Friday 12 February 2010


A close next door neighbour to the Derby Guildhall is a building about as far removed from it's historic neighbour as could be possible. This is QUAD.

There was a bit of, what we in Derby would describe as, a 'muck up' concerning the land on which QUAD was eventually built. It is a prime location and, when the land was first earmarked for development, was intended to be a hotel. Construction began, the foundations were dug out and then it all stopped! We had a hole! A securely fenced in hole, but nevertheless, a hole! And a hole it remained for quite some time.

Eventually, the Council stepped in, filled in the hole and laid out a small area of gardens housing two memorials; the Korean War Memorial and a memorial to Sir Peter Hilton, a 2nd world war hero who became Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire (1978-1994).

Although the Gardens were visited by ex-servicemen honouring fallen comrades, they were rather isolated, with a busy road to one side and the blank backs of buildings to another. As a result, they were under-used and, once again the Council intervened, revealing plans for a brand new multimedia centre intended to put Derby firmly on the cultural map. There was a bit of a stink, compromises had to be made, but eventually, in September 2008, QUAD came into being.

I haven't been in here yet, but people that I know who have, say it was worth every bit of the fuss. It certainly looks impressive from the outside and, if it's website is to be believed, what goes on inside is a bit special too, with a Cinema dedicated to independent and world films, an art Gallery, a Cafe-Bar and an area set aside for Workshops focussing on all kinds of creative media.

I admitted that I haven't been in here yet... I'm thinking it's time I put that right!

No comments:

Post a Comment