Plans for Guildhall Theatre in Derby go forward

Plans for Guildhall Theatre in Derby go forward

Plans to restore Derby’s Guildhall Theatre and enhance Derby Theatre are set to move forward, as part of a major investment putting culture at the heart of the city.

Derby City Council’s Cabinet will agree terms for use of £20 million Government Levelling Up Funding allocated to Derby. The funding will be split evenly between the Guildhall Theatre and Derby Theatre. Combined the two projects will generate an additional £2.7m per year for the local economy.

A partnership agreement has been drawn up by the two organisations to agree details of how the funding will be spent, with the Council’s Cabinet set to agree the terms of the agreement next week. The £10m allocated to the Guildhall Theatre will contribute to the restoration of the Grade II listed building to its former glory and once again welcome audiences.

Restoration plans for the Guildhall Theatre will include a new front-of-house experience with an enhanced foyer as well as a new ground floor cafe and box office opening onto the Market Place. The auditorium will also be remodelled to increase the seating capacity to around 280.

Back of house facilities will also be renovated to make the venue more accessible, other improvements include refurbished dressing rooms and the installation of a new service lift. A new courtyard will also be included in the works, adjacent to Derby’s historic Market Hall, which is due to re-open in the spring of 2025 following major renovations.

Councillor Nadine Peatfield, Deputy Leader of Derby City Council and Cabinet Member for City Centre, Regeneration, Culture and Tourism, said: “By bringing the Guildhall Theatre back into use, we can not only restore one of our historic buildings but create more space for community-led arts groups to perform right in Derby’s cultural heart.

“We’re on a mission to put culture at the heart of our city, bringing pride to our high streets, and attracting further investment into the city. Change is coming and what is planned for Derby’s Market Place is truly exciting.”

Derby Theatre’s £10 million allocation will enable the Theatre and the University of Derby to complete phase one of its New Horizons project, delivering a state-of-the-art new accessible studio theatre and Learning and Research Hub.

The Learning and Research Hub will allow the Theatre and University to develop further the undergraduate and postgraduate offer onsite in a professional theatre continuing to make the most of and enhance the unique connection between students, professional artists, participants and audiences.

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