Derby City Council has announced that the Guildhall Theatre, Derby will be closed temporarily for essential repairs to the roof. The closure was originally to have been to 31st January but this has now been extended to 30th September 2019, subject to a review in May. About 60 amateur and professional bookings will be affected.
This is a major blow for the amateur theatre groups who have shows booked in the Guildhall during the period of closure. It is also another setback for the cultural offer of Derby, given that the Assembly Rooms has now been closed for almost five years, and that venue is not expected to reopen until Autumn 2020 at the earliest.
Derby Arts and Theatre Association (DATA) represents a number of the amateur groups affected by the Guildhall closure and an urgent meeting with affected amateur organisations was held on 25 January to share concerns, issues and ideas and provide a forum for mutual support. The meeting agreed a number of actions to try to ameliorate the serious repercussions of the closure on amateur companies. A request has been made for a delegation from DATA to meet Councillor Alan Grimadell, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, and Peter Ireson, Head of Derby Live to raise some specific areas of concern.