Latest News | 23 February 2022

Illuminating project will light up city’s landmark buildings

Derby Museums Trust
The National Trust
QUAD Derby
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Plans by QUAD to light up landmark buildings across Derby city centre has been boosted after receiving funding from Derby City Council.

The arts centre, based in Derby Market Place, has won £50,000 from the city council’s Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) Vibrancy Fund for the project.

With the funding TECH:SQUAD, QUAD’s technical team, has bought three high definition 20,000 lumens projectors to light up city centre buildings.

It is also buying smaller projectors and lenses to use for displays, such as lighting the frontages of historic shop buildings.

The team has built up expertise in projected light displays over a number of years, working with the likes of The National Trust and Derby Museums.

However, each time this has involved hiring in expensive projectors, adding to the cost.

Now TECH:SQUAD own its projectors, partners in the city will be able to use them with QUAD’s support in developing the content and operating them.

The team at QUAD is already working with Derbion, which has put additional funding into the project to produce animated displays, including fireworks, on the side of the shopping centre.

Trials for the new equipment also took place in the run up to Christmas, with festive illuminations on Derbion and snowfall projected onto the front of the Council House for the Christmas lights switch on event.

Derby Cathedral tower is another location where there are plans to use the projectors.

Dr Alex Rock, head of technical and commercial services at QUAD, said: “TECH:SQUAD has had a vision to purchase these projectors for the city of Derby since 2019, and the ARG funding alongside support from Derbion has facilitated that.

“What this now means is that the city of Derby, at low cost, can use projection mapping to highlight its key landmarks, bringing vibrancy to the city and spectacular light shows to the public.”

Adam Tamsett, general manager at Derbion, said: “Derbion is proud to be working alongside Derby City Council and Derby QUAD on the illuminations on the exterior of the centre.

“The projections were live throughout December, helping to spread cheer throughout the festive period and we look forward to continuing to work together on the project.”

The aim of the ARG Vibrancy Fund is to support projects that will help bring footfall back into the city centre, making it a more attractive place to be while local businesses and the city economy recover from the impact of Covid.

So far, the pot of £250,000 has funded around 11 projects.

Councillor Ross McCristal, the city council’s cabinet member for leisure, culture, tourism and wellbeing, said: “This funding for QUAD will make vibrant, high-quality lighting projections possible for our partners across the city as we all work to find ways to bring people back to the city centre.

“It’s this kind of working which is at the heart of our bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.

“It’s a good example of how our ARG Vibrancy Fund can be used to good effect, although the real winners will be visitors to Derby who will experience some fantastic light shows that are events in themselves.”

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