Annual Business Event

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."


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. 

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