Assembly Rooms - have your say

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Members of the public and stakeholders are being invited to have their say on the proposed plans to transform the Assembly Rooms into a vibrant new cultural venue in the city centre.

Bondholder Derby City Council is holding a period of stakeholder/ public engagement between Monday 13 May and Wednesday 22 May on the emerging designs for the Assembly Rooms.

A display of the proposed transformation of the building will take place on Tuesday 14th May between 10.00am and 6.00pm and Wednesday 22nd May between 9.00am and 5.00pm at the Guildhall Theatre Clubroom off the Market Place.

The public are being encouraged to come and have their say on the proposed designs and also suggest the types of shows, performances, and acts they would like to see in the venue in the future.

The engagement period marks a major milestone in the project to reopen a much-loved venue which has been lost to the city since being closed due to a fire in 2014. The public are being invited to give their views on the emerging designs for the building which will be put forward in a planning application that is expected to be submitted in the summer.

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The council appointed Perfect Circle to design the new Assembly Rooms. It has a successful track record of delivering projects across the UK, having delivered the 900-seat Leicester Haymarket Theatre, which had previously been closed for 11 years.

The proposed plans to transform the venue include retaining and enhancing the architectural features of the outside of the building which give it its distinctive look, and which have been praised by Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and local architects alike, while at the same time transforming many of the public areas to maximise space and to ensure it is a venue fit for the 21st century.

The transformation will include creating new commercial and food and beverage units onto the Market Place, as well removing the current ‘fins’ on the first floor of the venue which act as a visual barrier. On the first floor new floor to ceiling glazing will also be installed to draw the public’s eye into the Assembly Rooms and providing those in the bar with views out onto the Market Place – an opportunity for the public to see Derby’s Market Place from a new and uninterrupted angle.

Greg Jennings, Director of Development and Regrowth, said: “We want to encourage the public and stakeholders to give us their views on the emerging designs for the New Assembly Rooms.

"Our plans do not end with just a physical transformation of the building, as we are also planning to transform how the venue can be used going forward so it is a much more commercially focused asset which will offer fantastic facilities both during the day and night.

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“The council will work with players in the entertainment industry to bring an exciting and diverse mix of shows from rock and pop, West-End musicals, to opera, pantomime and kids shows, whilst also offering local arts and cultural groups a community venue too.

“A revitalised Assembly Rooms together with the £11.2m regeneration of the Market Hall into a contemporary, vibrant retail and cultural destination will breathe new life into this part of the city centre and prove a significant draw for those wishing to come and enjoy Derby both during the day and night.”

The Council has chosen to run the new Assembly Rooms in-house through a commercially refocused Derby LIVE. Derby LIVE is the Council’s own award-winning team, highly-experienced in providing events, performances and festivals for the city, across a range of indoor and outdoor spaces.

The plans are also available online on the Derby City Council website www.derby.gov.uk/new-assembly-rooms for people to comment until Friday 24th May.