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First look at DMU's stunning new events centre

This is the first look inside The Venue@DMU - a stunning new high-end events centre which is only days from completion.

These images show, for the first time, the total transformation, both inside and out, of what used to be the John Sandford Sports Centre, in Western Boulevard, which stands adjacent to the university's QEII Leisure Centre.

The £5 million project was announced in December and since then, work has progressed rapidly.  Called The Venue@DMU, the new building will be opened up to DMU freshers for the first time at their matriculation ceremonies in the final week of September.


It will also be home to new-look graduation ceremonies from January next year, bringing the capstone celebrations of each student's years of hard work to only a stone's throw from the buildings in which that work was achieved.

The Venue@DMU will also be used to host conferences, exams, performing arts rehearsals and larger events such as jobs fairs, private parties and weddings.

The main hall is wooden-floored, with high-tech lighting and sound equipment. Along one wall a set of motorised Bleacher-style seating can retract into the wall to give more flooring space.


Upstairs there are a series of breakout and meeting rooms and a kitchen which could be used to hold away days for DMU staff and booked for other meetings and presentations.

The first real use of The Venue will be to host this year's matriculation ceremonies, to welcome new students to DMU on September 28, 29 and 30.


Umesh Desai, deputy director of DMU's Estates Department, said The Venue would be a real asset to the university.

He said: "Although we have several lecture theatres and impressive buildings which can host events on our campus, DMU has really been shouting out for something on this scale.

"We are at the moment putting the finishing touches to the building, installing furniture, getting it fully ready.

"Primarily, The Venue will be for the use of DMU and its students but we will also take private bookings, for weddings and conferences and so on - we already have some interest. In this way it will also be of benefit to the wider community."

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As well as the interior transformation, the outside of the building has also been reworked, clad in wood panelling and featuring a new entrance.

The money for the work came from the budget already set aside for the £136 million Campus Transformation Project, which includes the building of a stunning new home for the university's schools of Arts, Architecture and Design - which includes Fashion and Textiles, at the heart of the campus.

Speaking earlier this year, DMU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Collop said he was excited to see graduations being held on campus.

He said: "Bringing the ceremonies home to the place where our graduates worked hard, and played hard, makes perfect sense and it means we can ensure a campus where lifetime memories and friendships were formed becomes an important part of the celebrations."

Posted on Wednesday 16th September 2015

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