Demolition confirmed for Derby Assembly Rooms

Published: 14 March 2024
Reporter: Steve Orme

Assembly Rooms: closed since 2014 Credit: Steve Orme
Artist’s impression: how the Market Place could look

Demolition of one of Derby’s major venues, the derelict 1970s Assembly Rooms, has been confirmed for autumn 2024—ten years after a fire in the plant room on top of its car park.

The 1,200-seat Assembly Rooms suffered extensive damage in 2014. Derby city council, which owns the building, estimated the cost of the fire and lost revenue during the first year it was closed at £5.5 million. A draft report concluded the fire was due to failings in the Assembly Rooms’ design and maintenance.

The council is now proposing to create a cultural quarter on the Market Place site containing leisure, commercial and community facilities. There will be a “multi-functional building, with spaces for meeting, working and creating alongside restaurant and commercial space”.

Councillor Nadine Peatfield, cabinet member for city centre, regeneration, culture and tourism, said, “after several unviable plans being put forward over the past decade, this administration is confident we can deliver on these plans for the citizens of Derby. We’re on a journey to transform Derby into a vibrant city centre with culture at its heart.”

A new £45 million, 3,500-capacity building known as the Becketwell Arena is being built on the site of the former Pink Coconut nightclub a few hundred yards away from the Market Place. It is due to open in 2025.

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