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Breaking new ground in Doncaster

A special ground breaking ceremony took place on Tuesday 11 October to mark construction work starting on the next stage of Muse Developments' Doncaster CCQ scheme - the new £20m performance venue.

Muse regional director, Dan Needham, was joined by Mayor of Doncaster Peter Davies, Vinci Construction, the Arts Council England, members of the Little Theatre’s Youth Theatre, young dancers from local dance groups and members of the Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra's junior band to break the first piece of ground at the new performance venue. The orchestra also performed at the ceremony.

Dan said: “The Doncaster CCQ scheme is really coming together with great progress being made at the civic offices and the launch of the Civic Quarter car park.  It’s great to see the next piece of the jigsaw, the new performance venue, now beginning to take shape.

Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, said: “This is an historic moment for Doncaster. With its numerous performance spaces and world class facilities the new performance venue will be another big attraction our residents and visitors to the town can benefit from. It will certainly put the culture into the town’s new Civic and Cultural Quarter and promises to be one of the most talked about new venues in the country.”

Designed by specialist theatre architects, Arts Team RHWL, the venue has a modern design with large expanses of glazing allowing people to see inside. This gives it a warm and welcoming feel. The focal point of the 5,250 sqm building is the copper clad main entrance that leads visitors into the venue from Doncaster’s first civic square.

Inside it features a 620 seat theatre with fly tower and the latest technology to accommodate touring shows, a 200 seated or 400 standing flexible space ideal for live music and smaller productions, modern dance and drama studios, educational and rehearsal spaces that double up as meeting and conference rooms, a light and spacious foyer and box office area and a lively café bar which enjoys uninterrupted views out on to the new public square.

As well as bringing new arts and entertainment to the town, the venue is an important part of the new £300m Civic and Cultural Quarter (CCQ) that intends to regenerate the Waterdale area of the town centre.

Work on the CCQ began in November 2010 and good progress is being made. Construction of the new civic offices has reached the top floor, a new route for motorists around the area is operational, a much improved Civic Quarter Car Park has opened following its multi-million pound refurbishment and work to build the civic square and other public areas is well under way.