ONE of the area’s most prominent buildings is set to undergo a major renovation project – and the Mercury was invited for a sneak peek behind the scenes.
Editor Amanda Hatfield and reporter Julia Rodgerson took a tour around the Grand Pavilion in Matlock Bath which is to be transformed in to a community hub.
The building was taken over by a group of residents around a year ago which will oversee the £2.5 million renovation and restoration plan, and then run the building as a Charitable Trust.
As these photographs show the group is faced with a huge challenge. The building is in a major state of disrepair but group leader Gregor Macgregor is hopeful that all the work will be completed within four years.
Once an entertainment hotspot for the area, the Pavilion is now eerily quiet, with loose cables hanging from the ceiling, floorboards missing, dusty rooms and stripped walls.
It is hard to imagine this building once hosted some of the biggest names in pop as well as glamorous competitions such as Miss Derbyshire.
Its years as a nightclub are not quite forgotten however, as remnants of its colourful past lurk around every corner. A glitzy top is hung over a railing by the stage, mobile numbers scribbled on pieces of paper litter the bar and old flyers remind us of the former drinks offers that made the Pav and Brody’s a popular – if controversial venue.
And fans of the former club could get a chance to buy a piece of its history as signs advertising The Pav, Brody’s, Shooter Bar and Bunkers Bar are stored with other memorabilia which Mr Macgregor said may be auctioned off in the future.
The project may seem daunting but Mr Macgregor said if they could secure funding work would start soon to transform the shabby ballroom into a 400-seat hall for use 364 days a year, by the community as well as for shows and concerts.
Despite the Pavilion’s checkered and varied history – which has seen the building used for a wide range of activities from ice skating to wrestling and a nightclub – original architectural features have been retained and are set to be extensive refurbished.
Intricately carved, decorative molding has survived in tact around the stage and artists impressions show us how the ballroom will look when restored to its former glory – and the building will once again live up to its title as the Grand Pavilion.