Representatives from Marketing Derby, Bondholders the University of Derby and Toyota as well as the region’s City, County and District councils joined government ministers and MPs in Westminster this week for an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the twinning of Derbyshire and Toyota City.
The event promoted the significant contribution made by the twinning relationship to business and manufacturing in the region, as well as its social and cultural impact.
At the event, Professor Judith Lamie, University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor and Marketing Derby Board Member, gave a speech highlighting the need for support from national politicians and Westminster civil servants to continue to create an environment that encourages overseas inward investment, particularly that from Japan and Toyota City into Derbyshire.
Professor Lamie said: “As Pro-Vice Chancellor with responsibility for our external and community engagement across Derbyshire, as well as overseas, I am able to experience first-hand the significant positive impact that inward investment from Japan – particularly through Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd– has had on our city and county.
John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby, said: “The inward investment of Toyota stands as one of the most iconic events in creating economic confidence in Derby and Derbyshire, creating a positive legacy which can be used as our narrative to promote the area to new investors.”
Councillor Tony King, Chair of the Toyota City Partnership Development Board, spoke on behalf of Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council and South Derbyshire District Council, saying: “Not only is Toyota Manufacturing UK a vital part of the backbone of our economy, it is also a good neighbour and has become equally a vital part of the community; there is an exemplary three-cornered relationship, between Derbyshire councils, Toyota City Council and Toyota Manufacturing UK, which sustains our ongoing commitment to one another.”
The Westminster event was part of wider activities to promote the 20th anniversary of the twinning of Derbyshire and Toyota City. Next week, members of the Toyota City Partnership Development Board will visit the Toyota City Industry Festa in Japan to promote the region.