Cambridge - Derby - Oxford?

Derby has been ranked amongst the elite at the top of a new league table in a UK Powerhouse City Growth Tracker report sitting between Cambridge (1st) and Oxford (3rd).

The report compares the growth of 45 UK cities in annual gross value added (GVA) in Q4 2017 – the value generated by the production of goods and services.

With a year-on-year growth of 1.8% Derby has proven itself as the rising star of the Midlands.

The report also shows that in the same period the manufacturing sector in the UK grew by 1.3% buoyed by booming global trade volumes. Global manufacturers Bombardier, Rolls-Royce and Toyota Manufacturing UK are based within Derby and Derbyshire, which together employ over 20,000 have enjoyed a competitive export advantage from the weak pound in 2017 boosting production.

John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby said: “The strength of Derby’s economy is core to the city’s investment pitch and whilst there is no one league table that acts as a silver bullet we are always there or thereabouts.

Many may be surprised to see Derby sitting between Cambridge and Oxford but when you consider the hi-tech and advanced nature of our economy this should come as no shock.”

Bombardier wins £73m deal

At the heart of Derby’s world-leading rail cluster, Bombardier transportation has secured a deal with Transport for London (TfL), worth £73 million, which will see it build five additional trains for services on London’s Elizabeth line increasing the total order to 70 trains.  

The agreement also includes an expansion to the existing Train Services Agreement to cover the new trains.

The additional BOMBARDIER AVENTRA trains will have 9 carriages which will boost the capacity to the central section of the new Elizabeth line service and an extension to Reading and Heathrow Terminal 5.  

Each train will carry up to 1,500 passengers, include air-conditioning, interconnecting walk-through carriages, and have been designed with an emphasis on energy-efficiency and intelligent on-train energy management systems.

These extra cars will be added to the 585 cars already in production in Derby for the Elizabeth line and are scheduled to enter service by the end of 2019.

Mark Wild, TfL’s Managing Director for London Underground and the Elizabeth line, said: “The opening of the Elizabeth line in December will redefine transport in London with journeys made easier and trains passing through brand new tunnels beneath central London to new, accessible stations. The additional trains will allow us to serve all the terminals at Heathrow and provide an increased frequency when the line is fully open in December 2019.”

Richard Hunter, Managing Director, Bombardier Transportation UK said, “The Elizabeth line is set to transform transport in London with quicker, easier and more accessible journeys, and we are proud to be playing our part. This important additional order is an endorsement of our workforce and the quality of the products we design, engineer, manufacture and service in the UK.”

Jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport (DfT) and TfL, the Elizabeth line is the largest infrastructure project of its kind in Europe and is now in its final stages. When complete, London’s new railway will carry over 200 million passengers per year and add 10 percent to central London’s rail capacity.

To Infinity and beyond

Derby City Council has signed a collaboration agreement with the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and one of the world’s leading manufacturing research institutions to open a new nuclear research facility on Infinity Park Derby, the city's 100-acre Enterprise Zone, located next to the world headquarters of Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace.

Proposals have been approved to enable the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to establish a new multi-million pound innovation facility (50,000 ft2) on Infinity Park which will be an extension of the existing iHub and allow more new technologies to be delivered in the Midlands.

AMRC was established by the University of Sheffield in 2001 and has developed into a cluster of innovation centres focusing on the UK’s key engineering industries.

It recently helped secure more than £100m in inward investment to the Sheffield City region from Boeing, Rolls-Royce and McLaren and is looking to replicate its success with the new research centre at Infinity Park, which it hopes will attract firms seeking to develop new technologies to the city.

The agreement will support Derby City Council and D2N2’s bold strategy for improving the region’s economic growth, skills and jobs whilst the site will receive Catapult Centre status as a nationally-recognised centre for hi-tech research and business growth.  

Airbus, which is headquartered in Toulouse, France has recently opened a new office at the iHub.  The aeronautics company will collaborate with Rolls-Royce on the development f a new engine that is 25% more fuel efficient and chose to locate to the iHub due its proximity to Rolls-Royce.

Derby topping the charts

Derby topping charts

Derby came second in a recently released list of 'Best locations to earn a living', appearing just behind Crawley and ahead of Southampton.

Credit checking company TotallyMoney who describe Derby as the 'centre of advanced transport manufacturing', compiled the list by calculating the cost of living, salaries, average monthly mortgage repayments, job growth and business closures.

Derby has also risen to 24th place in the national retail centre rankings, putting the city in the top 1% of UK retail destinations according to leading retail data consultants CACI.  

The study, which was commissioned by Marketing Derby and Derby City Council, follows studies in 2007 and 2012. In 2007, Derby was 64th in the rankings, conducted prior to the opening of Westfield Derby, now intu Derby. In 2012, the city rose a huge 30 places as the impact of the new shopping centre made itself felt.

The success of the city can be put down to a strong offering at intu Derby, which sees 25 million visitors each year, and the Cathedral Quarter, which secured the Best UK City Location award at the Great British High Street Awards 2017.

John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby, said, “We commissioned this study with Derby City Council and it shows that the city is getting better at retaining the wealth we create. Residential spend is now £638million but we can still improve on tourist and worker spend.”

Welcome to London Ambassadors

Officially launched in October 2017 at City Hall, the home to London's Mayor, the London Chapter of Derby Ambassadors Club is a group of individuals who are primarily based in London but have an ongoing affiliation with Derby.

Chaired by David Boutcher, Corporate Partner at global law firm Reed Smith, the overall emphasis of the London Chapter is on using Derby’s ‘assets’ in the capital to create contacts and leads to help raise Derby’s profile and drive investment into Derby.

Members will be invited to three gatherings per year which will partly serve a social and networking purpose, and partly be an opportunity to get up to speed on developments and investment opportunities in Derby, including how members might signpost to their contacts.

Speaking about the initiative David Boutcher said: “As competition becomes greater, there must be opportunities for cities like Derby, which is so well and centrally located with great access and communications generally, to attract interest and investment from businesses not just in London but from around the world.”