Green Lane House fantastic external facade complete

The external façade of Green Lane House on Green Lane is now complete. The project was started in 2018 and has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The spectacular external façade was unveiled earlier this month. The restoration has been painstakingly carried out to a very high quality and highlights the fantastic architectural heritage in this part of Derby.

As well as Green Lane House, shop front restoration work currently underway on Green Lane is now helping to lift this area of St Peter’s Quarter. The Hippodrome is located diagonally opposite Green Lane House and its restoration is a key next step for this area.

Joan Travis
Derby Hippodrome Restoration Trust's 8th AGM

Derby Hippodrome Restoration Trust will hold its EIGHTH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) of the TRUST is to be held at 7.30 pm on TUESDAY 16TH JULY 2019 at ST. MARY'S PARISH CENTRE, DARLEY LANE, DERBY DE1 3AX

FOLLOWING THE AGM Tommy Harrison, an architectural post graduate student at Derby University, will give a presentation on the regeneration of Becketwell area of Derby. This is an alternative option to the plans recently published by the Derby City Council. It incorporates the Hippodrome with the extended stage and fly tower, an additional floor above the auditorium ceiling and a redesigned front of house.

Joan Travis
Derby currently well behind in theatre provision

The Derby Hippodrome Restoration Trust has conducted a piece of work to establish how Derby compares to other cities in terms of number of theatre seats taking into account the local population.

The graph in this article compares Derby to 8 other towns and cities across the UK, it shows the number of theatre seats in 2019 per 1000 people in the local population. In Derby’s case the theatre seats include Derby Theatre and the Guildhall Theatre but also assumes the Assembly rooms are reopened.

As the graph shows, even if the Assembly Rooms were reopened Derby still falls well behind other cities on number of theatre seats compared to the local population. Since the Assembly Rooms and the Guildhall are currently out of action that would actually bring this metric down to just over 2 theatre seats per 1000 people.

The population figures are based on the 2011 census and since Derby’s population has increased rapidly in the last 7 years (and increased relative to many other UK cities) the metric for Derby is in fact overly generous.

However, the shaded bars on top of Derby’s columns show what would happen if the Hippodrome was restored. In this scenario Derby’s number of theatre seats per head of population would return to a very respectable level and would be comparable with Nottingham for example.

In the real world, this would have a noticeable effect. The people of Derby would have a much greater choice of live entertainment each week of the year and it would give greater capacity for amateur groups to practice and perform. The restoration of the Hippodrome (Derby’s largest theatre) would increase the footfall in the city centre especially boosting Derby’s night time economy.

Number of theatre seats.png

Joan Travis
The Siddiquis voice their support for Derby Hippodrome

This week, TV stars and local celebrities, the Siddiqui family gave the Derby Hippodrome restoration project their backing. Father Sid and sons Baasit and Umar are regular contributors of Channel 4’s “Gogglebox” programme, entertaining millions across the UK with their quick-witted commentary on the week’s television viewing.

They are very proud of their home City of Derby and want to see it thrive, but like many others have recognised that Derby hasn’t got anywhere near enough theatres given it has a population of over a quarter of a million people plus the many thousands living in the immediate area.

As the Siddiquis explained “It would be great to have the Derby Hippodrome back up and running. Obviously, television is great but our city would definitely benefit from having more theatres”

The Siddiquis would like to encourage more people in Derby to support the current push to restore the Hippodrome as it would clearly have such a big positive impact on St Peter’s Quarter and the wider city Centre; pulling more people into the city centre and helping to Derby to survive the pressures seen on every British high street.

A spokesperson for Derby Hippodrome Restoration Trust said “We are looking forward to seeing people’s jaws drop if we can pull this off. I’m not sure the people of Derby generally realise that in 2019 we are genuinely getting very close to actually being able to restore the theatre with the help of the HLF. We just need the public to give us a financial leg up. We’ve been greatly encouraged by the generosity of our donors so far who have given a lot for the sake of everyone who calls Derby home”

If you would like to join the Siddiquis in supporting the project please donate to the current Crowdfunding Appeal, the link is shown below.

Joan Travis
Gwen Taylor records video message for people of Derby

Gwen Taylor, the patron of the Derby Hippodrome Restoration Trust recorded a video this weekend to encourage people to support the Hippodrome Crowdfunding Campaign. Gwen, who regularly tours the country performing on stage is also a well loved television actor, she has stared in Duty Free, Heartbeat, Coronation Street, A Bit of a Do, Monty Python's Life of Brian and The Lady in the Van. In this video she explains how the Derby Hippodrome inspired her career and how she wants this very special theatre to inspire future generations of actors.

The video can be found on our YouTube Channel…

Gwen has often spoken on this topic in the past. As a child she used to come to pantomimes at the Derby Hippodrome. She remembers with relish the electric atmosphere of the theatre when all three tiers of the auditorium were packed with families who has come to be entertained. It was this atmosphere which gave Gwen an interest in the theatres generally.

Gwen said “whilst digital entertainment has its place, it simply doesn’t replace theatre. Theatres bring communities together, audiences experience the same entertainment simultaneously and build up a connection with those around them. Theatres draw people into city centres and make an area thrive”.

Joan Travis