Derby’s fire-damaged Assembly Rooms are to be replaced with a 3,000-capacity music and performance venue at a total cost of £44 million.
The 40-year-old Assembly Rooms have been closed since fire caused “extensive damage” to the plant room on the roof of the venue’s car park in March 2014. The plant room supplied the venue with electricity and lighting.
Now the city council has passed plans to replace the Assembly Rooms. It has secured an £8.6 million grant from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and will borrow the rest of the money.
A four-week consultation showed that 1,006 (43%) of the people who responded preferred the option of a music and performance building.
Council leader Ranjit Banwait said: “We’ve taken our time and we’ve made the numbers work. Our plans are not only affordable, but they’re what the city wants and what the city needs.”
Deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration and economy, councillor Martin Rawson, added: “Derby is already the third fastest-growing city economy in the UK. This new venue is a game changer and a catalyst for further investment that will help us build our economy for the benefit of all.”
The council will now begin the search for an operator to run the Assembly Rooms. It will also explore additional sources of funding.
A planning application is expected to be submitted in 2019. Demolition of the current building is due to start in 2020, with the new Assembly Rooms potentially opening in 2022.