Steve Dunning 0

A New Theatre for Derby

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This petition calls for urgent action to provide a theatre in Derby, United Kingdom. It is being promoted by Derby New Theatre Association. Derby has aspirations to be a top twenty city and there has even been a suggestion that the city should enter for the City of Culture in the UK. We applaud this aspiration and we urge Derby City Council to be bold enough to take the necessary steps to achieve that aim. Boldness is needed as there are currently some major deficiencies in the performing arts facilities available in the city. The Derby Playhouse is unlikely to be opened as a theatre again and the Assembly Rooms struggles to meet the needs of theatre productions. Three years ago a report commissioned by the City Council and Arts Council England, described it as "not fit for purpose for a number of the activities that it houses and barely fit for purpose for the remainder of its programme." The only theatre in the city centre, the Guildhall, is very small and, although it has an attractive auditorium, its stage and backstage facilities are appalling. Derby desperately needs a new theatre to display the work of the very talented local professional and amateur groups to a population that has been used to high quality theatre. The Arts Council England have endorsed the quality of Derby LIVE by promising it the funding it used to give to the Playhouse but, with the current lack of facilities, that grant is likely to be lost. The community groups in Derby probably represent the best in amateur theatre to be found in any similar sized city but they are being driven out of town, or being lost entirely, due to lack of affordable venues. So what is the way forward First, the City Council and other decision-makers should plan to create a new theatre in Derby. There are two options: find a new site and build from new or find an old building that can be restored or converted. In fact there is just such a building, an old theatre, currently being wantonly destroyed by its owner: this is the Grade II listed building, the Hippodrome in Green Lane. Despite the major destruction wrought on it early last year, it is still possible to restore it at much less expense than a new theatre build. In fact, the restoration could be carried out in phases so as to minimise the initial costs. In order to achieve this, the Council should act on its statutory obligations to protect and preserve its historic inheritance rather than giving way to a determined developer who is not interested in the city's past. SIGN OUR PETITION TO SHOW THAT YOU CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THEATRE IN DERBY.


Derby New Theatre Association was formed a few years ago with the aim of establishing a community theatre in Derby. DNTA is a Registered Charity No. 1112273. Membership is open to individuals and community theatre groups.
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