Fire-hit Derby Assembly Rooms 'could be demolished'

Fire damage to Assembly Rooms car park
Image caption The Assembly Rooms will remain shut for at least 18 months.

A Derby venue forced to close after a large fire in its car park could be demolished, the city council has said.

The Assembly Rooms will be shut for at least 18 months after an investigation revealed the extent of the damage was worse than first thought.

The council had previously said the venue would be closed for eight weeks following last month's blaze.

Customers who have tickets for cancelled shows will be reimbursed, the council said.

'Various options'

Chief executive Adam Wilkinson said: "The council is committed to a significant cultural facility in the city centre but due to the ongoing assessment of damage after the fire, it has become clear we cannot reopen the building as quickly as we would like.

"We are continuing to work through the various options open to us, based on either refurbishing or replacing the current building."

The fire started in the plant room on the roof of the car park on 14 March.

Events including a performance by dancer Anton du Beke on the night of the blaze and a booking for comedian Sarah Millican in May have been cancelled.

Others have been moved to other venues in the city. It is hoped an alternative venue will be found for the annual pantomime, the council said.

Image caption The fire started in the plant room on the roof of the car park

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