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Planning application submitted for new performance venue in Derby

Developers St James Securities are set to deliver a new 3,500 capacity entertainment and events venue at Becketwell, subject to planning permission.

The new Becketwell Arena will be capable of staging concerts, stand-up comedy, family shows, musical theatre, conferences and exhibitions.

The venue will be located on the site of the former Pink Coconut nightclub and Laurie House offices at the heart of the mixed-use Becketwell development.

It will be owned by Derby City Council and run by ASM Global, offering a significantly larger and more flexible event space than the city has had in the past and collaborating and complementing the activities of the existing Derby Arena.

It is expected that the venue will host over 200 cultural and commercial events each year, attracting an additional 250,000 visitors to Derby, creating over 200 new local jobs, and generating more than £10m per year for the area.

Managing director of St James Securities, Oliver Quarmby, said: ‘A new large-scale venue is a key component of Derby’s masterplan for the city centre which has been developed collaboratively between the public and private sectors and we are tremendously excited to be working on this ambitious scheme to bring an outstanding, modern performance venue to the city.

‘We have created a great scheme which will fill a significant gap in the city’s cultural landscape. This flexible venue will cater for major music and comedy acts as well as a strong programme of theatre content. The conference and events capability will support the growth of the business community in the region.

‘The performance venue is set to ‘turbocharge’ the entire Becketwell scheme, allowing us to bring forward a new multi-storey car park and hotel and will be key to the future reinvigoration and repositioning of Derby city centre.’

A virtual public consultation was held on the proposed performance venue last month, with 93% of respondents agreeing Derby needs a new concert and entertainment centre, 91% agreeing it will benefit other city centre businesses, and 85% agreeing there is need for a new conference and exhibition venue.

Subject to planning permission, work on the performance venue is set to commence in early 2022, with handover to the operator in 2024.

In related news, Oldham Council are set to begin refurbishment of Royton Town Hall and library to convert it into a family-friendly multi-use space.

Photo supplied by Derby City Council

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