£392m Midlands Engine Strategy fuels Warwick and Derby venue improvements

Warwick Arts Centre Warwick Arts Centre
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A major redevelopment of Warwick Arts Centre and a new 5,000-capacity performance venue in Derby form part of an investment strategy in the Midlands announced by chancellor Philip Hammond.

Through the Midlands Engine Strategy a total of £392 million will go towards the area, with the aim of boosting its economic growth. The plan, which covers transport, infrastructure, employment and technology, also sets out a number of improvements in the region’s cultural life.

To improve cultural infrastructure, £2 million has been pledged in Coventry and Warwickshire. This will include a major redevelopment of Warwick Arts Centre. It is hoped that this will support Coventry’s 2021 UK Capital of Culture bid.

More than £11 million will be used to regenerate Derby city centre, including the creation of a 5,000-capacity performance venue called Derby Portal. A further £10 million will fund an extension of Birmingham Symphony Hall. No other details on these developments have been announced.

Hammond said: “The Midlands has enormous economic potential and as we lay the foundations of a stronger, fairer Britain outside the EU it is more important than ever that we now build on its existing strengths to make sure it fulfils it.”