Derby Quad thrown an important lifeline

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The loan is expected to be paid back in the future

Council leaders in Derby have backed a proposal to give one of the city’s biggest cultural venues a £150,000 loan to help it through the cost of living crisis.

Labour leaders approved the request for the six-figure loan to the Quad at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday - as it battles a difficult time with fewer people entering the doors.

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Bosses of the Quad said the venue’s financial struggles are partly due to reduced footfall because of the closures of the nearby Market Hall, the Guildhall and the Assembly Rooms. 

Other factors include rising energy costs - but mainly the impact of the cost of living crisis which is said to be putting people off attending cultural events.

The £150,000 loan will be used “to support cash flow” over the coming years. 

At the cabinet meeting, councillors insisted the money being borrowed was a loan and is expected to be paid back in the future.

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Derby city centre cabinet member Nadine Peatfield said: “Quad provide an absolutely vital service to this city and they are a cornerstone of our cultural offering. We as a full council have to accept the part we have played over the last 10 years in the change of footfall for that area, which obviously has had a knock-on effect.

“I think it is only right and proper that we help our partners in their time of need. We know that in better times to come, hopefully shortly next year, they will repay us and the city back.”

Cost of living cabinet member Paul Hezelgrave added: “The socioeconomic implications talks about the outreach work which Quad does. It (the report) says Quad works with other cultural organisations to deliver creative activity for young people in our communities. That’s really important, isn’t it. Echoing yet again what our young people have gone through (in recent years) and the absolute necessity for them to be able to engage in cultural activities in groups other and wider than their friends. It’s a really important thing that we’re doing.”

And fellow cabinet member Alison Martin said: “We know we have difficulties specific to Derby in terms of the city centre and the footfall, but I’m convinced in this instance this is just part of a general phenomenon. I’m convinced those audiences will pick up.

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“Quad is not like a commercial cinema. It shows a lot more experimental (activities), art, films and supports the basic infrastructure for film-making and other creative activities.”

The website has a target of £30,000 to allow bosses to pay for vital equipment and refurbishment projects.

A statement on the page said: “Without a comprehensive refurbishment, we cannot continue to provide creative arts, cinema and community activities for Derby and beyond. We are working hard behind the scenes to deliver the quality of experience you expect from Quad, but in the meantime we are reaching out for help to ease us through this period of challenge and change. Please help us to keep our doors open to everyone.”

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