A new artist’s impression of how Derby City Council believes a replacement for the Assembly Rooms could look has been released.
The council announced two weeks ago it had successfully bid for £8.6m to put towards a 5,000-capacity performance venue in the Market Place, taking the flagship project a step closer to realisation.
Funding sources also include the sale of key assets in the city – for example, Duckworth Square and Middleton House.
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Council chiefs have also been working to bring in some private funding.
In a bid to woo investors, the council has commissioned a number of artist impressions to demonstrate how the new venue could look.
The latest was shown at last week’s Derby Property Summit, which was attended by 350 real estate professionals – including investors and developers.
Speaking at the event, the council’s head of regeneration Greg Jennings said: “We’re trying to produce this when our resources are absolutely starved. Local authorities have increasingly been told do statutory stuff only, which doesn’t include a new performance venue or swimming pools.
“It’s crazy. If, as a society, we want to have successful city centres, then there are some things that need to have public funding coming into them.
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“Everyone here is part of the public sector – you pay your taxes. If you want part of that to be invested in city centres, that’s what you should be saying.
“However, we are getting pretty close now [to securing funds for a new performance venue]. We’ve had a recent allocation from the Local Growth Fund, which takes the project a step nearer.
“We’re really close now to making this work and it will be a game-changer for Derby.”
See how the Assembly Rooms has changed through the years, 1771 – 2017:
Referring to the artist’s impression, produced by the council’s consultants, Mr Jennings said: “You kind of get a sense that this is what the performance venue should be. It should be the jewel in Derby – right at the heart of the city on the Market Place and going into the Cathedral Quarter.
“What do you see in the image? You see people. It’s somewhere that’s alive in the day and alive during the evening. That’s why we’re calling this a game-changer.”
Derby City Council’s cabinet is now expected to give the agreement in September to press ahead with plans for the new venue.
Meanwhile, architect students at the University of Derby have also been coming up with designs of how they’d like parts of the city centre to look.
Jason Harbron came up with this vision for a new performance venue to replace the Assembly Rooms, complete with a tram system:
And Mike Jepp came up with this vision for a new Joseph Wright Gallery along Iron Gate:
Marketing Derby, the public-private organisation that promotes Derby to investors, invited the students to come up with the designs.
Andrew Lowe, from Marketing Derby, said: “We have worked with the architecture students and lecturers at the University of Derby for three years by giving a presentation at the beginning of their final year on the city and progress on the Masterplan and future regeneration projects.
“The students then take one of the areas within the Masterplan and create a vision for the site. Their work is exhibited at the University of Derby’s end of year show, and Marketing Derby staff visit the show and each student presents their work to us.
“Our favourite six are then exhibited at our Derby Property Summit to get their work in front of hundreds of property professionals.”
Source: Derby Telegraph