Fire-hit Derby Assembly Rooms car park to reopen

Fire as Assembly Rooms car park Image copyright Simon Chiou
Image caption Thick, black plumes of smoke was visible for hours on the evening of 14 March

A Derby car park forced to close after a fire in March, is set to reopen next month but some businesses say they have seen a drop in trade.

The fire started in the plant room on the roof of the Assembly Rooms car park, situated at the Market Place, in the Cathedral Quarter.

A group representing businesses in the area said some had "noticed a downturn in their daytime economy".

The city council said it was aware traders were seeing a negative impact.

Paul Hurst, vice-chairman of the Cathedral Quarter Management Group which was set up to help businesses in the area, said footfall to the Market Hall and the art gallery QUAD in particular had dropped in the day even though some people were using other car parks.

'Negative impact'

"It's coming up to three months since the Assembly Rooms car park's been closed and it's going to have a negative impact, particularly to businesses near to it," he said.

"Traders are very much aware that people are going to other parts of the city and not the Cathedral Quarter."

Kathy Frain, from QUAD, based opposite the closed car park, said: "I don't think there are any other factors... there's probably been a 10% decrease in footfall and it's mainly in the daytime."

Tim Clegg, from Derby City Council, said: "We are aware of the impact the closure of the car park is having on traders.

"Work is being carried out and we aim to open the car park as soon as we can, provisionally the middle of next month."

Image caption Derby City Council said the Assembly Rooms car park should reopen in two weeks

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