Fire-hit Derby Assembly Rooms refurbishment could cost £35m

Fire damage to Assembly Rooms car park
Image caption A major refurbishment is one of three options for the site

A major refurbishment of Derby's Assembly Rooms which was shut after a major fire could cost up to £35m, a senior councillor has said.

After the large fire broke out in the plant room on the roof of the car park in March, the city council said the venue would have to shut for 18 months.

The building was water and smoke damaged and the council is still negotiating a payout with its insurers.

The council is also considering a basic refurbishment or knocking it down.

'Ball-park figure'

Alison Martin, cabinet member for leisure and culture at the council, said the building had "served the people of Derby well" but "was not fit for purpose".

"My own personal preference would be a major refurb of the Assembly Rooms on the current site," she said.

"But we only have ball-park figures at the moment - possibly £30m to £35m."

The council estimates it would cost between £80m and £100m to rebuild the venue from scratch.

The fire left the venue without air conditioning, heating or water.

Alternative venues for some performances have been found but earlier this month it was revealed Derby's annual pantomime - held at the Assembly Rooms - would have to be cancelled.

The car park reopened in June.

Image caption The fire was caused by overheated machinery in an air conditioning unit on the roof of the car park

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