High Occupancy Rates at iHub

Occupancy levels at the new £12m iHub  on Infinity Park have passed the 50% mark - just six months after the building officially opened its doors to tenants.

Bondholder Connect Derby has confirmed the 45,000 sq ft facility has attracted a diverse range of SMEs and large businesses from across the rail, aerospace and automotive supply industries.

The latest new tenants include Bondholders Elastacloud and Serjeants.

A further 40% of accommodation is currently under negotiation, which will take the building to 90% occupancy within its first year of trading.

The iHub, which has Enterprise Zone status, is the centre piece of Infinity Park, the new 100-acre manufacturing focused commercial and technology site.

Speaking about the success of the iHub since its launch, Alan Smith, head of economic regeneration at Bondholder Derby City Council, said:

“I am delighted that businesses have shown their commitment to the iHub and we are already 50% let, which is well ahead of our own forecast.

“This demonstrates that the building is exactly the right product for the right market.”

Ann Bhatti, Connect Derby manager, added: “We’re absolutely delighted with the positive reaction that the iHub has received since it joined the Connect Derby portfolio of buildings last Spring.

“Our new tenants have chosen the iHub because of its strategic location in the region, the hi-specification office and workshop accommodation and state-of-the-art equipment and business support services that are on offer. We look forward to announcing more new tenants in the coming weeks.”

Students Support Ramathon

Students from Bondholder Derby College will be turning out in force to support the Ramathon, organised by fellow Bondholder RunDerby

Around 100 students will be supporting the annual Derby half marathon, business team run and mini Ramathon fun run which will be held in June.

Derby College Assessor Ed Watkins explained: “We have been involved in this and many other annual events for several years and it is part of an ongoing programme of work experience for the students.

“Many of our students are planning careers in the public services including the Army and Police and in the security industry so the problem solving skills that they have gained will be invaluable in their future careers.

Ramathon Race Director Richard Kay said: "We have a fantastic relationship with Derby College and are very grateful for their support again this year.

"The students' role on the day is invaluable - ensuring that the runners have safe passage around the route and that the thousands of spectators are able to enjoy the action and cheer on their family and friends."

Blueprint's Facelift for Chamber

Bondholder Blueprint Interiors has given a facelift to the new head offices of fellow Bondholder East Midlands Chamber.

The firm was tasked with transforming the empty office block in Chesterfield, into modern, open-plan workspace which will house East Midlands Chamber and its 90+ staff.

The 4-week project saw Blueprint develop the concept, design the two-storey, 13,000 sq ft space, source the furniture, materials and equipment and then carry out the refurbishment and fit out.

Blueprint incorporated the Chamber’s three main brand colours – red, green and blue – into the overall design, as well as providing modular workstations to make use of the open-plan space, and creating several innovative storage solutions.

Scott Knowles, the Chamber’s Chief Executive, said:  “We are very happy with the result and with the service we got from Blueprint.

“Chesterfield was the oldest and most run-down of all our offices, now it is our most modern, with great flexibility, a good mix of meeting rooms that members can hire and areas where people can work away from their desks.”

Rob Day, managing director at Blueprint Interiors, added: “We are a proud patron of East Midlands Chamber and were delighted to work on this project to create the modern, open and attractive workspace the Chamber needs."

University Awarded Funding for Safeguarding

Bondholder the University of Derby has been awarded £25,000 from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to support student safeguarding on campus.

As part of the project the University will be working closely with local charities and statutory organisations to provide training for its staff in order to support students further and ensure best practice on campus.

The projects have been developed with students, who will have pivotal roles in their delivery. They cover a wide range of activities, including training and awareness raising and digital innovation.

Joanne Jones, Student Wellbeing Manager at the University, said: “Student safety has always been paramount to us. This funding will enable us to influence culture, create more open conversations and empower students and staff to respond to issues concerning student safeguarding, so we can establish an even safer and more supportive community at Derby.”

Contract Wins for Pattonair

Bondholder Pattonair has won the company’s first contract from All Nippon Airways (ANA) to support the airline’s global MRO network.

Under the agreement signed this month, Pattonair will stock and parts for maintaining and repairing ANA’s Rolls-Royce Trent 1000.  

Using its global footprint, Pattonair will enhance the service to ANA’s global MROs, with Pattonair holding stock parts at its Singapore facility and at other dedicated facilities in specified regions.

David Shaffer, President of Pattonair Asia, commented “We pride ourselves on delivering unparalleled customer service worldwide.  Securing ANA as a new customer is a significant win for us in the MRO sector as it underscores the value customers place on our global offering and our ability to tailor solutions to their specific needs and performance goals.”

New Institute for Derby College

 
This development will link learning provision to the present and future employment and skills needs of employers by offering an expanded range of Construction and Engineering apprenticeship and employer focused programmes.
— Mandie Stravino, Chief Executive

Bondholder Derby College is further developing its plans to create an Institute of Technology for Engineering and Professional Construction following the announcement of a Government cash boost for the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership area.

A plan has been drawn up to complete a £3m refurbishment of part of the Roundhouse campus.

The Institute will be a hub for higher level skills development, including the creation of 60 higher apprenticeships a year in Engineering and Professional Construction and the development of further level three study programmes for 16 to 19-year-olds who then have the potential to progress onto the higher level programmes with Institute of Technology.

Higher apprenticeship and further education study programmes will range from rail-specific training and Mechatronics in the Engineering sector to civil engineering and construction management in the Professional Construction industry.

Chief Executive Mandie Stravino explained: “There are currently too few people equipped with the higher level technical skills that our economy needs.

“This skills gap is harming the economy – hindering productivity and hampering the life chances of young people.

“The D2N2 LEP has particularly identified the need to recruit a significant number of higher apprentices in the Engineering and Construction sectors to be able to undertake the local infrastructure activity scheduled to take place.

“Employers are asking us to use higher apprenticeship standards to develop these skills and the creation of this Institute of Technology will enable us to meet this demand.

“Our aim is to refit parts of our Roundhouse campus to create a state of the art facility which matches international standards."

Good News for University

The News Team at Bondholder the University of Derby has won three awards at the Institute of Internal Communication (IOIC) Central and North awards.

The team were crowned Class Winner in the Digital Skills category, given an Award of Excellence for their weekly staff e-newsletter, and received a Certificate of Merit for Best In-House Team of the Year at the event.

The IOIC is the UK's leading professional body for in-house, freelance and agency staff involved in internal communications.

Alice Oliver, Head of News at the University of Derby, said: “The University's internal communications function has been an outstanding success story over the last few years and I am so proud that the team has been recognised by the IOIC in this way.
 
"We were up against some stiff competition so receiving these awards is confirmation that we are delivering professional, high quality work which is making a substantial difference to our organisation."

New Jobs at Webhelp

Bondholder Webhelp will be creating 50 new jobs, after signing a deal with the Co-op.

Having secured a deal with the Co-op Group Facilities Team, Webhelp will act as its national operations centre. The new service will focus on a combination of voice, webchat and email customer communication.

Anton Manley, COO of Webhelp UK, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this new piece of business by Co-op Group Facilities Management Team.

A member of Co-op Group Facilities Management Team, said:“Webhelp’s innovative approach to customer experience and flexibility in offering new solutions is what makes them the perfect partner for the Co-op Group Facilities Management Team and will ensure we take the next step to delivering great service for our colleagues and customers alike.”

Glamping Success for Geoff Cox

Bondholder firm Geoff Cox has seen sales increase by a third in a year, selling motorhomes worth £2.5m in the last six months.

This included taking orders for 15 motorhomes at the Caravan and Motorhome Show motorhome at the NEC, Birmingham.

In addition to the orders taken at the show, the company attributes its success to its new outdoor showroom at nearby Denby Pottery Visitor Centre which accommodates 40 new and secondhand motorhomes and caravans.

Now Geoff Cox is hoping to fuel further success with a new product to the market - a 'glamping' (glamorous camping) tent.

This Adria product is a mobile, modular tent that comes in a large box weighing two tonnes and is delivered on a low loader to a mobile home site or even a field.

Neil Cox, Managing Director of Geoff Cox, said: “We are the only Adria distributor in the UK to have one of these luxurious tents on display.

“It's for people who want all the glamour of a top hotel while being close to nature and without having to compromise on creature comforts.”

Toyota's £240m Investment

Bondholder Toyota Manufacturing UK announced that it will invest a further £240 million in its car plant in Derbyshire. The investment will improve plant competitiveness and additionally it will promote UK supply chain efficiencies.

Starting this year, the Burnaston facility will be progressively upgraded with new equipment, technologies and systems. This will enable production of vehicles on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform.

The investment programme also includes up to £21.3 million support from the Government for training, research and development and further enhancements of the plant’s environmental performance.

Dr Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, said: “We are very focused on securing the global competitiveness of our European plants. The roll-out of TNGA manufacturing capability is part of this plan.

"This upgrade of TMUK is a sign of confidence in our employees and suppliers and their focus on superior quality and greater efficiency. We welcome the UK Government funding contribution for this activity.”
 
"Our investment demonstrates that, as a company, we are doing all we can to raise the competitiveness of our Burnaston plant in Derbyshire. Continued tariff-and-barrier free market access between the UK and Europe that is predictable and uncomplicated will be vital for future success."

University Science Park Launched

The University of Derby Science Park has been officially launched at MIPIM, and will be at the spearhead of the industrial digital revolution.

Adjacent to the world headquarters of Rolls-Royce and in the heart of Infinity Park Derby, the park will be home to innovative start-ups and growing businesses in the UK and will bring them together with global companies and leading-edge academic researchers, policy-makers and funders.

Borne out of a partnership between the University of Derby, Derby City Council, major businesses and entrepreneurs, it will write a new chapter in the history of a city with an industrial heritage which stretches back 300 years.

University of Derby Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kathryn Mitchell said: "We are delighted to be able to support teams of academics and students who will provide an extra dimension to engender innovation and develop world class products.

"This opportunity to work within an outstanding facility with a group of innovators is very much welcomed, especially due to the proximity to the manufacturing bases of prestigious companies such as Rolls-Royce, Toyota, Bombardier and JCB.

"We believe that this centre of excellence is a good example of the type of collaboration which will enable the Midlands Engine to both stand out and attract potential investors.

"It clearly demonstrates that Derby remains at the forefront of thinking and making."

Derby City Council deputy leader, Martin Rawson said: "None of the science parks which have already been built in the U.K. will be able to equal ours for the quality of collaboration and historical pedigree.

"From The Enlightenment onwards, Derby has been a centre for forward-thinking which has led the world and it still does, particularly in the arenas of aerospace, automobile, maritime and rail.

"The jobs created on the Science Park will be of the very highest quality and will prove that Derby is leading the industrial digital revolution."

The University's Deputy Chief Executive, Hari Punchihewa added: "The creation of the University of Derby Science Park has been a shared vision between ourselves, Derby City Council and our business partners.

"We are looking forward to working with businesses across a range of industry sectors and seeing them develop, grow and flourish within the Science Park environment which is world class in supporting innovation, research, skills development and digitisation."

Council Exchange Contracts on Debenhams

Derby City Council has moved the City Centre Masterplan forward by exchanging contracts for the purchase of the former Debenhams building on Victoria Street and six related properties on Green Lane and Macklin Street. At the same time, it also exchanged contracts for the sale of Eagle Market to intu

The purchase of the 110,000 ft2 (10,200m2) former Debenhams building is expected to be finalised by the end of March.

These key pieces of real estate will act a catalyst to regenerate the Becketwell area of Derby, through a public- private partnership approach.

Derby City Council started the process of consolidating land two and a half years ago – September 2014 - with the purchase of Duckworth Square. The land assembly will be completed with the purchase of the former Debenhams building and related properties.

Market research and soft market testing in 2016 has shown that Becketwell is suitable for a mix of development uses including residential, leisure and retail.

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – the private sector-led partnership which promotes economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – has provided a £4m facility for the purchase and preparation of the site for regeneration.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Martin Rawson, who has responsibility for regeneration, said: “We are confident that together with the private sector we can turn this neglected part of the city into a vibrant, thriving residential and leisure district.

“This area has been crying out for modernisation and development. There have been years of market failure to revive this part of the city due to fragmentation of property ownership and other factors, the Council is now taking the lead to rectify these problems in order to stimulate investor confidence.

“The acquisition of this building is a key event which will allow us to move full steam ahead with a holistic regeneration plan for Becketwell. I will be taking a recommendations to March Cabinet on the way forward for this under-used area that has blighted this part of the city for decades.” 

Derby Embassy Unveils Key Projects

Over 100 delegates attended today’s Derby City Embassy at MIPIM, in Cannes, to hear about the latest investments and development opportunities.

Speaking at a packed breakfast at the world's largest commercial property exhibition, Deputy Leader of Derby City Council, Martin Rawson, outlined progress in moving the City Centre Masterplan forward.

Delegates also heard about a number of key residential opportunities in the city, including the Nightingale Quarter, which is currently in planning.

The plans showcase 500 homes in the Nightingale Quarter, the former Derby Royal Infirmary site, with a mixture of houses and apartments. 

Godwin Developments 

Complimenting this, Godwin Developments are in the process of developing 200 new build-to-rent apartments in the city centre. Marketing Derby can exclusively reveal this concept. 

The University of Derby Science park was also exclusively unveiled at MIPIM this year. The park, located in the heart of Infinity Park Derby, provides an environment for businesses to connect with each other and with Universities in the delivery of a pipeline of initiatives that turn world class science into new technologies, materials, products and processes.

Chaired by Managing Director of Marketing Derby, John Forkin, speakers at the event included, Andy Cliffe, Managing Director of East Midlands Airport; Greg Jennings, Director of Regeneration, Property and Housing at Derby City Council; and Richard Hall, Executive Director of Strategic Research and Innovation at the University of Derby

£11m Earmarked for Derby

Derby City Council was a big winner today as the government unveiled its Midlands Engine Strategy, a £392m package of investment which will boost projects across the region. 

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has been awarded £63m which includes £11m of funding to regenerate Derby city centre for schemes such as the creation of a new performance venue on the site of the Assembly Rooms, new homes and commercial space.

Martin Rawson, Deputy Leader of Derby City Council said: “It’s indeed good news to learn that all four projects for which we submitted bids have been recognised. I now await details from D2N2 on what this means for each project."

The strategy recognises the need to improve connectivity in the Midlands, and so the government will invest £2.4m to enable D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to purchase strategic sites to improve transport connections. 

The strategy is a demonstration of the government's commitments to making the Midlands a 'powerful engine' for economic growth. The region already punches above its weight, with an economy worth £217.7bn - 13% of the UK's annual output. 

The strategy sets out concrete actions to enable businesses to create more jobs, export more good and services, and grow their productivity. 

The government has also outlined plans to provide £4m to support the operations of the Midlands Engine Partnership. This will allow the Midlands Engine Partnership to further its work bringing together the regions LEPs, local authorities, academic institutions, and private-sector businesses, to promote the Midlands for investment. 

Sir John Peace, Chair of the Midlands Engine, said: ““The Government sets out in the Midlands Engine Strategy what more it believes we are capable of achieving when we organise as a region and how they will support us. We will consult widely amongst our partners, particularly among young people who will live in the future we work to create. 

“We will publish an ambitious vision of the Midlands of the future. A vision of a Midlands that thinks big, acts big, and aims higher, through a realistic plan to make it happen.” 
 

Sinfonia's Carers' Choir

Bondholder Sinfonia Viva is launching a new initiative to bring together local people who are carers for family and friends.

The new Carers’ Choir will be open to people across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire who will come together once a month to enjoy music and potentially have opportunities for performing.

The choir, which will be free to join, will be launched on Tuesday March 21, 7.30pm to 9.30pm at The Voicebox, Forman Street, when carers and support groups are invited to come along for a taster session, and will be led by award-winning choral conductor David Lawrence.

The Carers’ Choir has been set up as part of Sinfonia Viva’s 35 th anniversary programme - enabling more people than ever to experience creative music making.

As well as a packed concert programme across the region and beyond, Viva is aiming to work directly with 3,500 people over the next 12 months through a series of education and community creative projects.

The project has been made possible for a year with a £13,000 grant from the Bupa UK Foundation’s Caring for Carers Funding programme as part of its focus to help unpaid adult carers to support, manage and improve their own health.

To ensure its future, Viva has launched an anniversary appeal to encourage people to donate £35 to fund its increased education and community work – including the development of the Carers’ Choir.

Sinfonia Viva Education Manager Marianne Barraclough explained: “We have a national reputation for working with communities to develop high quality and award winning engagement projects.

“Our work has included creating music with people in hospitals, hospices, schools, nurseries, special education needs settings, care homes, rural communities and in inner city areas.

“Singing together is proven to be an excellent way of boosting self esteem and confidence, releasing pain and stress-relieving endorphins and being a part of a team that is creating something.

“The Carers Choir is a natural progression for us as an Orchestra and meets the needs of an often hidden section of our local community."

National Recognition for Freeths

Bondholder Freeths has ranked 50th in the list of Sunday Times UK Top 100 Companies to Work for. The firm has been ranked several times before, but this is its highest ever position.

The Times compiles the data derived from surveys of staff satisfaction, with the firm scoring particularly highly in areas reflecting a family feel and pride in working for the firm. The law-firm excelled in the ‘Wellbeing’ and ‘Giving Something Back’ categories.

The results are the icing on the cake for Freeths, after the firm’s most successful financial year in 2015/16 with turnover reaching £63.8m.

Colin Flanagan, Chairman of Freeths, said: “This is a great accolade for us to receive. We work hard as a firm to ensure all employees are treated fairly and it is a testament to all staff members for us to have climbed up the rankings to 50th position.

"We have a great team ethos at Freeths with each individual contributing to the overall success of the firm.”

Cathedral School Moves Closer

Work is progressing on a new city school, to be developed by Bondholder Derby Cathedral.

The Project Steering Group has been working closely with the Department for Education (DfE), the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and fellow Bondholder Derby City Council to ensure that the project is on track. 

The group are currently identifying the best site for Derby Cathedral School, with consideration to location, access, size and overall feasibility. They are also developing concepts around the curriculum, the school’s branding and policies, and will start to consider plans for headteacher recruitment shortly. 

Derby Cathedral School will offer a broad and balanced curriculum, with specialisms in maths and music - strong links with the Cathedral Choir and Music Department will help to enhance this offer. 

Planning to open with 120 students in Year 7, the school will be a four-form entry 11-19 co-educational school and when full there will be 840 students on roll including 240 in the Sixth Form. 

 

 

Time for Next Generation

Bondholder Smith of Derby is gearing up to train the next generation of clock-makers in Derby.

Smith of Derby has set up the centre to train its apprentices and continue the traditions of the family-owned business. The facility features a full-scale turret clock with both traditional and technologically advanced operating equipment, creating a unique environment for skills development.

Young people have the enthusiasm and the energy to learn and are the future of the company. It is a process we have always believed in and stood by through the generations of our 160 years’ history.
— Tony Charlesworth

Tony Charlesworth, Smith of Derby's technical sales manager with responsibility for overseeing training, said: "With the exception of the British Horological Institute, there's no course or qualification in the art of clock making, and we feel it is vitally important to keep traditional clock making alive for centuries to come.

"Being able to train our apprentices within a simulated clock room is new, exciting and has huge potential."
 

Billing Clarity

Bondholder Data Clarity has released a new software module, which will help recruitment agencies and contractors to get paid.

Clarity365 self-billing is a tool for both agency and contractor with a built-in online approval workflow that reduces the amount of time spent on invoice management and ensures the client has authorised the amount beforehand.

This control measure avoids time-consuming credit notes and improves the relationship between client, agency and contractor.

Chloé Farmer, Marketing and Customer Relationship Manager at Data Clarity, said, “We are excited to bring our new Self-billing feature for recruitment agencies and contractors to market. This will speed up the payment process for both agency and contractor whilst providing an end to end workflow and audit trail.”

Bell & Co - a Midlands Hub

Bondholder Bell & Co has been acquired by national brokerage Aston Scott Group.

Bell & Co will continue to trade, and the Board of Directors will remain the same. This investment means the Derby office will become a Midlands hub for Aston Scott.

Richard Salt, Managing Director for Bell & Co, said: "In an era where scale and quality means so much to our insurer suppliers, this is great news for our existing and new customers and growing team. We are really excited that Aston Scott are backing us and our staff with ambitious growth plans.

"Derby has in my view needed a broker of this scale for some time. It is what we have been aspiring to and we are proud to achieve this through everyone’s hard work and now Aston Scott's support."