan – by D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership - the private sector-led partnership promotes economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

The next steps are the procurement of an operator, develop an outline design for the new venue and associated car park, and explore additional funding opportunities from external public and private sources for the project.

In addition, the Council will establish a Stakeholder Reference Group who can be involved in all key stages of the project. The Council will also explore a mechanism so that stakeholders can have a say in the development of the design of this building.

It is expected that a planning application would be submitted in 2019, demolition and construction would occur in 2020 with a tentative opening date of 2022.

Venue specification

It is expected that the Music and Performance Venue would be designed with the following specification:

  • Single flexible auditorium to host music and entertainment events
  • 3,000 maximum capacity or 2,500 seated
  • Flexible event floor capable of hosting conference, exhibition and banqueting events
  • 400 capacity event space for separate rental.

It is expected that it will host more than 420 events per year, comprising:

  • Music concerts
  • Comedy
  • Conferences, exhibition, banquets and weddings
  • Theatrical events not requiring traditional theatre facilities
  • Sports events
  • Club nights






Contact details

Post address:
Regeneration Projects, Derby City Council, Council House, Corporation Street, Derby DE1 2FS
Project Manager: Samuel Rosillo
Phone: 01332 641 738