Latest News | 25 May 2021

Operator announced for Derby’s new Becketwell performance venue

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The identity of the company who will operate the new 3,500-capacity performance venue at Becketwell has been revealed.

St James Securities, developers of the £200 million regeneration scheme, and Derby City Council, have announced that ASM Global has been awarded preferred bidder status to manage, operate and programme the new entertainment and conference venue being developed in Derby city centre.

The award of preferred bidder status is an important landmark in delivering the venue, which will be a fully flexible, scalable space, capable of staging concerts, stand-up comedy, family shows, musical theatre, conferences and exhibitions.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, deputy leader of the city council, said: “ASM Global are world-leading venue operators with a proven track record, so we are delighted to be teaming up with them and St James Securities for this project.

“They have the proven ability to bring the very best in entertainment and events to Derby, something that is long overdue.”

Paul Morris, development director at St James Securities, said: “We are tremendously excited to be working with Derby City Council and ASM Global on this ambitious project, which will fill a significant gap in the city’s cultural landscape and bring an outstanding, modern performance venue to the city.”

This announcement coincides with the news that St James Securities has exchanged contracts with the city council to forward-fund the project.

The council has assisted with land assembly for the development. St James Securities will deliver the performance venue to the council, with ASM Global to sign a 30-year lease. This will remove the development and financial operating risk from the council.

Located in the Becketwell area at the heart of the wider mixed-use development, the purpose-built venue will include a 3,500-capacity events auditorium, plus a smaller 400 capacity secondary space.

ASM Global’s renowned portfolio is anchored by the most iconic arenas, convention centres and stadiums across five continents.

In the UK, ASM’s collection includes AO Arena (Manchester), SSE Wembley Arena, first direct Arena (Leeds), Utilita Arena (Newcastle) and Bonus Arena (Hull), along with a number of theatres and smaller venues.

It is projected that the Becketwell venue will host over 200 cultural and commercial events each year and attract an additional 250,000 visitors to Derby.

Over 200 new jobs are expected to be created, with the scheme set to generate more than £10 million per year for the area.

Construction work is set to commence shortly on phase one of the Becketwell scheme, comprising 259 one and two-bedroom apartments, which will be built on the site of the former Debenhams store, in Victoria Street, and a new public square, with completion by spring 2023.

Work on the performance venue is set to commence in early 2022, with handover to the operator in 2024.

Paul Morris said: “Our aim has always been to create a whole new part of Derby city centre with its own distinct character and identity.

“For the world’s leading venue management and services company to come

on-board to deliver this scheme is a real coup for the city and will be key to the future reinvigoration and repositioning of Derby city centre.

“ASM Global will help to inform the design, capacity and layout of the building and the mix of popular and mainstream shows, performances, and events.”

“To see phases one and two coming forward in quick succession will provide huge confidence to investors and occupiers who are considering investing in and locating in Becketwell.

“We believe this is the beginning of an exciting renaissance of Derby city centre.”

Tom Lynch, group commercial director and senior vice-president (Europe) at ASM Global, said: “ASM Global is delighted to partner with St James Securities and Derby City Council on the launch of the new Becketwell venue for the city of Derby.

“The city has a rich history of events and culture, and Derby represented an obvious choice for ASM Global in expanding our extensive global portfolio of over 350 venues, which will see us launching into the UK Midlands region for the first time.

“We look forward to bringing world-class concerts, entertainment and business events to Derby, in an innovative new venue, which is perfectly placed to benefit from the demonstrable growth in 3,000-4,000 capacity shows in the UK.

“We have been inspired by the vision shared for the city and the growth and opportunities for the East Midlands economy more broadly.

“Along with a busy concert and entertainment programme, the venue will attract a wide range of business events and provide a great meeting place and activation platform for the region’s world-leading industrial sectors.

“We applaud the ambition of St James Securities and Derby City Council in putting the new venue at the heart of what will be hugely important for the regeneration of Becketwell and the future growth of the city and region.

“We look forward to working with the council as long-term partners on the development of Derby as a destination, as we have done so successfully with city councils across the UK and globally.”

Councillor Holmes said: “It’s vital that we move forward to deliver a new venue as part of Derby’s recovery plan and for the city’s leisure and culture ambitions.

“By working with our private sector partners, we can do just that and bring a state-of-the-art entertainments and events venue to Derby.

“The new venue is an ambitious development that will also diversify and strengthen our local economy. It demonstrates confidence in the city to build back better and we look forward to the day when the venue will open its doors.”

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