Pavilion hosts its first event

Sarah Burgess
Sarah Burgess

A LANDMARK building is due to open its doors once again after closing four years ago.

The Grand Pavilion, in Matlock Bath, is due to host its very first event this weekend under its new guise of an arts venue.

Jonathan Handley, Paul Arnold (back) and Martin Rooney (

Jonathan Handley, Paul Arnold (back) and Martin Rooney (

From Saturday to Tuesday the venue will host an exhibition for the Derbyshire Open Arts festival, featuring 11 artists, as well as music, dance and audio–visual displays.

The festival is a countywide project to display contemporary arts in unusual spaces all over Derbyshire, from cathedrals to village halls, free of charge to visitors.

The Grand Pavilion has the largest number of artists under one roof in the county.

In celebration of the Jubilee weekend, the Pavilion will be providing music, dance, poetry, storytelling and video to visitors, along with a display about the renovation, refreshments and a bar.

Exhibition organiser, Mark Crowfoot, said: “This is a tremendous showpiece for what the Grand Pavilion can do. We will offer visitors a whole range of arts, that you can look at, hear and watch.

“I hope that our venue will become the flagship for Derbyshire Open Arts in the future.”

An enormous amount of work has been done to get the Grand Pavilion ready for the event.

Grand Pavilion building officer, Dave Mowle, said: “This has been a tremendous commitment from people who really want to reopen the Pavilion and restore the venue to its central position in the Matlock area.

“Over 500 hours of time has been devoted to this by over 50 volunteers.

“We have done all the necessary work without having to spend any money on skips.

“All the surplus materials that we have taken from the building have been sold for scrap.

“We have actually made a profit from recycling old iron and wood.”

Grand Pavilion Ltd chairman, Gregor Macgregor, said; “When the proposal to host Derbyshire Open Arts was first made I had some doubts as to whether we could pull it off. Now with just a few days to go before the event, we have shown what hard work and good will can do.

“Thanks again to all those who have given time.

“We now have a fantastic venue that is attracting attention from all over the region.”

Andie Brazewell, the chairman of the friends group supporting the renovation of the Grand Pavilion said: “We are delighted to throw open the doors to the public for this amazing event over the Jubilee weekend, which will be completely free for everyone to enjoy.”