Derby Book Festival

London launch for Orrery

The second edition of Marketing Derby's London Ambassador magazine, Orrery has been launched, with guests at the National Gallery London Embassy taking away the first copies made available publicly.

Bondholders featuring in the 2019 edition include 'Ones to Watch' Bear Coffee Company, Bloc Digital and Burnthebook, with features on Smith of Derby, Hot House Music, Mercia Marina, the University of Derby and Derby Book Festival.

Copies will be mailed to all Bondholder companies and London Ambassadors in the coming weeks so look out for your copy to find out who has been interviewed this year having made the move between Derby and London and learn about another Derby somewhere else in the world.

Vote For Derby Book Festival


Derby Book Festival needs your vote to secure funding from the Aviva Community Fund for their Shared Writing project: a Festival engagement project which works with disadvantaged children and young people in schools in Derby and with learners at Bondholder Derby College, who have English as a second language.

To be successful in their funding bid they need your votes for this innovative engagement project. Only projects that receive the highest number of votes go forward to the Aviva panel of judges for consideration.  

All you have to do is register on the Aviva Community Fund site and cast your vote for the Derby Book Festival Shared Writing project anytime between today and 21st November.

There are just a few simple steps, which only take a couple of minutes:

  1.  Go to the Aviva Community Fund page at
  2. Click the ‘Login/Register Now’ button at the top right of the page (or connect with Facebook at the bottom of the page)
  3. Follow the simple 3 step process – fill in your name and email. You will then receive an email to confirm your email address.  You can then complete the final form.

You have ten votes and can use all of them to vote for the Shared Writing project.  

Liz Fothergill, Chair of Derby Book Festival says: “Our engagement work is a key part of the Festival and centres on ‘giving people a voice’.  In 2018 we not only want to continue to engage with these brilliant and under-represented young people, but to extend our project’s reach and share the inspirational stories at the heart of our diverse city.  

"However, this ambitious programme needs financial support: a successful bid to the Aviva Community Fund will go towards the production and printing of our books.” 

3rd Book Festival announced

After another wildly-successful week of celebrating the written word, Derby Book Festival has confirmed dates for next year's return.

Next year the Book Festival will be taking place 9th - 17th June — a week later so that it begins a week after the schools' half term break.

Sian Hoyle, from Derby Book Festival, said: "The city has really taken the Festival to its heart and it is already established in the cultural calendar.  Our sponsorship increased by over 50%, largely thanks to the generosity of many Marketing Derby Bondholders.  Ticket sales were up by 33% on our first Festival in 2015 and we look forward to another great Festival in 2017."

Derby Book Festival celebrates the joy of books with a vibrant array of author events, talks and workshops. Previous special guests include Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, authors Tracy Chevalier and David Nicholls and Managing Director of Waterstones, James Daunt.

So, get the date in your diary for next year's Derby Book Festival — 9th - 17th June 2017, and subscribe to updates on Twitter, Facebook or check out the Derby Book Festival website.

"The city has really taken the Festival to its heart and it is already established in the cultural calendar."

— Sian Hoyle, Derby Book Festival

Book Festival artists in finals for South Bank Sky Arts Awards

Two artists who are part of this year's Derby Book Festival have been shortlisted for categories in the prestigious South Bank Sky Arts Awards.

Ben Dole, Artistic Director of dance company, Lost Dog, is nominated in the Dance category for Paradise Lost (Lies Unopened Beside Me), which he will perform at Bondholder Déda on Thursday 9th June at 7:30pm. Tickets cost £12/£10, click here to buy.

Derby-born author Sunjeev Sahota is nominated in the Literature category for his Man Booker-shortlisted second novel The Year of the Runaways. Sunjeev will be joining an event sponsored by Bondholder Freeths at QUAD on 6th June at 6pm. Tickets cost £8/£6, click here to buy.

Winners for the South Bank Sky Arts Awards will be announced during Derby Book Festival on 5th June.

Liz Fothergill appointed as High Sheriff of Derbyshire

Liz Fothergill CBE, previous president of Bondholder East Midlands Chamber and Chairman of Bondholder Pennine Healthcare, has today been installed as High Sheriff of Derbyshire.

Starting her working life as a librarian in 1977 Liz found herself between jobs when she started helping out in the family business. The business evolved from engineering, filling stations and car sales and by the end of the 70s was manufacturing a small range of plastic medical disposable products.

During my tenure, I would like to really fly the flag for all that is great and good about Derby and Derbyshire
— Liz Fothergill

Decades later, Liz still has the manufacturing bug and today the business, now known as Pennine Healthcare, has a turnover of in excess of £30m a year, has 380 employees and produces 250,000 items a day, of which 70% are exported to 80 countries worldwide.

Many of our readers will know that Liz is an ambassador for Derby. She was Deputy Chair of the University of Derby from 2003-2013 and is now Chair of Derwent Stepping Stones and the Derby Book Festival.

Liz commented: "I am honoured to have been invited to be High Sheriff of Derbyshire. During my tenure, I would like to really fly the flag for all that is great and good about Derby and Derbyshire, including its businesses, and ensure that the East Midlands remains a flag-bearer for the rest of the UK."

Book Festival opens 2nd chapter

Following on from the success of last year’s festival, plans are already underway for the second annual Derby Book Festival.

The festival will be hosted in a number of venues across the city, from the 3rd to the 11th June.

A major reason for the resounding success of the Festival is due to the wonderful partnership between all the arts and cultural organisations in the city and the huge generosity of local businesses
— Liz Fothergill, Chair of Derby Book Festival

The Derby Book Festival celebrates the joy of books and the pleasure and power of reading. It aims to inspire a new generation of readers with an exciting educational programme. Last year’s festival highlights included Michael Morpurgo, David Nicholls, Sarah Waters, Katie Fforde, Simon Armitage, Penelope Lively and managing director of Waterstones, James Daunt.

A number of Bondholder companies played a key role in organising the event, including Derby City Council, Codemakers, Connect, Archer Hampson, Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District, Dains, Déda, Derby Telegraph, Derby College, Derby LIVE, Derby Museums, Derby Theatre, Foundation Derbyshire, QUAD, Status Social, University of Derby, WDA Branding, as well as Marketing Derby.

Liz Fothergill, Chair of Derby Book Festival, said: “A major reason for the resounding success of the Festival is due to the wonderful partnership between all the arts and cultural organisations in the city and the huge generosity of local businesses.  Their support was crucial and has helped us to successfully secure funding from Arts Council England.  We look forward to working with them all again to make the second Festival even better.”

Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy and musician John Sampson will open this year’s festival on Friday 3rd June, at Bondholder Derby Cathedral.

To celebrate the launch of the festival, organisers have launched a flash fiction competition. The challenge is to write 50 word story around the theme of secrets.

To enter the competition, or to find out more information about the festival, please visit