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Contracts signed for new Derby arena

Contracts have been signed giving the green light for construction work to commence on a new £45.8m (€54.5m/$59.9m) arena planned for the English city of Derby.

The terms have been agreed between Derby City Council, Leeds-based developers St James Securities and venue management and services company, ASM Global. In May, ASM further broadened its UK venue portfolio by being awarded a contract to manage and operate the new venue.

ASM has now entered into an unconditional agreement for lease with Derby City Council and St James Securities, which will allow construction work to proceed. ASM will work with St James Securities and the Council on the design development of the venue, located in Derby city centre.

The new 3,500-capacity entertainment and events venue forms phase two of the £200m Becketwell regeneration scheme, which is the most significant urban regeneration venture in the city for more than 30 years. Construction work is underway on phase one of the scheme, which includes 259 build to rent apartments.

The new performance venue will be owned by Derby City Council and leased to and operated by ASM, whose UK portfolio includes OVO Arena Wembley, AO Arena (Manchester), Utilita Arena (Newcastle), Bonus Arena (Hull), First Direct Arena (Leeds), Olympia London and OVO Hydro (Glasgow).

It is envisioned that the venue will offer a larger, more flexible space than the city centre has had in the past and will collaborate with and complement the activities of the existing Derby Arena. It will be a scalable space capable of staging a range of concerts, stand-up comedy, family shows, musical theatre, exhibitions, and business events.

The venue is projected to host over 200 cultural and commercial events each year and attract an additional 250,000 visitors to Derby. It is also expected to create over 200 new local jobs, generate more than £10m GVA (gross valued added) per year for the area, diversify the economy and increase levels of investment in surrounding areas of the city centre.

Demolition work has recently commenced, with construction work on the performance venue set to start in January 2023. Completion and handover to ASM Global has been set for late 2024.

Cllr Chris Poulter (left of picture), Leader of Derby City Council, said: “This is an exciting milestone in delivering The Becketwell Performance Venue. This new and flexible space is a key part of putting culture back into the heart of Derby.

“We are delighted to be moving on the next steps of this journey working together with long term partners ASM Global and St James Securities. This ambitious venue run by a world-leading operator will create hundreds of jobs, attract investment and generate millions of pounds each year for the city along with attracting new visitors and residents to Derby city centre.”

Tom Lynch (centre of picture), group commercial director and senior vice-president for Europe at ASM Global, added: “We’re delighted to have closed this exciting deal with Derby City Council and St James Securities to bring to market such an ambitious state of the art venue.

“ASM Global looks forward to building on the great success of our UK venue portfolio and leveraging our strength in venue programming and commercialisation, to further develop the cultural landscape in the Midlands and support the ongoing growth of the region’s economy.”

Image: Derby City Council