Celebrating 20 years of twinning


Derbyshire County Council, South Derbyshire District Council and Derby City Council are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the twinning with Toyota City in Japan.

A programme of events took place to mark the anniversary of the relationship which was established when car giant and Bondholder Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd built its first European factory in Burnaston, South Derbyshire.

Over 2,500 people are employed at the factory which supports a thriving supply chain and continues to pump millions of pounds into the local economy.

A delegation from Toyota City spent four days in Derbyshire to discuss further ways of working together, with a focus on promoting the county as a destination for Japanese tourists.

An anniversary memorandum document was signed by representatives from Toyota City and the three Derbyshire authorities during a ceremony at Derbyshire County Council headquarters in Matlock on Tuesday 30 October 2018.


Derbyshire County Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture and Tourism Councillor Barry Lewis, said:

“It has been a fantastic few months getting to know visitors from Japan, learning from one another and building strong links so we can work together in the future.

“Increasing trade, boosting tourism, and improving educational, environmental and sporting links are all key priorities of ours and this partnership plays an important role in achieving this.”

To mark the occasion, Derby City Council unveiled a ‘Made in Derby’ style plaque.

The plaque will be added to the city’s current Made in Derby walk of fame on Albion Street and Exchange Street, and residents will be able to learn more about Toyota city using an augmented reality feature which is available through the Made in Derby app.

Guests were also given a tour of the Council House and spent their afternoon at the Derby Arena, which was has been built in the time since Mayor Ota last visited Derby.

Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby Council said:


“We’re honoured to present Mayor Ota with this special Made in Derby plaque. This piece of public art not only marks our 20 years of Derby and Toyota being twinned but will also help to Derby Citizens to understand more about Toyota and our partnership.”

“We couldn’t be prouder of our 20 year partnership with Toyota city. Both cities have strong industrial backgrounds and continue to be world leaders in manufacturing and engineering. It’s wonderful to welcome Mayor Ota and our Japanese visitors to the city and continue to strengthen our ever growing friendship.”

The 20th anniversary will mark an expanding partnership which now includes:

  • Bondholder The University of Derby

  • Bondholder Derby College

  • Burton and South Derbyshire College

  • The National Forest

  • Marketing Derby

  • Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire

  • Repton School

  • East Midlands Chamber of Commerce

The programme of events to celebrate the anniversary included visits to:

  • Castleton

  • David Mellor Design Centre

  • The National Forest

  • Sharpe’s Pottery Museum

  • Treak Cliff Cavern

  • Haddon Hall

  • Burton and South Derbyshire College

  • Repton School

  • The University of Derby

  • Bondholder Mercia Marina in Willington

An official celebration event will take place in Toyota City on the anniversary which is on Saturday 17 November 2018.