Latest News | 21 February 2024

Theatre of dreams – ABE hears venue’s exciting plans

Derby Theatre
University of Derby
Derby City Council
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For many years now, Derby Theatre has provided the setting for Marketing Derby’s Annual Business Event – and it is a venue with an exciting future ahead, according to chief executive Sarah Brigham.

Towards the end of last year, Derby City Council confirmed that £20 million of Levelling Up cash originally earmarked for the former Assembly Rooms would be redirected to revamp Derby Theatre and the Guildhall Theatre.

The cash has been divided equally between the two venues, meaning that Derby Theatre, which is owned by the University of Derby, has received £10 million.

And as Sarah explained at the ABE, the cash is kick-starting some big ambitions to transform the theatre.

In November, it launched a drive to raise further cash to fund major plans to refurbish the venue – and enhance its facilities, including the addition of a brand-new studio theatre.

However, the overall cost of the redevelopment will need additional investment.

To raise that extra cash, it launched a campaign called Derby Theatre: New Horizons.

Sarah, who is also artistic director at Derby Theatre, said: “When we talk about growing our businesses, developing our economy and improving the lives of our citizens, moving forward, creativity and the arts – and buildings like this one – suddenly become quite important.

“But we are a charity. The thing that sets us apart from others is what we do in the community. We are igniting our communities and making Derby a better place.

“Here at Derby Theatre, we are bursting at the seams. This new investment in our infrastructure is vital – it will create a better audience experience, new improved learning and rehearsal spaces and a new performance space too.

“£10 million for us a great start – but we have bigger ambitions. What we need is partnerships and patronage – we want you to join us in building new horizons for this city.

“Help us amplify what we do, not just on our stages but what we do in our community.”

To find out more about the New Horizons campaign and make a donation visit

To find out more about the different ways you can support the theatre, contact executive director Iain Hayes or head of development Laura Winson at

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