Derby Market Place is to be transformed into an exciting venue for food and entertainment
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Derby Market Place is to be transformed into an exciting venue for food and entertainment

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Work will start within days on building the vibrant 330-person capacity ‘meeting and eating’ space where people will be able to consume produce purchased from local retailers.

The al-fresco venue will feature bookable chalets, outdoor tables and a performance area. An entrance will be formed between the mature trees near the Market Place waterfall sculpture and the site will be enclosed by colourful hoardings. It will be lit at night, have its own toilet facilities and be laid out in accordance with social distancing guidelines.

The area will open to the public on Saturday 25th July, and visitors will be able to reserve a table for up to six people either outside, or in one of the 30 chalets – through the website derbymarketplace.co.uk and then consume food that they have either purchased from city outlets beforehand, or order online from the venue and have delivered right to their tables.  A licensed bar will also be available for diners to purchase drinks to enjoy with their food.

The opening hours will be from 11.00am until 2.00pm Sunday through to Wednesday, and from 11,00am until 2.00pm, and 6.00pm until 9.00pm Thursday to Saturday.

Councillor Robin Wood Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism said the initiative was symbolic of the city’s determination to build back better following COVID-19.

“We are very aware that many within the hospitality and leisure sector have suffered incredibly because of the coronavirus crisis and the resulting lockdown. We also understand that many businesses don’t have sufficient space to trade effectively while observing the current health guidance.

“We desperately want to help these outlets and demonstrate that Derby is very much open to business with an exciting new venture that would not look out of place in somewhere like Camden or Covent Garden.”

The Derby Market Place initiative was the brainchild of the Derby Economic Recovery Task Force, made up of representatives from both public and private sectors formed to lead and drive forward Derby’s economic recovery from the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transportation said:

“A vibrant city centre is a priority for the Council and its partners as Derby looks ahead to our recovery from the impact of Covid-19.  That is why, together with partners, we have worked really hard to launch this al-fresco experience.

Whilst there may be some minor initial teething troubles due to how quickly this is being launched, the concept is one that absolutely has the potential to be expanded and developed over the coming months, putting Derby firmly back on the map.”

The initiative has received a massive welcome from businesses in the hospitality sector.  Annie, from Annie’s Burger Shack said:

“The more a city has to offer the better it is for both visitors and businesses alike.  It gives people the impetus to come out, and Derby offers all that and more.  I love this city.  The more diversity, the better reason to come out and try new things and new places.”

Craig Bunting, Co-founder and Marketing Director at BEAR added:

“We’re excited to be part of a number of business to bring Derby City Council’s vision for The Market Place dining Experience to life. Anything that promotes this part of the city and supports businesses, by driving footfall is always welcome. Delivered well, I believe the experience will add a great atmosphere to the area”

Last week it was announced that a new 3,500 capacity venue would be built at Becketwell on top of the plans for a new public square, hotel, offices, and apartments. The process of re-developing the former Assembly Rooms site has also started with the Council working with partners on ideas for new development opportunities that will contribute to Derby’s future prosperity. It’s envisaged that the development will complement the new vision for the Cathedral Quarter, including the historic Market Hall, the successful Quad offer and the refurbishment of the Guildhall.

More information will be made available through our social media channels in the next few days, and on the website derbymarketplace.co.uk

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