ASM Global lands contract for new Derby arena

ASM Global has further broadened its UK venue portfolio by being awarded a contract to manage and operate a new arena planned for the English city of Derby.

St James Securities, developers of the £200m (€231.6m/$283.2m) Becketwell regeneration scheme where the venue will be located, and Derby City Council have announced that ASM Global has been awarded preferred bidder status to manage, operate and programme the new entertainment and conference venue.

ASM has secured the contract following a competitive tender process. The new venue aims to be a fully flexible, scalable space capable of staging concerts, stand-up comedy, family shows, musical theatre, conferences, and exhibitions.

The announcement coincides with the news that St James Securities have exchanged contracts with Derby City Council to forward-fund the project. Derby City Council has assisted with land assembly for the development and St James Securities will deliver the performance venue to the Council with ASM Global to sign a 30-year lease, which intends to remove the development and financial operating risk from the Council.

The purpose-built venue will include a 3,500-capacity events auditorium, plus a smaller 400 capacity secondary space. It is projected that the venue will host over 200 cultural and commercial events each year and attract an additional 250,000 visitors to Derby.

Over 200 new local jobs are expected to be created, while the scheme is set to generate more than £10m per year for the area. Construction work is set to commence shortly on phase one of the Becketwell scheme, which comprises of 259 one and two-bedroom apartments, and a new public square, with completion by Spring 2023. Work on the performance venue is set to commence in early 2022, with handover to the operator in 2024.

The new venue will collaborate with and complement the activities of Derby Arena, which opened in 2015, in an effort to provide the best possible events programme for the city. Cllr Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader of Derby City Council, said: “It’s vital that we move forward to deliver a new venue as part of Derby’s recovery plan and for the city’s leisure and culture ambitions.

“By working with our private sector partners, we can do just that and bring a state of the art entertainments and events venue to Derby. ASM Global are world leading venue operators with a proven track record, so we are delighted to be teaming up with them and St James Securities for this project. They have the proven ability to bring the very best in entertainment and events to Derby, something that is long overdue.

“The new venue is an ambitious development that will also diversify and strengthen our local economy. It demonstrates confidence in the city to build back better and we look forward to the day when the venue will open its doors.”

In the UK, ASM’s portfolio includes AO Arena (Manchester), SSE Wembley Arena (London), First Direct Arena (Leeds), Utilita Arena (Newcastle) and Bonus Arena (Hull), along with a number of theatres and smaller venues. ASM Global last month entered the Italian market for the first time after being selected to oversee the development and running of the new 6,000-seat Cantù basketball arena.

Tom Lynch, group commercial director and senior vice-president in Europe for ASM Global, said: “The city has a rich history of events and culture, and Derby represented an obvious choice for ASM Global in expanding our extensive global portfolio of over 350 venues, which will see us launching into the UK Midlands region for the first time.

“We look forward to bringing world class concerts, entertainment and business events to Derby, in an innovative new venue which is perfectly placed to benefit from the demonstrable growth in 3,000-4,000 capacity shows in the UK.

“We have been inspired by the vision shared for the city, and the growth and opportunities for the East Midlands economy more broadly. Along with a busy concert and entertainment programme, the venue will attract a wide range of business events and provide a great meeting place and activation platform for the region’s world-leading industrial sectors.

“We applaud the ambition of St James Securities and Derby City Council in putting the new venue at the heart of what will be hugely important for the regeneration of Becketwell and the future growth of the city and region. We look forward to working with the Council as long-term partners on the development of Derby as a destination, as we have done so successfully with City Councils across the UK and globally.”

Image: Derby City Council