The new Music and Performance Venue being proposed to replace the Assembly Rooms is expected to bring significant benefits to the local economy.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Martin Rawson, says initial feasibility work projects the programme of events to attract an estimated audience of 322,000 people annually, the revenue from which would support 395 full time jobs and generate an estimated £9.6 million in benefits to the local economy.

Speaking ahead of the Cabinet meeting on 4th October at which he is proposing the next stage of the project, Cllr Rawson says that the new venue will be the anchor for an emerging Cultural Quarter in the city centre.

“I see the new Music and Performance Venue as being the anchor for a cultural hub which includes places such as the Guildhall Theatre, Quad, Déda, the Silk Milk and the Derby Museums.

“At its centre, the Market Place would convert into a vibrant day- and night-time hub of leisure activities while public realm work would link this area to a renovated Market Hall and to the Derby Museums and the Silk Mill.

“Single-handedly, this is a game changer. It is the catalyst to further investment and critical to the future success of Derby as a place to live and work.”

He says that the ambition is for the Music and Performance Venue to have the capability to host music concerts, sports events, comedy, theatrical performances, conferences and exhibitions and be available for use by both amateur and professional groups.

Should Cabinet approve the expenditure of £475,000 from the Assembly Rooms insurance monies, the next stage of work is to start the procurement of an operator, do further design work, create a detailed finance appraisal and explore private and public sources of financing.

It is essential that an operator be found first in order to discuss and agree a programme of events that would be beneficial to Derby and to make an input into the design and configuration of the venue.

The entire project, which includes a larger Assembly Rooms car park, is estimated to cost just over £44 million. Cllr Rawson says various sources of financing are currently being explored as the Council does not yet have sufficient financing to cover the entire cost.

D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership Local Enterprise Partnership – the private sector-led partnership promotes economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire has made an allocation of £8.6 million of local growth funding to it.

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PHOTO CAPTION: An illustration of the concept of how a new performance venue, anchoring a cultural hub in the heart of the city, can re-invent the Market Place and create a vibrant place and boost the day- and night-time economy.