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Christmas panto cancelled due to Assembly Rooms fire

This year's traditional Christmas panto in Derby has been cancelled after a blaze forced the Assembly Rooms venue to shut down.

The Assembly Rooms in the city centre was hit by a fire which broke out in the car park in March.

The Assembly Rooms in Derby city centre was hit by a fire in March
The Assembly Rooms in Derby city centre was hit by a fire in March Credit: Derby City Council

Council leisure chief Councillor Alison Martin said a programme of other events would be held to ensure people were still able to immerse themselves in festive fun.

The council has worked hard to investigate a number of options for staging the pantomime in the city however, unfortunately at least for this year’s event we have not been able to identify a solution which would meet our audience’s expectations and be logistically and financially viable.

It is of course disappointing that we have not been able to stage the pantomime this year, however I’m confident that Christmas will go on in Derby.

– Councillor Alison Martin, Derbyshire City Council
A number of shows have had to be cancelled after the fire
A number of shows have had to be cancelled after the fire Credit: Makinder Chahal

Among the activities planned for the holiday season are the ice rink and arts and craft fair in Market Place, while the Guildhall Theatre will stage performances of Naughty Meg and the Christmas Elves, plus many more.

Almost 1,000 new homes to be built in the East Midlands

Almost 1,000 new affordable homes will be built in the East Midlands over the next three years, thanks to a £21.3 million cash injection from the government.

The grant adds to £200m already raised by the Quantum Consortium - a group of five housing developers in the region - to build a total of 980 new houses.

Hundreds of affordable homes will be built in the East Midlands over the next three-years
Hundreds of affordable homes will be built in the East Midlands over the next three-years Credit: PA

It comes as part of efforts by the Homes and Communities Agency to tackle the national housing shortage.

The Midlands has been given the biggest grant outside of London.

Jim Patman, development director at Consortium member emh group, said:

We have a range of schemes in the pipeline – from urban brownfield sites and schemes which will enable people to continue living in rural communities, to specialist accommodation for older people and people with disabilities.

Every scheme will provide a significant contribution to meeting the growing need for affordable homes.

– Jim Patman, emh group


Appeal to identify cyclist killed in crash with car

A cyclist has died after being hit by a car in Derbyshire today.

Police are now appealing for help to identify the man, who was travelling along the A61 Dronfield by-pass near Bowshaw Island, heading in the Chesterfield, when he was hit at around 3.20pm.

The man was taken to Northern General Hospital in Sheffield suffering from serious head injuries, but died shortly after 8.30pm this evening.

The stretch of the A61 where the crash happened
The stretch of the A61 where the crash happened Credit: Google Maps

Officers want to hear from anyone who may be unsure of the whereabouts of a friend or family member who went out for a bike ride today and has not returned as expected.

He is white, around 55 years old and between 5ft 6ins and 5ft 8ins tall. He has short grey hair and a small scar on his abdomen, and was wearing black lycra shorts and red cycling shoes.

The bike was a Carrera TDF road racing bike with a black and yellow frame.

Anyone who knows who he might be is asked to call Derbyshire Police on 101.

Pensioner suffers serious burns in flat fire

A pensioner has been badly burned in a flat fire in Birmingham this afternoon.

The man, in his 80s, was found suffering smoke inhalation and serious burns to his arm and top of his at the home in Old Brookside, Stechford, at around 4.35pm.

The man, in his 80s, suffered smoke inhalation and serious burns
The man, in his 80s, suffered smoke inhalation and serious burns Credit: West Midlands Ambulance Service

He was taken to Heartlands Hospital for emergency treatment.

A second man suffered multiple minor injuries breaking into the building to help rescue him, but did not need hospital treatment.

A woman who lived in the property above was treated for shock and was then discharged.

Family of murdered young father pay tribute after killer jailed for life

The family of a young father murdered by his partner's ex have paid tribute to the "happy, thoughtful and hard-working" man described as "everybody's hero".

Matthew Dunn, aged 23, was killed at his home in Factory Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire, by James Burton in January.

Matthew Dunn
Matthew Dunn Credit: Leicestershire Police

Matthew was always happy and very thoughtful. He looked out for his younger brothers and sisters, he was everyone’s rock. He was a hard worker who loved fishing and music. He loved life. Matthew loved his beautiful boy and was a great dad and uncle.

We are all proud to have had Matthew as part of our family. He didn’t deserve to have his life taken from him from us so tragically at only 23 years old.

Matthew was, and always will be, everyone’s hero. We will make sure Matthews life wasn’t taken in vain.

The saddest thing is that Matthew’s son will grow up without a father in his life, the only comfort is that we will always have a part of Matthew in him.

No sentence that could be given today can ever be sufficient to replace the life of Matthew. He has left a huge void in the life of all that knew and loved him.

We would like to thank the barristers for their help in prosecuting this investigating, and extend our thanks to Leicestershire Police for all their hard work, especially the officers who tried to save Matthew, those involved in the investigation and the family liaison officers who have provided support throughout the investigation and subsequent court proceedings.

– Family of murder victim Matthew Dunn

James Burton, aged 32, of Parry Close in Earl Shilton, Leicestershire, was today jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 30 years.

WATCH: Inspiring scenes as Birmingham man bowls with his feet to secure Bronze

Bob Love, from Birmingham, has won a Commonwealth Bronze medal in the open triples lawn bowls event, which features para-athletes with a range of disabilities.

60-year-old Bob, who was born without arms, uses his feet to bowl and was part of a three-man team which beat Scotland 16-12 to secure third-place earlier this afternoon.

Watch his remarkable technique and skill here, as he helps to send England on their way to victory:

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