I went into the Derby Diplomat course thinking I knew everything there was to know about Derby. I was completely wrong. The course provided me with more insight into Derby than my 22 years of living in the city ever had. It tapped into Derby’s rich history, as well as highlighting its bright future, and gave me a better understanding of the city that I live and work in.
The morning kicked-off with a talk by Marketing Derby’s Managing Director, John Forkin. John’s talk emphasised Derby’s progression; from its ‘uninspiring and predictable’ roots, to a city undergoing a £2 billion regeneration plan, the presentation highlighted Derby’s growth as a city. The talk also presented various bits of information that I never knew prior to the course, such as how Derby has the highest average salary outside of London. As a recent graduate, I found this piece of information very interesting.
After John’s presentation we were given a minibus tour of Pride Park by Andrew Lowe, in which he highlighted the various industries that made up the vibrant area. It became clear why Derby is the UK’s number one Hi-Tech city.
This was followed by a short trip to Bondholder company Intu Derby, where we were met by the General Manager, Nigel Wheatley. It was a rare chance to experience the behind-the-scenes secrets of a place I had often visited. Nigel gave a riveting talk about how the former Westfield centre had regenerated the shopping experience in Derby, and Intu’s plans to carry on this excellent experience.
Once Nigel had completed his presentation, Andrew gave us the second part of his tour, focusing on the rejuvenation of the city centre. The tour highlighted how Derby was building towards the future, but still maintaining its heritage and history.
At the end of the course I was presented with a certificate at The Quad, stating that I was now a Derby Ambassador and ready to spread the positive word about Derby.
The Derby Diplomat course was a worthwhile experience. It stressed the change Derby had gone through as a city, and the up-and-coming dynamic growth that Derby is still to experience. So, why not take this opportunity to become an Ambassador and experience this development first-hand?