Stop the Demolition of Derby Assembly Rooms

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Derby Assembly rooms were built in 1971-6 to designs by Casson, Conder & Partners and the Borough’s Architectural Department. In March 2014 the adjacent car park was hit by a fire but the Assembly Rooms building remained intact.

Since the time of the fire, the undamaged building has remained closed even though insurance money has been paid out and the fire damaged car park reopened. The closure has deprived the city of a much-needed entertainment venue with many of the residents being forced to travel to see shows etc. that should have been available in the city centre.

Prior to the closure the building had just undergone refurbishment works and being of architectural merit worthy of statutory listing. However, it became clear soon after the fire that others had alternative plans for the site and with the misfortunate event creating the opportunity to put these plans into action. Fearful that an application for listed status would put these plans in jeopardy a Certificate of Immunity was obtained in May 2016.

Following public consultation that involved more than 1,000 people, it was decided that the venue should be demolished in 2020 and replaced with a new building in 2022. This new building is to cost in excess of 44 million and will require the residents of Derby to pay towards it with a 6% increase in their council tax.

It is great concern that such an important decision has been reached with only 1,000 people being consulted when Derby has a population of over 250,000.

The city needs an entertainment venue now and not in four years’ time and with so many other important services needing funding do we really need to spend money to replace a building that has proven itself to be a fantastic venue for many years.

We have a building of architectural importance, that serves a purpose and could be re-opened for far less than the millions it is going to cost to replace and without the need for a 6% increase in council tax.

Let's stop the demolition, get this building up and running to give the people of Derby their entertainment venue back. Let's bring people back to Derby from further afield and make the Market Place alive again.