Dean's Dare to Dream

Following in the footsteps of David Williams of Geldards, Liz Fothergill of Pennine Healthcare and Kathryn Mitchell of the University of Derby, Dean Jackson from HUUB delivered his Dare to Dream speech at this year's Annual Business Event.

Inspired by Disney, Dean shared his opinions on how Derby can think differently. His speech emphasised the need to take pride in the city.

Dean said: "Just imagine if Derby was Disney – if it thought a little more Disney and if it thought how Disney would present a city. We look at St Peter's Street, which is going to re-ballot to become a Business Improvement District. Quite honestly, in my opinion, it really needs it. There's empty shops, overflowing and dirty rubbish bins, chewing gum all over the streets – it's just not Disney. We need to look at St Peter's Street and other parts of the city and think a little like Walt.

"If Disney had an empty shop, they'd put graphics on it – a jungle scene with giraffes, monkeys and hippos for example, who knows? I doubt they'd leave it empty looking pretty rough. Maybe as a character of Disney, a member of the cast, there's a business that can do something about that."

Dean called on the city's business community to help with this vision:

"If Derby were Disney – and I know on some Saturday nights it can be a bit of a Jungle Book out there – who would make it happen? And the reality is it's us. It's the wider community and its businesses. It's the service providers, it's the commercial element, it's the retail sector and it's the people here."


The Register of Opportunities

At the Annual Business Event, Mel Morris, owner and chairman of Bondholder Derby County Football Club, spoke about the Register of Opportunities, a project he has been working on in conjunction with Marketing Derby. 

He said the online register would be a web property such as an app, whereby people could register their business ideas. Other company executives could then browse the ideas and consider getting involved.

Mel said: "If you look at the people in this room, it's a network. I wonder how many are doing business with other people in the room. And I wonder how many people would like to start a business but have no idea how to do it.

"So the Register of Opportunities project that we're doing after we asked ourselves 'what if there was a web property – call it an app or whatever you want – where you could literally just say, I want to do this, and someone else could look at that and say 'wow, that's neat - I can help them with that'.

Marketing Derby will be launching the Register later this year. 

Marketing Derby's Rising Star

The Rested Cocktail Company has been named the Marketing Derby Rising Star of 2017.

Established in December 2014 by friends Johnathan Eley and Michael McBride, the company creates cocktails using classic recipes from the 1920s and 30s, before leaving them to rest in steel barrels for an extended period of time.

As recipients of the 2017 Rising Star Award, The Rested Cocktail Company won a year's free Bondholder membership.

Speaking of the win, Michael said: "There's a whole wealth of experience in this room of bondholders that we can learn from.

"It would be naïve of us to think 'we've got a product which we know people like and has won awards – the next year's going to be easy'.

"We're looking to scale up and start selling business-to-business and it's a different world to what we've been doing.

"We're very eager to receive support from other bondholders – these are people who have done this sort of thing before and know how to move forward."

Marketing Derby Ambassadors

Peggy Chan, General Manager at Bondholder Holiday Inn Derby Riverlights, helped launch the 2017 programme of Marketing Derby Ambassadors at the Annual Business Event. 

Peggy shared her experience with the audience; the course helped Peggy gain an understanding of the city, and influenced Holiday Inn's business approach to the city, which ultimately helped their profits. 

The Marketing Derby Ambassadors training programme is a unique course designed to add value to your company's personal development programme.

The course is designed to give you and your staff insider knowledge about Derby and make you an Ambassador for your city.

Learn about the city's regeneration priorities, and why its 300 years of industrial heritage make it the UK Capital for Innovation.

Not only will you and your staff get the inside track on how the city is developing, but you'll get the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes of iconic companies based here. Learn how Derby companies such as Rolls-Royce and Chartwell thrive in their respective industries.

The dates for the 2017 programme are available here

Marketing Derby Food and Drink Awards 2017

The Marketing Derby Food and Drink Awards 2017 was officially launched at the Annual Business Event. 

Managing Director of Marketing Derby, John Forkin, welcomed Director of Resources of Bondholder Derby Museums Trust, Mo Suleman, to share his experience of the 2016 awards.

The Coffee House at Derby Museums won Best Cafe at the 2016 awards, and since then has seen their profits double. Mo also reported that the win brought a new clientele to the Museum, who were not aware of it prior to the awards. 

The Marketing Derby Food and Drink Awards 2017 will be held at the Roundhouse on the 9th October. Opportunities for sponsorship are now available. 

Annual Business Event 2017

Over 500 business leaders attended the Marketing Derby Annual Business Event, held last Friday at Bondholder Derby Theatre. Marketing Derby announced a number of key plans for the year ahead and celebrated the previous year’s successes.

The event, which trended on Twitter just one place behind Donald Trump, included speakers from Bondholders HUUB, Derby Museums Trust, Holiday Inn Derby Riverlights, Derby County Football Club, Smith of Derby, as well as Derby Theatre. 

At the event, Managing Director John Forkin labelled 2017 "as the year of delivery." He said the city needed to land a number of key enquiries, in order to maintain momentum pre-Brexit.

John also thanked Bondholders and Derby City Council for their support over the last year, and said Derby faced a number of challenges, including supporting the St Peters Quarter and improving education in the city. 

A number of initiatives were launched at the event, including the 2017 programme for Marketing Derby Ambassadors, the Marketing Derby Food and Drink Awards 2017, and the Mel Morris-backed Register of Opportunities, which will be launched by Marketing Derby later in the year.  

Lexus Derby was also named the 300th Bondholder. 

Will Clark, Business Development Manager of Lexus Derby, said: "I started at Lexus Derby a year-and-a-half ago. At that time, I met some fantastic people and it turned out they were all bondholders.

"I wanted to join more of you and receive support, as well as supporting you back."

Marketing Derby would like to thank Bondholders Derby Theatre and Cactus Images for their help in the delivery of another successful annual event. 

Derby Food & Drink Awards launched

Marketing Derby is pleased to announce the launch of the eighth annual Derby Food and Drink Awards. The awards celebrate the best restaurants, pubs, bars and cafés Derby and Derbyshire has to offer. 

Taking place at the iconic Roundhouse on Monday 10th October, the Derby Food and Drink Awards offers the people of Derby the chance to recognise their favourite eateries. Last year over 1,600 people nominated for their favourite establishments.


There are 8 categories open for nomination, which include:

  • Best Newcomer
  • Best Pub
  • Best Bar
  • Best Out of Town
  • Derby Telegraph Excellence in Customer Service
  • Best Café
  • Best International
  • Restaurant of the Year

The 2016 nomination period officially opens today (Wednesday 20th July). 

John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby, said: “Each year the Derby Food and Drink Awards go from strength to strength. They are now firmly established in Derby’s awards calendar and are keenly awaited and hotly contested. Marketing Derby are proud to co-ordinate these awards to help shine the light on the very best that Derby has to offer.”

Nominations will close on 19th August after which finalists will be announced for each category. After this, each nominated establishment will be visited by our panel of mystery judges. Judges are looking for a welcoming, comfortable and exceptional experience which makes a delicious contribution to Derby's Food & Drink offer. The Local Authority food hygiene rating will also be taken into account.

The winners will be announced at the prestigious ceremony on the 10th October. 

Key sites ready to go

At yesterday's Derby Property Summit, Derby City Council's Strategic Director of Communities and Place, Christine Durrant, announced that three key Derby sites will be released to the market in September 2016 as part of the city centre masterplan.

The three sites are: the former local studies library and education department, Middleton House in St Mary's Gate; the Riverlights site; and Becket Well, including Duckworth Square. Derby City Council is also at an advanced stage in buying the former Debenhams building to make Becket Well an even more attractive plot to developers.

Christine talked about a new performance venue for Derby and the council's approach on the project thus far. Martin Rawson, Deputy Leader for Derby City Council, said: "We have been advised that the Market Place is the best site for a new performance venue, with additional facilities such as bars, restaurants and shops, to give us a focal city centre point."

He continued: "A new venue of this type would be a game-changer for Derby and would bring more inward investment, which is why we are selling off other sites to give us more money for inward investment."

Architecture students from the University of Derby also presented and spoke about their ideas for investment in Derby. Click below to see their work:


We have been advised that the Market Place is the best site for a new performance venue, with additional facilities such as bars, restaurants and shops, to give us a focal city centre point.
— Martin Rawson, Deputy Leader for Derby City Council

Panel talks future of Derby

Various topics were covered in yesterday's Q&A panel at Marketing Derby's Property Summit event such as Chief Executive of D2N2 LEP David Ralph's take on devolution deals and extra government funding and a UK property developer's failing plan to keep Derby a secret from other London investors.

David Ralph said the absence of a devolution deal covering Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire means the area is potentially missing out on £2billion of extra government funding.

He added: "I don't hear anyone clamouring for a mayor of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. I don't think it's a fantastic model, but it is one the Government insists on. I think financially we would lose out. Ministers are on record saying areas with mayors will be advantaged. This means, I think, potentially, we are missing out on £2billion."

Gavin Barry, Chief Executive of Prosperity Capital Partners - the company behind the University of Derby's Cathedral Court development - said the story of Derby is trickling down to London investors. He said: "I want to keep Derby a secret to keep the competition out. Derby's on their radar now. The cat is out of the bag and it's great for Derby. To be fair, I do shout about Derby because I think it is a place that has huge potential. We, ourselves, are committed to Derby. We like what we see and we'd like to do more here."

Russell Davies of Smith Partnership spoke about the need for the city to focus on retaining talent from graduates after their time at university. He proposed that the University's shift towards the city centre - with its new Law School at Friar Gate Square - could be key to changing Derby.

I want to keep Derby a secret to keep the competition out. Derby’s on their radar now. The cat is out of the bag and it’s great for Derby.
— Gavin Barry, Chief Executive of Prosperity Capital Partners

Editor-in-Chief of Financial Times talks Brexit

The first guest speaker at yesterday's Derby Property Summit was Courtney Fingar, Editor-in-Chief of fDi Magazine (part of the Financial Times stable). Courtney delivered an informative and powerful presentation on the implication on inward investment in the event of Britain leaving the European Union.

Starting off with context on the investment landscape, showing delegates that whilst global greenfield investment had declined for the past three years, UK greenfield investment had continually risen for four consecutive years.

Courtney said that the "UK is a magnet for foreign direct investment", second only to the USA in terms of capital expenditure.

Conversely, Courtney showed that the main drivers for investors resided predominantly in matters of location, workforce and law - things which would not change much in the event of a Brexit.

Whilst Courtney did not suggest how to vote, she did comment that leaving the European Union would risk a lot for a minimal gain. She concluded: "Why gamble when you already have a strong hand?"

UK is a magnet for foreign direct investment
— Courtney Fingar, Editor-in-Chief of fDi Magazine
Why gamble when you already have a strong hand?
— Courtney Fingar, Editor-in-Chief of fDi Magazine

Summit highlights masterplan

Yesterday over 350 delegates from the UK property and investment sector attended the iPro Stadium for the annual Derby Property Summit event. Following £3billion investment to the city in the last decade, delegates gathered to hear about the next wave of opportunities.

Delegates also had a chance to take a closer look at the work done by University of Derby architecture students presenting their innovative ideas for Derby's masterplan.

John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby, addressed the Summit theme Thinking Global, Acting Local theme. Broadcaster and journalist Declan Curry acted as MC for the event.

Courtney Fingar, Editor-in-Chief of fDi Magazine presented Brexit: Be Careful What You Wish For? where she talked about the implication on inward investment by the EU referendum.

Derby City Council's Strategic Director of Communities and Place, Christine Durrant, highlighted new sites coming into the market as part of the new city centre masterplan.

The event closed with a Q&A panel where delegates could ask questions digitally using their smartphones.

Check out the Storify below for a full social media re-cap of yesterday's event.

The UK is a magnet for foreign investment
— Courtney Fingar, Editor-in-Chief of fDi Magazine
There’s not usually much reason to gamble when you have a good hand with regards to Brexit”
— Courtney Fingar, Editor-in-Chief of fDi Magazine
Thank you @MarketingDerby for another great Property Summit. We must ‘Think Global, Act Local’ #DPS2016
— BB&J Commercial (@BBJCOMMERCIAL)

Embassy celebrates 10th at Rolls-Royce

Marketing Derby has celebrated its tenth anniversary at a Derby City Embassy event held at the very first Bondholder company, Rolls-Royce plc.

Rolls-Royce matters to Derby, and Derby matters to us.
— Group President of Rolls-Royce

With 120 people in attendance, the event saw guest speaker and Group President of Rolls-Royce, Colin Smith, outline the company's commitment to the city.

Managing Director of Marketing Derby, John Forkin, recapped on how the city has changed dramatically over the last ten years and £3bn worth of investment: "Marketing Derby has helped create 3,650 jobs over 3,650 days - that's a job for every day worked."

Watch the video, produced by Bondholder Big Ant Videohere.

The Derby Embassy turns ten at Rolls-Royce

The Derby City Embassy came home to Rolls-Royce last night. Hosted by Marketing Derby, the Derby City Embassy is internationally renowned as an award-winning and innovative inward investment event, which brings together Derby ambassadors and investors.

Marketing Derby and the Bondholder scheme was originally launched at Rolls-Royce in 2006; the intention to hold an Embassy event in London was also announced. The first Embassy was held in the House of Commons and was hosted by then Foreign Secretary and current Derby South MP Dame Margaret Beckett.

The event was attended by 120 of the most powerful and influential people from Derby, including business leaders, major employers, politicians and civil servants.

Embassies have since been held in prestigious UK locations such as Downing Street and the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall, as well as overseas locations including Cannes and Monaco, during MIPIM.

These events play a pivotal role in sparking and cultivating an interest in Derby amongst he investor community; the Embassies demonstrate Derby’s strength in a number of key areas, including hi-tech clusters, as well as its highly-skilled workforce and highlight the latest development opportunities.

The investor reception at Rolls-Royce is part of a calendar of events to celebrate Marketing Derby’s tenth anniversary.

Speaking at the event, John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby, said: "In celebrating our tenth year, and the levels of investment secured by Derby in the last decade, we wanted to bring our Embassy home and are delighted that Rolls-Royce are hosting this Investor Reception."

"Derby's public-private partnership ethos is a key factor behind the successful attraction of over £3 billion of investment since 2006."

"Marketing Derby has helped create 3,650 jobs over 3,650 days - that's one job for every day worked."

"This event is part of our plans to secure the next wave of investment for Derby."

Colin Smith, Group President of Rolls-Royce, said: “Rolls-Royce is delighted to host this event celebrating 10 years of Marketing Derby. Congratulations, and thank you for your tireless efforts to create a positive business environment in Derby.

“Over the last ten years Rolls-Royce has invested in Derby at unprecedented levels, including a recent £30m factory extension to help deliver the best-selling Trent XWB and our state-of-the-art Apprentice Academy to train the next generation of Rolls-Royce engineers. We also work together with local schools and the wider community to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers and we support the Derby Manufacturing University Technical College.

“We will continue to invest in Derby with plans for a Rolls-Royce Aerospace Campus and as partners in Infinity Park Derby. We look forward to working with Marketing Derby for the next ten years.”

Since its inception in 2006, Marketing Derby has attracted over £150 million worth of investment, and has worked with Knights Professional Services, Florida Turbine Technologies, Webhelp, White Stuff and Yo! Sushi bringing them to the city. 

To close the event, Marketing Derby also previewed its new investor video, a personal take on the city called Me, Myself and Derby, which can be seen below:

In celebrating our tenth year, and the levels of investment secured by Derby in the last decade, we wanted to bring our Embassy home and are delighted that Rolls-Royce are hosting this Investor Reception.
— John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby
Rolls-Royce matters to Derby, and Derby matters to us
— Colin Smith, Group President at Rolls Royce

Why Derby matters to Rolls-Royce

Group President of Rolls-Royce, Colin Smith, welcomed delegates to Marketing Derby's 10 Year Anniversary Embassy event last night and talked about the company's story in, and commitment, to Derby, where it now employs 15,000 people.

As Marketing Derby's first ever Bondholder, Colin outlined Rolls-Royce's dedication to its role in "Team Derby" and how it works closely with the local business community, education providers, local supply chains, the Derby Renaissance Board and as ambassadors of the city.

Speaking at the event about the importance of the STEM agenda for Rolls-Royce, Colin said: "We want world-class people - having a world-class city is a fundamental part of that."

Colin talked about Rolls-Royce's history in Derby, the ongoing developments and impressive £76billion order book which firmly secures the company's future in the city. Colin said: "Our success is due to our consistent investment in people, industry and infrastructure. We will stick with Derby."

As a token of appreciation, Marketing Derby board member and Editor-in-Chief of Trinity Mirror East Midlands, Steve Hall, presented Colin with a framed collection of images celebrating the ten year partnership between Rolls-Royce and Marketing Derby.

Colin concluded: "Rolls-Royce matters to Derby, and Derby matters to us."

Marketing Derby launches Bondholder Rising Star

At our 10 Year Anniversary Investor Reception at Rolls-Royce yesterday evening, we announced the recipient of our first ever Bondholder Rising Star.

Each year, one lucky winner will receive a year's free Bondholder membership. This year's winner is Edward Hollands, a University of Derby graduate who set up his targeted truck advertising company, The Advert Man.

At the event, Ed's entrepreneurial story was detailed by Derby Telegraph's Managing Director, Steve Hall, from whom he accepted his award.

Lindsey Hatfield, Commercial Development Manager at Marketing Derby, said: "We are delighted to offer Ed the first rising star accolade. Ed visited me last year when he was just starting out and I was blown away by his enthusiasm and passion for both his business and the city. I am confident Ed will receive fantastic support from other Bondholders and I look forward to working with him over the next few months."

Bondholder membership includes access to over 40 Marketing Derby networking events throughout the year, including VIP previews, socials and our ever-popular breakfast events.

Renaissance continues says Forkin

Over 450 delegates packed into Derby Theatre last Friday to mark the start of Marketing Derby's 10th Anniversary.

Managing Director John Forkin and Chairman Bob Betts outlined successes, including the attraction of almost 3,500 jobs to the city.

Derby has come a long way but the city is not the finished article - the renaissance continues
— John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby

The event, which trended on Twitter, included a guest presentation from Deputy Leader of Derby City Council, Martin Rawson, who emphasised the importance attributed by the council to the work of Marketing Derby and to inward investment.

Catch up on the event with our Storify:

Time for questions

To conclude the Annual Business Event, a panel of leaders took part in a Q&A panel discussion on various topics looking at the city's next ten years.

Chaired by Steve Hall, Managing Director of Local World and Marketing Derby board member, the panel consisted of:

Mandie and Paul debated the upcoming challenges faced by the city's education and training providers with regards to the future skills pipeline and discussed the best way to meet these challenges.

Howard and Russell talked about how East Midlands Airport can support the region's economy and growth plans in the Midlands Engine after being asked whether it was a dream or reality.

The panel discussion closed with each panel member saying, in one sentence, what national-scale work of art they'd have commissioned in the city, if given a free hand.

Enterprise for Education in plea

Acting on last year's call to action from Chamber President Liz Fothergill in the Dare to Dream slot - outlining her dream for businesses in the city to help foster the development of young people in Derby - Enterprise for Education (E4E) took centre stage at our Annual Business Event last week to talk about what the initiative has achieved thus far.

Mike Copestake, Partner at Freeths LLP and chairman at Enterprise for Education, told the audience that E4E Derby has already gained support from around 120 business professionals and leaders to mentor young people in Derby schools.

Mike explained that young people often just need an extra bit of motivation, support or knowledge to help them along the way - the best people to help are those in business and he put out a call for more volunteers.

Dreaming of a University Quarter

A key moment at our Annual Business Event is the Dare to Dream slot - where a guest speaker outlines a vision for the city's future.

Last year saw the former President of East Midlands Chamber and Chair of Bondholder Pennine Healthcare, Liz Fothergill, outline her wishes for businesses to help mentor young people in Derby to give them the encouragement they need. This has in turn resulted in schemes such as Education for Enterprise (E4E) which has now secured a significant number of business professionals and leaders to help mentor young people in the area.

This year, the new Vice-Chancellor for the University of Derby, Kathryn Mitchell, addressed the audience with her dream for a University Quarter. Kathryn said: "This is a place where students feel confident, know their place in the city and engage with it. It has to have choice. It should combine the University's world-class learning facilities and merge them with the heritage of the city, harnessing Derby's academic, professional and cultural strengths."

She noted that the majority of students do not stay in Derby in the summer and that the city does not retain enough of its graduates for employment - her dream would give students opportunities to stay in Derby for longer.

Kathryn closed by saying: "Part of this, is creating a coherent city experience through a University Quarter."

Derby way ahead says think tank

Keynote speaker at this year's Annual Business Event, Andrew Carter - Deputy CEO of Centre for Cities (an independent, non-partisan think tank) - outlined the research available on Derby and its future.

He started off by highlighting the large contribution cities make to the national economy, as well as showing that Derby has been one of the better performing cities over the last 10 years in terms of increased job numbers especially in knowledge-based industries.

He also highlighted that Derby is way ahead in terms of advanced manufacturing - one of the city's real strengths. Companies which contribute to this sector include Bondholders Rolls-Royce, Toyota and Bombardier, as well as many SMEs.

The popularity of city centre living is increasing with the majority of new residents over the last 10 years being workers or students, as opposed to the unemployed or inactive.

Andrew concluded his slot with his final reflections that Derby should:

  • build on its existing 'edge-of-town' world-class assets;
  • improve the city centre offer for 'new work' jobs and workers;
  • work with neighbours and other mid-sized cities to make the case for investment to government and investors.

To contact Andrew at Centre for Cities for more information, check him out on our Twitter @AndrewCities or email