200 jobs on the way as global operator named for new performance venue

How the new venue could look

A global producer of “entertainment experiences” is set to manage and operate the new 3,500 capacity performance venue at Becketwell Derby, which will be forward funded and owned by Derby City Council.

St James Securities, developer of the £200m Becketwell regeneration scheme, 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 being developed in Derby, after beating off competition from a series of other major interested parties.

The new venue which will be capable of staging concerts, stand-up comedy, family shows, musical theatre, conferences and exhibitions.

This announcement comes after the news that St James Securities have exchanged contracts with Derby City Council to forward-fund the project to the tune of £48m.

Derby City Council have 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 will remove the development and financial operating risk from the Council.

Tthe purpose-built venue will include a 3,500-capacity events auditorium, plus a smaller 400 capacity secondary space, and will enable Derby to attract a range of exciting events.

ASM Global’s portfolio includes arenas, convention centres and stadiums across five continents. In the UK, ASM’s collection includes AO Arena (Manchester), SSE Wembley Arena, first direct Arena (Leeds), Utilita Arena (Newcastle) and Bonus Arena (Hull), along with a number of theatres and smaller venues.

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, giving the city centre economy a significant boost. The scheme is set to generate more than £10m per year for the area, providing a massive stimulus to local businesses.

Construction work is set to commence shortly on phase one of the Becketwell scheme, which comprises of 259 one and two-bedroom apartments which will be built on the site of the former Debenhams store on Victoria Street, 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.

It is hoped the substantial levels of investment proposed at Becketwell will provide confidence for further new investment in surrounding areas of the city centre. More than 2,000 jobs are expected to be created by the development.

Paul Morris, development director of St James Securities said: “We are tremendously excited to be working with Derby City Council and ASM Global on this ambitious project, which will fill a significant gap in the city’s cultural landscape and bring an outstanding, modern performance venue to the city.

“Our aim has always been to create a whole new part of Derby city centre with its own distinct character and identity. For the world’s leading venue management and services company to come on-board to deliver this scheme is a real coup for the city and will be key to the future reinvigoration and repositioning of Derby city centre.

“ASM Global will help to inform the design, capacity and layout of the building and the mix of popular and mainstream shows, performances, and events.

“Our experienced team have a proven track record in delivering similar projects. The team will be led by IPW who have been involved in similar venue developments including Leeds, Hull, Swansea, Battersea, York, Glasgow, Gateshead, Copenhagen, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

“To see phases one and two coming forward in quick succession will provide huge confidence to investors and occupiers who are considering investing in and locating in Becketwell. We believe this is the beginning of an exciting renaissance of Derby city centre.”

Tom Lynch – group commercial director and senior vice president, Europe of ASM Global, said: “ASM Global are delighted to partner with St James Securities and Derby City Council on the launch of the new Becketwell Venue for the City of Derby. 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 entertainment, sports 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.

“We are committed to helping deliver world-class events and consumer experiences that will grow this amazing venue’s business and provide maximum value to all involved.

“The new venue will collaborate with and complement the activities of Derby Arena to provide the best possible events programme for Derby. The two venues will work together to ensure we can maximise the number of events that can come to Derby.

Councillor 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.”