Latest News | 27 July 2021

Plans lodged for new Becketwell performance venue

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Developers St James Securities has submitted a full planning application to Derby City Council for a new 3,500 capacity entertainment and events venue at Becketwell.

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

The purpose-built venue will be a fully flexible, scalable space capable of staging concerts, stand-up comedy, family shows, musical theatre, conferences, and exhibitions.

The application follows an extensive public consultation, the results of which showed “overwhelming” support for the project.

Oliver Quarmby, managing director of St James Securities, 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.”

Councillor Matthew Holmes, deputy leader at the city council, said: “This marks another important milestone in Derby’s recovery plan and culture-led regeneration. The city is turning a corner and in the not-too-distant future, we will have a state-of-the-art events and entertainment venue.”

The main auditorium at the new venue will have a maximum (seated and standing) capacity of 3,500 and offer a range of different event configurations, including a fully seated layout for up to 2,100.

Along with a busy concert and entertainment programme, the venue also aims to attract a wide range of business events.

It aims to offer a significantly larger, more flexible space than the city has had in the past and will collaborate with and complement the activities of Derby Arena to provide the best possible events programme for the city.

The building will be owned by Derby City Council and run by operator ASM Global, the world’s leading provider of entertainment, sports, and exhibition experiences around the world.

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

It is also expected to create over 200 new local jobs, generate more than £10 million per year for the area and increase levels of investment in surrounding areas of the city centre.

The planning application is set to be considered at the October meeting of the Derby City Council planning committee.

It will be accompanied by a range of technical documents covering matters such as traffic generation and car parking, noise, flood risk and ecology.

Subject to planning consent being granted, work on the performance venue is set to commence early next year, with handover to the operator in 2024.

Mr Quarmby said: “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.”

Work is already underway on phase one of the Becketwell scheme, which includes the construction of 259 build-to-rent apartments on the site of the former Debenhams store, in Victoria Street and a new public square, with completion by spring 2023.

Future planned phases of the scheme include a range of other complementary uses of the site including up to 25,000 square metres of grade A offices and commercial space, a hotel and a multi-storey car park.

Mr Quarmby added: “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.”

Councillor Holmes said: “The progress made shows that Derby is serious about building back better, levelling up and securing City of Culture status.

“Our local economy will be strengthened and diversified by this ambitious venue. It will be a great addition to Derby as a destination and support local businesses.”

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