Dance centre reveals its ambitious plans to expand into leisure centre
DERBY'S dance centre Déda has ambitious expansion plans which would see it take up space at the Queen's Leisure Centre.
The centre in Cathedral Road will be left vacant when new facilities are built across the city and Déda wants to spend £400,000 on creating a new theatre and dance studio on the squash courts.
It is the second plan by an arts organisation to revamp a Cathedral Quarter building in recent weeks.
On Friday, the Telegraph reported that the former Metro cinema in Green Lane, which closed in 2008 following the opening of Quad in the Market Place, would be used by owner the University of Derby as rehearsal space for Derby Theatre.
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Déda is hoping to get Arts Council England support for its plans and has applied for a grant for £282,000 towards the overall cost.
Déda director Stephen Munn said: "The expansion will be an important part of the organisation's future development as part of our overall strategy to reduce our reliance on funding from the public purse.
"The expanded facilities would give us the capacity to develop a number of new and exciting areas. I believe that we have a strong case to attract the Arts Council England funding, which is a vital piece in the funding jigsaw."
The expanded centre would feature a new dance and production studio and conference facility connected to Déda's existing building in Chapel Street by a glass atrium.
The scheme would also allow for the existing theatre to be improved by expanding the stage area – increasing Déda's scope for staging larger-scale dance productions.
It would also be the base for a planned BA degree in dance, which is under discussion between Déda and the University of Derby.
Arts Council England is due to announce successful capital bids early next year.
Councillor Martin Repton, cabinet member for leisure and culture at Derby City Council, said: "The council is supportive of this project as it provides greater opportunities for people to take part in cultural activities and assists Déda in reaching its aspirations to be a nationally recognised dance centre."
The leisure centre and its sister centre at Moorways are due to be vacated when the council opens its new multi-use sports arena at Pride Park, complete with velodrome and netball courts, which is due to be ready by late 2014.
The Queen's and Moorways swimming pools, however, will remain open until a new Olympic-sized swimming pool is built at the Riverlights complex in Derby.
Detailed plans for that are yet to be approved, although the site has been earmarked.