Derby's Innovation Tops UK List

According to leading think tank Centre for Cities, Derby is a top 5 UK location for innovation. 

The latest research by Centre for Cities places Derby fourth for patent applications, placing it well above London, as well as the rest of the East Midlands. 

Patent data is widely used to measure innovation. The data is based on the number of patent applications, at their date of publication (in 2015). Applications are usually published about 18 months after the application is submitted to the patent authority.

John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby, said: "Derby has a rich history as the UK Capital for Innovation - the birthplace of the industrial revolution. This latest research by Centre for Cities cements Derby's position as a top location for innovation."

New Regional Director for pentahotel

Bondholder pentahotels has appointed a new regional director. 

Ben Thomas will be responsible for all hotel operations and management within the region. He had previously been General Cluster Manager, and had overseen the launch of pentahotel Derby.

Ben will take over from Andrew Munt, who has been promoted to Vice President of Operations.

Andrew said: “With such a proven record of success since joining pentahotels, Ben is absolutely the right individual to lead the UK in to its next chapter.

“His sound strategic and commercial approach will prove incredibly valuable at this time.

“I am delighted to hand the region over to Ben and am excited to see how it evolves under his unique leadership style.”

University hosts annual visits

A record number of students from China travelled to Bondholder the University of Derby.

The group of 280 students from four different universities - the largest group to ever visit the University from China - were welcomed to the Kedleston Road site by the Mayor of Derby, Councillor John Whitby, and staff to get an insight into the different courses available and a taste of student life in the city.

A series of seminars were hosted on courses offered in Engineering and Technology, Education, Sports, Health and Hospitality, and student ambassadors were on hand to give tours of the campus facilities, including the Bloomberg Suite - the University’s dedicated trading room which provides a simulation of what it is like to work on a real trading floor in the financial district. The University’s state-of-the-art Sports Centre was also open for students to look around.

Success for Flint

Bondholder Flint Bishop Solicitors has announced excellent annual results after securing contracts with high-profile blue chip clients such as G4S, Panasonic, UK Mail, Autoglass and Costcutter.

Revenue has increased by 11% to £10.8m, smashing the Derby-based firm’s target for the year. This strong financial growth has been seen across both its commercial and private client offerings.

At the company’s recent annual general meeting, Senior Partner, Andrew Cochrane said agreements to provide support and legal advice for leading firms, which also include Opus Energy, Office Depot, SIG and Haven Insurance, were key to its success. The firm has also launched several new projects into the market to encourage further growth this year.

The superb financial results follow a succession of awards and national recognition for the Flint Bishop team.

The education team received a hat-trick of nominations at the Education Investor Awards and the Managing Partner Forum recognised Qamer Ghafoor alongside firms 800 times larger for his work in obtaining new clients. The Lawyer also shortlisted Flint Bishop as a regional firm of the year while the firm’s Debt Recovery arm won nationally recognised awards with the Chartered Institute of Credit Management, Credit Collections and Risk and Credit Strategy.

Qamer Ghafoor, Managing Partner for Commercial Services and Head of Litigation, said: “I am extremely pleased with our results for 2016/2017. We have seen growth across the business and our positive results are a testament to the quality of our legal offering as well as the dedication and hard work of our staff.

"Financially we are in a very strong position and we have already made several plans for further growth for each department in our new financial year which in itself has got off to a strong start”.

Extension for The Dragon

The Dragon in Willington, owned by Bondholder Bespoke Inns, has been given the green light to build a new extension to accommodate more diners. 

Bespoke Inns will be extending the patio area at the rear of the pub, to accommodate an extra 20 covers. 

The planning documents stated: "The proposal will increase the viability of the existing site. The restaurant is well used, and increasing the facilities will enable a better service to be provided by the owners."

The Yard Opens its Doors

A new all-day restaurant and bar is set for its official opening at Bondholder Pride Park Stadium

The name of the restaurant is inspired by the railway goods yards which originally stood on the very same spot as where The Yard is based.

John Vicars, Bondholder Derby County's Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’re really excited about this project. The Yard will be a top-quality place to both eat and drink - and not just on match days.

“It will be open every day, from 10.30am right through to 11pm, serving brunch, lunch and dinner.

“Personally, I have wanted to see something like The Yard open at the stadium for the last decade.

“Apart from the odd exception, there is a still a lack of high-quality places to dine and go for a drink on Pride Park. Up to 10,000 people work on the business park alone - but there is still a distinct lack of choice.

“The Yard will fill a gap in the market - not just on match days but all year round."

As well as being open for business throughout the week, The Yard will also be open on matchdays for supporters to enjoy their pre-match food and drinks.

Derby Food and Drink Awards 2017

With over 4,000 nominations received, the Marketing Derby Food and Drink Awards are proving more popular than ever. 

The Marketing Derby Food & Drink Awards celebrates the best of Derby's food and drinks scene, paying homage to bars, pubs, restaurants and cafés across a number of categories.

Categories include:

Other sponsors and partners include Royal Crown Derby, Roundhouse Events and Cactus Images.

John Forkin, Marketing Derby Managing Director, said: “Each year the Derby Food and Drink Awards go from strength to strength. They are now firmly established in Derby’s awards calendar and are keenly awaited and hotly contested.  Marketing Derby is proud to co-ordinate these awards to help shine a light on the very best that Derby has to offer.”

Voting officially closes on Friday 18th August - make sure you get your votes in!


We look forward to being part of Marketing Derby's 2017 Awards and honouring Derby’s great food and drink scene. - Denby Pottery


Over the past year Riverlights has welcomed Thyme restaurant, Bustler Market and Gym City, joining Holiday Inn, Premier Inn and Genting Casino in making Riverlights a key leisure destination in the city.  

We are delighted to be sponsoring the awards, which is a great opportunity to recognise the best eateries, restaurants and bars and celebrate altogether the achievements of Derby's food and drink scene.  - Derby Riverlights


We are delighted to be sponsoring the Derby Food and Drink Awards – in recognition that a high quality and diverse hospitality industry is a vital part of the local economy and equally impacts the lifestyles of individuals, businesses and visitors alike. - Burnthebook


Royal Crown Derby are delighted to sponsor, for the third year running, the Marketing Derby Food & Drinks Awards in providing the Outstanding Achievement presentation plate award in support of recognition to ambassadors who have made a significant impact upon Derby’s food and drink industry. - Royal Crown Derby


It is the responsibility of us, as a university, to get involved with great events like the Derby Food and Drink Awards in order to become more engaged with the community and benefit not only ourselves but those that we work and interact with.
Plus who can turn down the opportunity to judge some of Derby’s most tantalising and tasty food and drink produced locally! - University of Derby

The Derwent Valley Trust

The Derwent Valley Trust has established a walking trail, The Derwent Valley Heritage Way, from the Ladybower Reservoir down the length of the Derwent Valley to Shardlow.

The route explores the beauty and heritage of Derbyshire’s River Derwent. It starts at Heatherdene on the banks of Ladybower Reservoir and follows the River Derwent through the Peak District National Park via Chatsworth and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site until the Derwent joins the River Trent near Shardlow.

The Trust are now looking to engage enthusiastic walkers to help promote and manage the trail.

The Trust are looking for walkers with an expertise in:

  • Leading walks
  • Promoting events
  • Raising sponsorship
  • Managing events
  • Maintaining countryside
  • Managing volunteers
  • Heritage Way Wardens
  • Administration/secretariat
  • Accountancy
  • Governance and legal issues
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Website development and management

To get involved please contact Derek Latham, Chair of the Trust at

New Manager for BSP

Bondholder BSP Consulting has appointed a new Finance and IT Manager.

James Payne has been appointed to role after 16 years with the company, having joined BSP straight from school in August 2001.

James has recently been instrumental in introducing a new project information management system at BSP’s headquarters in Nottingham and across its offices in Derby, Leicester and Sheffield.

David Sumner, Managing Director, said: “James has been a loyal and valued BSP employee since joining us in 2001. He has recently spearheaded the introduction of Union Square across the business after putting forward the case to the senior team of the benefits of integrating and streamlining our management of information – something which has become increasingly important to the efficiency of the business as we continue to expand.

“We have a commitment to staff development and are delighted to have promoted James to this newly created position at BSP Consulting, which reflects his new role.”

University's £12m STEM Centre Set to Open

Bondholder the University of Derby’s new £12m STEM centre is to be officially opened by HRH The Earl of Wessex on Wednesday 27 September.

The new 4,200m² STEM Centre, part funded by a £5 million grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), will provide an extension of computer studios and specialist facilities for engineering, technology and computing students.

It has been specially designed to enhance applied practical teaching in mechanical, motorsport, manufacturing and civil engineering to support our new programmes, whilst upgrading and extending facilities for electrical and electronics engineering and computer networking.

The Centre, based at the University’s Markeaton Street site, opens its doors to students in September this year, allowing them to benefit from problem-driven and industry-linked projects, and helping them to develop the technical and professional skills required for their careers after graduation.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted that HRH The Earl of Wessex will be officially opening our new STEM Centre, a facility built in response to the needs of industry in the region and, as importantly, one designed to provide our students with the best possible environment in which to study STEM disciplines.

"Closing the skills gap is a key part of the Midlands Engine strategy – our commitment to STEM education, by ensuring our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to make a significant long-term contribution to industry, is stronger than ever.”

Bondholder Brings Together Two Giants

Bondholder Sine Qua Non (SQN) has been the catalyst for a new brand partnership between materials handling manufacturer, Yale®, and MotoGP™, the FIM MotoGP World Championship.

The new brand partnership sees Yale appointed as the designated Forklift Supplier to MotoGP™ from the Czech Republic round of the Championship, which takes place this weekend.

Claire Ritchie, SQN CEO, said: “It has been our pleasure to bring together two leaders in their respective industries, with Yale and MotoGP™ sharing the same innovative, dynamic and technology driven values.

"With our long-standing involvement in the MotoGP™ paddock dating back over a decade, we recognised the value that the sport would bring to Yale, and the mutual benefits that would be derived between the two organisations. We look forward to helping both parties extract the most from this new brand partnership.”

Chambers Calls for Midland Main Line Rethink

Bondholder East Midlands Chamber is urging Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to reconsider his decision not to electrify the Midland railway.

The Chamber is demanding a meeting with Mr Grayling to persuade him that he is wrong not to proceed with the £1bn project.

In a letter to the Secretary of State, copied to local MPs including the newly appointed Chair of the Transport Select Committee Lilian Greenwood, Labour member for Nottingham South, the Chamber said: “We are not convinced that the switch to bi-mode trains will result in the same level of improvements that electrification would bring.”

It adds: “We believe that a golden opportunity to enhance growth – for a modest investment against comparable projects – is being missed.”

Many local authorities across the East Midlands are believed to be petitioning Mr Grayling over what is being seen as a snub to the region, especially as just days after announcing that electrification of Midland main Line would stop at Kettering to save £1bn the Government announced £30bn for a second Crossrail project.

In its letter, the Chamber, which has previously accused Mr Grayling of a London-centric focus for railways, said: “The East Midlands represents the spine of UK manufacturing and engineering and we pride ourselves on being world-leaders in making and moving products.

“Over recent months the region has grown at a rate that outstrips other parts of the UK. Our own economic work, shows us that our manufacturing members in particular have been on the front foot in investing in the development of new opportunities both at home and abroad.

“It is these businesses that will lead the delivery of a successful UK economy outside of the EU, however, they need to be supported by the best possible infrastructure to move the goods and people that their growth demands.

“For this reason, the Chamber – the biggest business-representation organisation in the Midlands - and its members were extremely disappointed at the announcement that the investment in electrification for the Midland Main Line has been cancelled.”

The Midland Main Line carries over 13 million passengers a year, connecting four of the largest cities – Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield – to each other and to London.

Passenger numbers have increased by 130% over the past 15 years, with a further 30% rise expected over the next ten years. However, the region has suffered from continued under-investment in transport spend when compared to other parts of the UK, and as a result has the slowest inter-city line in the UK.

Scott Knowles, the Chamber’s Chief Executive, said: “At a time of external uncertainties, the right investment gives confidence to businesses planning for the longer-term. Electrification of the Midland Main Line railway provides that opportunity. We need a meeting with Mr Grayling to better understand the reasons behind the decision and the options to progress the agenda from here.”

Bondholders Collaborate

Two Bondholder have struck up a business partnership on the racetrack. Bondholder Averill Photography has teamed up with fellow Bondholder SamRandonRacing in a partnership that has both businesses excited.

Averill Photography’s first chance to work with Sam came over this weekend as they attended Sam’s most recent race weekend at Snetterton Circuit. Sam was racing in the Renault UK Clio Cup in front of 40,000 spectators and live TV cameras as part of the world famous British Touring Car Championship event. 

Mark Averill, Managing Director of Averill Photography, said “I am really pleased to have agreed this partnership with Sam. I love my cars and racing so I didn’t take much persuading. Seeing my logo on the race car was a real buzz and opens a whole new channel for my business, further building my automotive credentials”.

“There’s also an element of involvement with Sam’s racing career. He’s a talented lad yet up against such huge financial hurdles at the level he now races at, so I hope my pictures can capture the excitement and tension of these events and help him find the sponsors to go all the way. “

Neil Randon, Business Manager for SamRandonRacing said: "Mark is a total petrol head and we recognise the importance of high quality imagery in promoting our fledgling business, but we needed something that stood out. I’ve admired Mark’s work before and I think he has a real eye for detail and can make any event look interesting.

"His automotive work is outstanding so when we finally met at a Marketing Derby event, it was a very short conversation before a deal was done”.

This comes hot on the heels of another recent collaboration for SamRandonRacing. 

Fellow Bondholder Incite Consulting has also leant its support to Sam. 

Mark Platt, from Incite Consulting, said: “It was actually Sam’s dad, Neil who made me want to support Sam with his racing. I work all over the East Midlands and met Neil at a networking event. With my background working for Ellis Clowes, I have a huge interest in racing. However, it’s being able to relate to Neil, which makes me want to get involved. We’re both working class fathers and I could see how much Neil believes in his son’s passion, just like I do for my daughters with their dancing.”

Sellick's Football Tournament to Return

Bondholder Sellick Partnership’s Midlands Football Tournament is returning in November for the seventh year running. Businesses from across the Midlands will be participating in the one day tournament that will once again be raising funds for fellow Bondholder local charity me&dee.

Nikki Kinsey, Associate Director of Sellick Partnership, established the tournament to create a networking platform for Midlands business professionals and to raise funds for charity. Thousands of pounds has been raised for various charities since the tournament began.

me&dee is an award-winning Midlands based charity that organises holidays and trips away for individuals with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses. The charity was formed to create special moments and memories to ensure both children and adults share distinctive experiences when time is precious.

The tournament will once again be played at Powerleague, Derwent Parade in Derby on Friday 24 November 2017. The one day tournament will commence with a group stage, with subsequent knockout stages to battle it out on the pitch for the Cup and Plate titles.

Nikki Kinsey commented, “I am extremely excited about the seventh Midlands Football Tournament taking place later this year. Many of our valued clients are participating and we have some fantastic new teams on board this year too. The tournament is a great opportunity to meet new people, establish and build relationships across the Midlands, as well as raising vital funds for a very worthy cause.”

For more information on how you can get involved please contact Nikki Kinsey on 01332 542580 or email

Got to be Morley

On the back of the success of its first ever Beer Festival which took place in May, Bondholder Morley Hayes is set to host another event over the August Bank Holiday - this time showcasing a selection of gins too.

The eight-day Gin and Beer Festival is taking place in the Old Stables Bar, a newly refurbished barn at the complex on Main Road in Morley, from Thursday 24 August to Thursday 31 August, with live music taking place on Bank Holiday Monday 28 August.

Visitors will be able to enjoy the very best beers that Derbyshire and the nearby areas have to offer, whilst gin lovers can have their taste buds tantalised by a range of different gins from around the world.

Andrew Allsop, Managing Director of Morley Hayes, said:“Our Local Beer Festival which was staged in May, was attended by hundreds of people and we received such fantastic feedback that we have decided to stage another event over the August Bank Holiday.

“An ice cold, refreshing gin and tonic is the drink of choice for many people during the summer months, so it made sense to introduce a number of special gins for visitors to sample too.

The Gin and Beer Festival will be open from 3pm every day, with the bar set to close at 11pm each evening except Sunday 27 and Monday 28 August, when the bar will close at 10.30pm. Admission to the event is free.”

Bowmer & Kirkland Lands £44m Contract

Bondholder Bowmer & Kirkland has won the contract to build Loughborough University’s new student complex.

Bowmer and Kirkland bid £44m to build the 600-room development which is being built to secure Loughborough’s place as a centre for high-level athletics.

The scheme will be built on a site next to the existing High Performance Athletics Centre, and will include around 70 student athlete rooms and 40 elite athlete rooms.

The development, when fully operational will result in the creation of between 30 and 50 new jobs and is scheduled for completion by September 2019.

£14.9m Improvement to Wyvern

A £14.9 million project to improve safety and reduce congestion on a major route linking Derby with the M1 and Nottingham, will be funded by Bondholder Derby City Council and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The A52, also known as Brian Clough Way, experiences on average, 72,790 vehicles daily around the Wyvern Way and Pride Park junctions.

To tackle traffic congestion, Derby City Council has successfully bid for project funding from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund, which has now been approved by the D2N2 area Infrastructure and Investment Board.

The £14.9million project to widen the A52 around Wyvern Way and install new signalling at the junction will be funded via £6.7m from D2N2’s Local Growth Fund, £1.7m from Derby City Council, £2.6m from the Highways England Growth and Housing Fund, £2.6m from the ‘Derby Triangle’ agreement, £669,000 from the National Productivity Investment Fund, £251,870 in developer contributions and £200,000 from the Local Transport Plan.

Main construction works, due to begin in September and be completed by December 2018, will include:

  • extra lanes and a 50mph speed limit on the A52, near the Wyvern junctions;
  • extra lanes and improvements on Wyvern Way;
  • improvements to Pullman Road, the Stanier Way roundabout and the entrance to the Wyvern Business Park;
  • a replacement footbridge linking Meadow Lane, Chaddesden and Wyvern;
  • realigned accesses to and from the Wyvern/Pride Park and the A52;
  • new signal controlled crossroads at the junction of Wyvern Way and Derwent Parade;
  • bus priority detectors on the westbound approach to the traffic signals;
  • new shared use pedestrian and cycle routes in Wyvern Way and Pullman Road;
  • crossing facilities at junctions;
  • resurfacing;
  • replacement safety barriers.

Councillor Martin Rawson, Deputy Leader of Derby City Council said: “I am delighted that D2N2 has agreed to part-fund this project, which will improve safety and reduce congestion on the A52 and Wyvern Way.

“Together with other projects under our City Centre Masterplan we will transform Derby into a vibrant and successful city centre, which in turn will drive the local economy.”

New Consultant for Smith Cooper

Geoff Cousins, former Managing Director of Jaguar UK, has joined Bondholder Smith Cooper as a specialist advisory consultant.

Following a phenomenally successful career at Jaguar Land Rover spanning 25 years, Geoff now acts as a visiting professor at the University of South Wales, a Non-Executive Director of Performance Communications as well as Managing Director of his own Business Consultancy. As a business consultant, he supports SME’s to achieve substantial growth ambitions.

Darren Hodson, Corporate Finance Partner at Smith Cooper comments: “We are thrilled to welcome Geoff on board. As a firm, we continue to see an increase in automotive transactions, and our clients continue to value our compelling offering of dedicated, experienced professionals and sector specialisms. It seemed only natural to support this industry expansion by inviting Geoff onboard.”

He continues “Last week it was announced that Smith Cooper have ascended up Experian’s M&A activity league tables, and we have now entered the top 10 in the Midlands, the North East and Northern Ireland. To ensure we have an unrivalled offering, are dedicated to pursuing the most proficient experts and advisors to our rapidly growing team.”

Geoff will play a pivotal role in assisting Automotive transactions. 

Growth for Data Clarity

As part of its plans for growth, Bondholder Data Clarity has relocated its headquarters to Pride Park, which will provide 3,000 sq ft of space to its growing workforce. 

Data Clarity have both trebled their employees and doubled the company’s turnover during the last 12 months. Investment in science and technology has enabled the company to invest in new product development, expand the product portfolio (by 70%) and improve the speed and functionality of their existing products.

The new office will provide first-class facilities for employees and clients with the inclusion of new break out pods, meeting areas, welfare zones and a purpose-built marketing suite.  

Kevin Carrick, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our core values of honesty, integrity and our understanding of our client’s unique business challenges has enabled us to move forward and exceed our goals.

"Our new headquarters will provide the room we need for further expansion enabling us to provide higher levels of service to our clients through additional revenue streams and services offered.

"The new office will provide us with the platform we need to build upon the company success. A proud moment for all the team and a necessary step to take in our ongoing business development.”

Averill's Driven to Success

Bondholder Averill Photography has trialled a new pilot project after working with premium car dealerships in Derby and Loughborough.

The company has produced at least 25 images of different used car for each dealership, including detailed shots of special features, which are then posted online by the dealership. This has resulted in a marked return on investment with a faster turnaround of stock and higher website rankings.

Mark Averill, Managing Director, explained: “This project has combined my two passions – cars and photography – and the results have been incredible.

“With the growth of online advertising and sales, dealerships have traditionally posted ‘point and shoot’ photographs on their own websites and with Auto Trader.

“We noticed that these shots really don’t do justice to the vehicles – particularly premium models – and we approached Inchcape in Derby and Loughborough with a proposition to test the impact of professional photography on sales conversion.

“We combined high end hero images of each vehicle with creative shots showcasing special exterior and interior features of the cars.

“According to the dealerships, this has resulted in a faster turnaround of stock and an expanded customer base.”

Marc Robinson, General Manager of Inchcape Mercedes Benz and Smart dealership in Pride Park, confirmed the impact of high quality online photography.

He said: “We are always keen to work with local suppliers and were astounded by the brochure quality of Mark’s photography – something you would usually only expect from a manufacturer’s design studio.

“The most outstanding results were with Auto Trader where, having posted Mark Averill’s shots on the website, we measured a 10% increase in views which converted favourably to sales.

“Having proven the return on investment, we are planning to roll out this service to dealerships across the region initially and then nationally as we expand our own business.”