Property Summit look back

Over 350 senior-level delegates from the property sector attended the annual Derby Property Summit in July to hear a line-up of national and international speakers and panellists discuss the challenge of re-imagining towns and cities.

Opening the Summit John Forkin, Managing Director at Marketing Derby, said "The way communities use their high streets is changing and towns and cities need to work out how to continue to evolve. The purpose of place is to create a customer - we have to change the mix to make our cities and towns attractive places in which to live and work and to visit."

Keynote speaker was Ojay McDonald, Chief Executive at the Association of Town and City Management, who spoke about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the way technology is disrupting the high street, which in his view we were underestimating.

He said "Technological change is accelerating and it's not as simple as a pre-internet and post-internet world. If only it were as simple as the high street adapting to online - we're still under-estimating the changes that are going to happen".

Ojay spoke about the impact of social media influencers and that "we simply don't know enough about their potential"; how technology is facilitating the sharing economy concept (e.g. airbnb, car sharing clubs, shared wardrobes), with Norwich the first designated "sharing city" in the UK, and how this is also impacting the high street; and, that the next big thing will be the demise of using cash.

He concluded that this would impact on the way we use property in the future, but that the spaces in between buildings are just as important. "Partnership, partnership, partnership is crucial" he said in places understanding and adapting to the changes needed.


University in running for national award

The University of Derby has been shortlisted for the sector’s most prestigious accolade – the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year Award 2019.

The THE Awards are widely acknowledged as the ‘Oscars of the higher education sector’ and recognise outstanding work and exceptional performance across 23 award categories, with the University of the Year Award being the most sought after.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “To be a finalist for such a well-respected and revered award is recognition of the great work our staff, students and stakeholders are undertaking to deliver a powerful regional university that addresses the needs of our students, region and beyond.”

Derby has been shortlisted in two other categories. Firstly, the Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year category, which recognises the innovative use of digital technology to improve any function at a university.

In addition, Sian Burgess, Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy, has been nominated for the Most Innovative Teacher of the Year Award.

Kathryn Mitchell says “I am extremely proud that the University has been shortlisted for Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year and would like to congratulate Sian on the tremendous achievement of being shortlisted for Most Innovative Teacher of the Year Award.

“As a TEF Gold university, the culture of teaching excellence plays a crucial role in enhancing and enriching our academic delivery, nurturing productive links between teaching, research and professional practice. We support, encourage and incentivise innovative teaching and assessment and we are committed to assuring that our pedagogic approach is transformational using research-informed Digital Learning methodology for our curriculum development.”

The winners of the 15th annual Times Higher Education Awards will be revealed on Thursday 28 November 2019 at a ceremony held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Find out more about the awards here.

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London Embassy look back

Guests at Marketing Derby's London Embassy, held on the 34th floor of Broadgate Tower in June 2019, courtesy of global law firm Reed Smith, heard how Derby has significant investment opportunities, backed-up by a strong supporting economy.

Marketing Derby Managing Director, John Forkin, presented a compelling case for the city and county to a room of investors and developers, confirming Derby as the number one city in the UK for disposable income.

With over 4,000 residential units under construction, in planning or completed in its square mile city centre, Derby is firmly on the radar of residential investors.

Keynote speaker, Ed Fowkes, COO at Prosperity Capital Partners, spoke about the multiple investments it had already made in the city and the confidence it had in the viability of future schemes in Derby.

Also speaking at the event was Donna Smith, Sales Director at Wavensmere Homes - a recent investor in the city through the acquisition of the Nightingale Quarter; a landmark 20-acre site based in the heart of Derby which will bring 800 new homes to the city centre and delivering a true regeneration opportunity to help shape place. Donna spoke of Derby as an untapped city for investment and opportunity.


Ram Trail launched

Derby Museums has announced plans for a Derby Ram Trail - an innovative public art event threaded across the city next summer.

The Derby Ram Trail will consist of around 30, five-foot high fibreglass sculptures in the shape of Derby’s mythical Ram.

Each Ram needs a business sponsor, before being decorated by a commissioned artist. Once all 30 Rams are sponsored and decorated, they will go on public display between June and August 2020.

Tony Butler, Executive Director at Derby Museums, said: “The Derby Ram Trail is all about making public art accessible to the people of Derby and beyond - it’s a really fun way to bring people together to rediscover and take pride in their city.”

After the trail has finished, the sculptures will be brought together for one weekend, the Ram-union, before they are, auctioned off to raise money for Derby Museums’ Endowment Fund, helping to secure the future of Derby Museums.

Local sculptor Michael Pegler, who in 1995 created the famous stone ram now on Derby’s East Street, has generously allowed Derby Museums to use his Ram design for the sculptures.

The Derby Ram Trail is being led by Derby Museums in partnership with Wild in Art, a leading creative producer of spectacular free public art. Wild in Art trails have had a massive regional impact; attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors, generating millions for the local economy and raising substantial money for charity.

For more information about the Derby Ram Trail, or to receive a sponsorship pack, contact Amy Simcox, Head of Fundraising at Derby Museums on 01332 642287 or email: Project progress can be followed at or on Twitter @DerbyRamTrail.


Smarter than the average BEAR

Independent brunch and coffee brand, BEAR has successfully negotiated a deal with intu Derby and announced plans to open its second Derby site in autumn 2019.

BEAR will add to its existing outlets in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter, Stone, Uttoxeter and as part of the Jack Wills Carnaby Street store in London, creating 20 new jobs in the process.

Located in a prime spot between Carluccios and Zizzi, the coffee house will provide customers with speciality coffee, brunch, cocktails and craft beer from morning until evening.

Craig Bunting, co-founder of BEAR, commented: “We love Derby. We firmly believe we have established ourselves as a Derby brand, which is something that we are very proud of."

Adam Tamsett, General Manager at intu Derby, said: “We’re proud to offer a range of independent retailers alongside well-known national brands to give our visitors a rich and varied experience when they shop with us."

Craig at BEAR explained "We founded BEAR with the absolute desire to become a UK challenger brand by delivering an exceptional product inside beautiful spaces, served by a team that are passionate about what they do. Our recent partnership with global fashion retailer, Jack Wills, and our offering at intu Derby sees us punching well above our weight! This excites us because we are at the forefront of a growing change in the retail landscape. We are thankful that intu is taking a pro-active approach to support brands of the future, whilst ensuring that it also creates shopping destinations that consumers desire.”


Leonardo da Vinci on tour

Derby Museum and Art Gallery is currently displaying a selection of exquisite Leonardo da Vinci drawings from The Royal Collection, for a special exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance Master’s death.

Never-before seen in the city, the works have been gathered together to reflect the full range of Leonardo’s interests, from painting, sculpture, architecture, and music, to anatomy, engineering, cartography, geology and botany. As so much of his life’s work was unrealised or destroyed, it is only in these drawings, and a handful of related manuscripts, that Leonardo’s greatest achievements survive.

This exhibition is part of a nationwide event, with simultaneous shows of Leonardo’s drawings taking place across the UK. In May, over 200 drawings will go on display at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

For more information on the exhibition, please click here

New Ambassadors contact

Hello, it’s Katie here! I’d like to introduce myself as your new contact for the London Chapter of the Derby Ambassadors Club.

I look forward to getting to know you all throughout the year, and bringing you exciting investment and regeneration updates from our fantastic city.

Watch this space for upcoming event invites for 2019, and please do get in touch should you have any queries at all.

So good, they named it 1st…

Marketing Derby beat competition from New York and Hong Kong - which came 2nd and 3rd respectively - to win Best Investment Promotion Agency Web Strategy in the Financial Times fDi intelligence Strategy Awards 2018.

The Agency was also commended for ‘Growth Capital’ in recognition for the support it provides to companies wishing to invest and grow in the city.

fDi Intelligence is a service from the Financial Times and is the largest Foreign Direct Investment centre of excellence globally. When writing about Marketing Derby in its awards release it said: “Marketing Derby employs the latest technology to attract investors to the city and provide intelligent information on its investment sites and offerings, from a virtual reality map giving the user a complete view of the city’s key development sites and a tour of Derby, to a GIS-enabled web platform providing data, analytics and property information for potential investors".

Receiving the award at MIPIM 2019, Bob Betts, Chair of Marketing Derby, said: "We work very hard to ensure that our digital platforms are innovative, engaging and informative for our investors including campaigns in markets such as China. To be recognised by fDi Intelligence as being amongst the world’s best is a stunning endorsement for the whole team, both here at Marketing Derby and with our partners, which we really welcome."

Film launched in Cannes

The city’s new investment film ‘Capital for Innovation’, was launched in March at MIPIM, the annual global real estate exhibition in Cannes, attended by over 25,000 delegates.

A combination of public and private sector representatives joined members of Marketing Derby as part of the first joint city and county delegation, playing a full role in the Midlands UK Pavilion.

John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby said “Our class of 2019 was our biggest and best yet - a diverse group of great people mixing experience, sectors and styles.

Cornerstone to this were our pre-arranged one-to-ones with investors - conversations to create or cultivate relationships to bring jobs and investment - all supplemented by our events, most especially the packed Marketing Derby Embassy.”

The sell-out Embassy was held in front of an audience of investors and delegates eager to hear about Derby and Derbyshire’s development plans.

Commenting on the Embassy success John Forkin added “This is our 10th embassy held at MIPIM and each year they are more popular.

We’ve made a lot of new connections and are developing existing relationships for the city and county. We will be working to cultivate these further in the coming months.”

To find out more about our time at MIPIM 2019, please click here.

Changing city skyline

The Landmark

Derby is a city on the up as new developments have been announced, creating approximately 850 new residential units in the city centre and regenerating key sites at the heart of the city.

The most recent scheme to be awarded planning permission by Derby City Council is The Landmark, a gateway 17-storey building, which will bring 202 high-quality Build to Rent apartments to a vacant brownfield site in north Riverside.

The development will be a significant boost to the city living offer in Derby, for residents seeking a new high-quality offer in a central location. The building will offer amenities such as a gym, concierge and residents lounge, and will be the tallest in the city centre.

John Forkin, Managing Director at Marketing Derby said: "People have been crying out for quality living options in the city centre and this will be a shot in the arm towards the vibrancy we all wish to see.

Derby is also set to welcome a mix of homes, workspace, hotel, retail and leisure space, as well as a new public square, replacing Derby's former Debenhams building as part of ambitious city centre regeneration plans at Becketwell.

Leeds-based SJS is working in partnership with Derby City Council to deliver the regeneration.


The vision for the wider site is to create a whole new part of the city centre with its own distinct character and identity. This will take the form of a series of buildings, spaces and views that contribute to the attraction and vitality of the city.

When completed, the aim of the scheme is to provide more than 500 residential units, a new public square, up to 25,000 sq m of business space, hotel, restaurants and cafes and a 500-capacity multi-storey car park.

Derby has highest disposable income of cities in the UK

It’s no secret that prices and salaries vary widely around the UK studied income and cost-of-living in 30 cities around the UK.

For each city, they took the average monthly salary, and subtracted from this the average monthly living costs and rent for one person. The result is an estimate for the average disposable income for an individual in each of these cities.

Of the 30 cities in this analysis, Derby came out on top for disposable income, with the average worker there potentially getting £1,456 on average to do whatever they want with each month. This is 34% above the overall average of £1,083. Those living in Brighton get the least disposable income, at £751, 31% below the average.

New Cathedral Green offices

Derby City Council has announced plans for 37,500 sq ft of Grade A riverside office development.

Situated alongside the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the world’s first factory, the Silk Mill, One Cathedral Green will include a 12,500 sq ft regional headquarters for Unite the Union.

The scheme is expected to cost £9 million and create 180 new jobs in addition to those safeguarded at Unite the Union. It will include basement car parking and be completed by Autumn 2020.

Derby City Council will be working in partnership with Wilson Bowden who have owned the site since 2014. An operator for the managed workspace has been identified and details will be announced in due course.

The building is expected to provide Grade A workspace for companies looking for a city centre location. Grade A space has been in short supply in recent years, so this development is expected to be extremely popular.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said, “There is a need for larger office spaces in the city centre. This new model of office development will enable businesses to grow, attract new occupiers and enable commerce to thrive.”

John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby, said, “We welcome this development which will help to meet demand for high quality office space in the city centre. An increase in the number of people working at One Cathedral Green will have a positive impact on the economy and vibrancy of the city centre.”

University and Chatsworth House announce partnership

University of Derby are set to work together with the Chatsworth House Trust and the Devonshire Educational Trust to generate new opportunities for students, and to benefit visitors to Chatsworth and local communities across the county.

A strategic partnership agreement has been signed by University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kathryn Mitchell, and Lord Burlington, University Chancellor and son of the Duke of Devonshire.

The agreement paves the way for students to take up a variety of work and volunteer placements at the stately home, to stage events there and deliver agreed activities.

Professor Mitchell said: “This agreement is an important and exciting development for the University of Derby, and builds upon the very positive relationship we have had with Chatsworth over many years now.

“As the county’s only university we aim to make a positive impact on people’s lives. We want to open doors to opportunities and experiences for our students and our local communities.

“We also want our students to become game-changers in their chosen areas of study and career, and this partnership will help to raise their aspirations and fulfil their potential to succeed.”

The agreement identifies opportunities for students to work, volunteer and study at the world-renowned visitor attraction in a range of roles, developing their skills in a busy working environment, such as the kitchens of the Chatsworth restaurants. Students will also undertake business development projects; applying their skills and knowledge to challenges and opportunities. The potential to connect learning and Chatsworth is immense, including business, humanities, hospitality, tourism, engineering and the environment.

House of Lords Embassy celebration

Marketing Derby hosted its first joint Derby and Derbyshire Embassy event at the House of Lords, Palace of Westminster in October to celebrate the strength of Derby and Derbyshire.

Two hundred guests from the city and county joined London ambassadors and to hear from speakers including the Earl of Cavendish about connections with the capital.

John Forkin, Managing Director at Marketing Derby, who opened the event, commented: "Marketing Derby has been running these unique and innovative Embassies for over ten years. We started at the House of Commons and we are delighted to finally be at the House of Lords".

Event host Bishop Alastair Redfern former Bishop of Derby encouraged guests to work together and told them that real innovation comes from creative relationships and the spirit of confidence.

This year Marketing Derby were especially delighted to receive the support of headline partner Pick Everard and associate partner Burnthebook.

Messages of confidence also came from Derby City Council Leader Cllr Chris Poulter who announced that with support from Flint Bishop, Geldards, Rigby & Co and D2N2 LEP, the Council had just completed the purchase of run-down buildings in the Becketwell area of the city to open it up for much-needed regeneration.

Echoing these sentiments from the City was Frank Horsely Head of Economic Regeneration at Derbyshire County Council who said: “Derby and Derbyshire share a fantastic identity, and we're a world class destination. I strongly believe we have a unique offer that makes us stand out from the rest for investment.”

Headline sponsor of the Marketing Derby Embassy, Pick Everard’s Managing Partner Duncan Green, who spoke about some of their recent successes said: “Building mutually beneficial relationships has resulted in the significant growth of our business. We’re seeing significant regeneration taking place in Derby - and across the region - and our relationship with the capital is continuously strengthened by this.”

William Cavendish, Earl of Burlington and Chancellor of the University of Derby announced the launch of a strategic partnership between the Chatsworth House Trust, the Devonshire Educational Trust and the University of Derby.

The partnership will generate new opportunities for students to take up a variety of work and volunteer placements at the stately home, to stage events there and deliver agreed activities.

Click here to view our exclusive MDTV film report on the Embassy.

FORMAT19 launched in London

Marketing Derby is proud to sponsor FORMAT 19 which was officially launched this week at the iconic Horse Hospital - the three-tiered progressive arts venue in Bloomsbury, London and will run 15th March - 14th April 2019 at various locations across Derby.


Format International Photography Festival was established in Derby in 2004 and today it is one of the UK's leading international contemporary festivals of photography and related media.

FORMAT organises a year round programme of international commissions, open calls, residencies, conferences and collaborations in the UK and Internationally.

The biennale and off-year programmes celebrate the wealth of contemporary photographic practice. We love photography and all its expanded fields. The programmes feature everything from major conceptual works, participative projects, documentary and all that falls between categorisations, from the mobile phone to the archive.

FORMAT is the place to engage with an incredible range of new work together alongside some of the best-known practitioners in the world. FORMAT is focused on developing opportunities for audiences to see, debate, develop, contribute and participate in the best of what photography is and can be, with comprehensive professional practice programmes and a yearly International Photography Portfolio Review.

Louise Fedotov-Clements, Artistic Director QUAD and Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival, said: "It was a real pleasure to launch FORMAT19:FOREVER//NOW at the Horse Hospital in London. Great to see so many people there. It was a great night." 

For more information visit:

University of Derby 13th best for teaching quality

The University of Derby is the 13th best university in the UK for teaching quality, according to the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 league table.

The league table shows that the University has climbed from 22nd to joint 13th in the country for its teaching quality.

University of Derby Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kathryn Mitchell, said: “The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide ranking is a very important assessment of a university’s progress across a range of measures. To be ranked joint 13th in the country for teaching quality is a fantastic achievement, and further reinforces our commitment to delivering teaching and learning excellence at Derby.

“Our teaching strategy encourages our academic teaching staff to be innovative in their approach to teaching and to be flexible enough to support the learning needs of individual students. We aim to help every student fulfil their potential and prepare them for their future career or further study.”

This league table position is the latest in a long line of achievements for the University of Derby, which this year has also seen it ranked as one of the UK’s top 30 universities overall in The Guardian’s University Guide for 2019 – it’s highest ever overall position and named among the world’s top 250 modern universities in the Times Higher Education (THE) Young University rankings.

These successes followed the Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award from the Higher Education Funding Council in 2017, which puts the University of Derby in the top 20 per cent of all providers in the UK.)

This year’s Times and Sunday Times league table also puts student experience at the University of Derby at number 40, up from 55th last year. Overall, the University was ranked 75th, up from 81st in last year’s table - its highest ever overall ranking in the Times and Sunday Times league table.

Professor Mitchell added: “The importance of the student experience of Derby is inextricably linked to outcomes, and we have worked hard with our student body to ensure that they have a greater voice in the way the university is run, as well as investing in new accommodation and facilities.

“Our vision is for Derby to be recognised as an inclusive university, providing the knowledge, experience and support that give our students the skills and confidence to achieve what they are capable of.”

International Photography Festival

Marketing Derby are proud to sponsor FORMAT 19 which was officially launched last night at the iconic Horse Hospital - the three tiered progressive arts venue in Bloomsbury, London and will run 15th March - 14th April 2019 at various locations across Derby.

FORMAT is organised by Bondholders QUAD and the University of Derby.

Format International Photography Festival was established in Derby in 2004 and today it is one of the UK's leading international contemporary festivals of photography and related media.

FORMAT organises a year round programme of international commissions, open calls, residencies, conferences and collaborations in the UK and Internationally.

The biennale and off-year programmes celebrate the wealth of contemporary photographic practice. We love photography and all its expanded fields. The programmes feature everything from major conceptual works, participative projects, documentary and all that falls between categorisations, from the mobile phone to the archive.

FORMAT is the place to engage with an incredible range of new work together alongside some of the best-known practitioners in the world. FORMAT is focused on developing opportunities for audiences to see, debate, develop, contribute and participate in the best of what photography is and can be, with comprehensive professional practice programmes and a yearly International Photography Portfolio Review.

For more information visit:

Derby Embassy on Pall Mall

Marketing Derby hosted its 30th Derby Embassy at the Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall at the beginning of the Summer with a keynote presentation from Rolls-Royce plc.

The Derby Embassy is part of Marketing Derby’s annual calendar of events in London.  As a key target market to raise the profile of Derby in the capital it is an opportunity to gather local ambassadors, business leaders, key stakeholders together with investors and developers who are looking to be part of Derby’s future landscape.

Embassy guests heard from the Leader of Derby City Council, Chris Poulter at his first Embassy event since taking over the leadership role, as well as hearing from law firm and Embassy partner Smith Partnership about their forward-thinking approach to an office move.  Paul Harris, Director of Economic Development for Rolls-Royce re-affirmed the global firms commitment to Derby.

The event was part of the "Invest in D2N2" project, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Growth programme 2014-2020.

John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby said "We have been holding Embassy events in London for 10 years.  They go from strength to strength and are an important part of our inward investment strategy.  This year we opened an office base in the capital and launched an Ambassadors Club which is becoming a dynamic group of advocates for the city."

Collaborative Competition

This was the key message from the Derby Property Summit in July.

The Marketing Derby Property Summit, now in its sixth year, is the largest commercial property event in the Midlands, with 300 senior-level delegates attending from across the UK. 

Neil Rami, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Growth Board told delegates "Cities like Derby can only benefit from collaborating with others to increase prosperity."

Delegates heard from a range of speakers about the strength of cities working together and were encouraged to think beyond city boundaries regarding collaboration in order to increase prosperity as well as potentially unlock Government funds.  They were told that to be successful, collaboration must have a shared vision focused on the future. 

Attendees also learnt about the successes of ongoing collaborative projects such as the Derby-Nottingham Metro Strategy and the Midlands Engine, as well as developing overseas links for Derby and the University of Derby’s internationalisation plans. Professor Judith Lamie Pro Vice-Chancellor of External Affairs for University of Derby said “Collaboration means we can achieve more, in terms of putting Derby, Derbyshire and the East Midlands on the map and build its profile on a global stage.”

Chief Executive of city think-tank Centre for Cities, Andrew Carter said: “Bringing people to live and work in city centres is the best way to create high-performing places.”

Talking about the public and private partnerships within a city Cllr Chris Pouter, Leader of Derby City Council also commented: “I am excited by the wide range of investments in the city. Derby must develop further, we are pro-business, pro-jobs and pro-Derby.”

Highlighting what a partnership approach can deliver, delegates also took part in a choice of interactive focus sessions, delivered by Marketing Derby’s partners:
•    Build-to-Rent in the regions in partnership with Faithful + Gould
•    Investing in Derbyshire in partnership with Derbyshire Economic Partnership
•    Say Hello to Proptech – How to use data to inform investment decision-making, in partnership with fDi Intelligence of the Financial Times
•    Unlock the secret to Derby’s hidden office spaces in collaboration with Smith Partnership and Three Hundred and Sixty Degrees

John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby, said: “We know our strengths and weaknesses, we also know our opportunities. We believe in collaboration and also believe that is the best way to be competitive.”

Partnered by Smith Partnership and supported by Faithful + Gould, Derbyshire Economic Partnership and fDi Intelligence of the Financial Times the event is part of the "Invest in D2N2" project, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Growth programme 2014-2020.

Derbyshire best place to raise family in UK

Ashbourne, the gateway to the Peak District, may be better known as a destination for walkers than a property hotspot.

But the historic market town, with a record-low crime rate and a landscape ready-made for summers of adventure, has been named the best town in the UK to raise a family.

John Forkin, Managing Director at Marketing Derby, said "Quality of life has always been one of the biggest attractions for businesses and people in choosing Derby and Derbyshire as a place to locate.

"The city is very lucky to be surrounded by vibrant market towns such as Belper, Repton and Melbourne.

"To hear that Ashbourne is number one in the country is no surprise."

New research by online estate agent Yopa has combined factors such as educational standards, GP ratings, crime levels, drug and alcohol abuse, quantity of green space and pollution levels to rank the top 10 family-friendly hotspots.

This study also takes in issues such as obesity levels, average salaries, job prospects and road safety, to find the most peaceful and nourishing locations to live with children in.