University of Derby

Derbyshire delegation heads to China

A delegation from Derby and Derbyshire is attending The World Manufacturing Convention this week in Hefei, China - a significant national-level event (20-23 September) at which the UK is the first ever Country of Honour and over 100,000 delegates will visit each day.

The theme of the Convention is 'Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Creativity -Embracing the New Era of Manufacturing', and covers not only manufacturing and engineering but also the support services needed for a business to thrive in China.

Derby and Derbyshire will be featured on the UK stand at the Convention, and Bondholders Derby City Council, the University of Derby, East Midlands Chamber and Bloc Digital will be in attendance alongside Marketing Derby, Derbyshire County Council and other local businesses.

Held in Derby's twin city, Hefei in Anhui Province, which is twinned with the county of Derbyshire, the Convention offers a unique platform for businesses and civic partners.

Managing Director of Marketing Derby, John Forkin says "The World Manufacturing Convention offers Derby and Derbyshire a significant platform to showcase itself as the UK Capital for Innovation, with some of our best businesses taking the stand to explore opportunities in China. The sheer scale of the event will be eye-opening and we expect to make some useful new contacts and further existing relationships on the mission."

UK Minister, Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strateg, and a sizeable senior business delegation is attending the event which expects over 100,000 visitors each day over 4 days, 4000+ participants and 400-plus exhibiting companies.

The Convention will feature 19 forums and panel discussions to explore the future development of industry in areas such as smart manufacturing, artificial intelligence and integrated circuit smart homes.

To foster deeper international cooperation during the Convention, the organising committee will hold a number of match-making events. In 2018, this led to over 430 signed projects in sectors such as digital information, new energy, automobiles and biomedical engineering, among other with a total value of $70 billion (dollars) in new investment raised.

Marketing Derby will be hosting its first Embassy event in China following the Convention with more news on this in an eshot next week.


Launch of Rising Star 2020

Each year, Marketing Derby, the city and county’s inward investment agency, gives the opportunity for an up-and-coming entrepreneur to receive a complimentary year of Bondholder membership along with local publicity and invitations to must-attend events.

In 2016, the accolade was awarded to University of Derby graduate Edward Hollands owner of start-up business and Dragon’s Den success story DrivenMedia. Ed says “Being the first Rising Star was a real game-changer for me. The chance to network with the business leaders of Derby and knowing I had their full support was a fantastic opportunity and really set me off on the right foot”.

This year, the competition was so high, that two local businesses were awarded the title of Rising Star; Sonia Sohal who owns The Fit, and Abbi Burns who runs Darley Dance Productions.

To apply for 2020, see below.

Abbi, owner of Darley Dance Productions said “Winning the Rising Star award has been truly transformational both for my business and for myself as a business owner. When you have your head down and work constantly on your business you sometimes get lost trying to work out how to make your business work. Winning the Rising Star award made me lift my head from my laptop and get out there.

"It’s been amazing to meet so many inspirational business people and to learn from them about what it really takes to move a company forward. That in turn has not only helped me build my confidence but also allowed me to gain clarity around my own business and see where I fit into an exciting city like Derby. It has been an incredible year! I feel like this year will forever be a turning point for my business and for that I will always be grateful to Marketing Derby.”

Sonia, owner of The Fit adds "When I got the phone call to say I had won the Rising Star award, I couldn't believe it! It was the most amazing feeling and the best way to start the year.

A lot of my clients are Bondholders, and I can see the positive impact this has on their businesses. I feel very lucky to now be a part of that!

Being the Rising Star alongside Abbi has also given me a confidence boost, enabling me to talk more about the world of fashion and looking your best."

To apply to be the Marketing Derby Rising Star for 2020, please email: by the 6th January 2020 and outline your business idea, a brief background of your story so far and why you would like to become the next Rising Star.

The applications will be shortlisted and successful applicants invited for a short interview and a winner announced at the Annual Business Event, to be held at Derby Theatre, on 17th January 2020.

Applicants must be in their first year of business and willing to attend at least ten Bondholder events during their year as Rising Star.


Summer school success

Bondholder the University of Derby has welcomed the largest number of international students to its summer school in 2019.

Students from 12 Chinese universities swapped their summer in China for a four-week stay in Derby as part of an international summer school.

More than 140 students and group leaders took part in the school designed to give students the experience of living and studying at a UK university while improving their English skills.

This was the largest number of students to take part in the University’s international summer school, which has been running for five years.

Richard Side, Head of International at the University of Derby, said: “This was an amazing opportunity for students to visit Derby – many for the very first time – to experience what the city and surrounding areas have to offer.

“The students were given the opportunity to experience a breadth of cultural activities as well as socialise with other students and improve their English language skills. At the University of Derby, we pride ourselves on offering international students a high-quality enriched student experience.”

The four-week stay began with an opening ceremony at the University’s Derby Campus, attended by Mayor of Derby Frank Harwood, who made a welcoming speech as well as Professor Chen, Vice President of Jiangxi University of Technology.

The students were from universities including Jiangxi University of Technology, Beihai University of Arts and Design, Shenyang University of Technology, Hubei University of Nationalities, North China University, Xi'an Architecture University, Wenzhou Business College, Pioneer College, Zhejiang Wanli College, Jiangxi Provincial Bureau of Education and Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Xi'an Jianda University.

The University of Derby has 1,700 international students from more than 100 countries. Its International Student Centre is ranked the best of all UK universities that participated in the International Student Barometer 2018, which measures international students’ experience of higher education.


Bondholders win with Chamber


Several Bondholders were amongst the winners at the 2019 awards night of fellow Bondholder East Midlands Chamber on Friday.

The awards are amongst the largest and most prestigious in the region, bringing together businesses from across Derbyshire to celebrate and promote the outstanding work undertaken by our business community.

Our Bondholders made us proud being shortlisted for many of the awards. Bondholder winners at the gala dinner held at Pride Park Stadium were: Bloc Digital; RDS Global; The Roundhouse; and Sky Recruitment Solutions.

Bondholder Bloc Digital took home the coveted Business of the Year award, but, ever the professionals, the team celebrated by heading back to the office to hit a deadline!

Details of how our Bondholders fared in the awards are given below:

Business of the Year
Winner: Bloc Digital

Business Improvement through Technology
Winner: Bloc Digital
Finalists: Bowmer & Kirkland and Scenariio

Community Impact Award
Winner: RDS Global
Finalists: Purpose Media and LoatesHR

Business Venue of the Year
Winner: The Roundhouse
Finalist: Devonshire Dome, University of Derby and The Derby Conference Centre

Commitment to People Development
Finalists: Air IT and Talk Staff

Entrepreneur of the Year
Finalist: Amanda Strong of Mercia Image Print and Simon Rice of HSG UK

Apprentice of the Year
Winner: Autumn Parkinson, Sky Recruitment Solutions
Finalist: Jess Frearson, Future Proof Films

Excellence in Customer Service
Finalists: Air IT, Anoki, Purpose Media

Small Business of the Year
Finalists: Rhodes Wealth Management and Timms Solicitors

Manufacturer of the Year
Finalist: Work Wallet


University in running for top award

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Bondholder 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.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell

Professor Kathryn Mitchell

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.


Bondholders bring Festé 2019

Ockhams Razor - Belly of the Whale. Photo Credit: Mark Dawson Photography

Ockhams Razor - Belly of the Whale. Photo Credit: Mark Dawson Photography

An impressive twenty Marketing Derby Bondholders are working together to bring Derby Festé to life again with international performers that will bring surprise and magic to Derby.

Derby Festé 2019 will take place on 27th and 28th September and is produced and presented by Bondholders Déda, Derby LIVE, Derby Theatre and QUAD.

Festé attracts more than 30,000 visitors to the city centre which features international performers that have toured the world in a celebration of outdoor street entertainment including dance, contemporary circus, music and comedy. Performers this year will be arriving from events in USA, Australia, Taiwan, Barcelona, Hong Kong and Germany – to name just a few – before they arrive to a warm welcome in Derby.

Museum of the Moon Photo Credit: Luke Jerram

Museum of the Moon Photo Credit: Luke Jerram

Derby Festé is sponsored by Bondholders Derby City Council, University of Derby, Derby Cathedral Quarter, St Peters Quarter, Foundation Derbyshire and intu Derby.

For the first time this year, organisers of Derby Festé have also joined forces with Bondholder Derby Cathedral to bring ‘Museum of the Moon’ to the city in the run up to and during the city’s popular annual event.

Marketing and promotions have been headed up by Bondholder Gravity Digital Ltd, who developed a new website as part of their sponsorship agreement, they also manage the social media, and other marketing activities working closely with creative Bondholder companies, Future Proof Films, JJ Public Relations , Mercia Image, and Code Print.

For people arriving in the city by train, there is also an exclusive offer that has has been promoted by Bondholder East Midlands Railway and the event is widely covered in the media including Bondholder Derby Telegraph.

Visit Derby has also just run a fabulous family festival break competition where entries were invited form people to win a weekend stay including free tickets to the Festé headline event, a meal for four at Bondholder Annie’s Burger Shack and overnight accommodation with Bondholder The Stay Company.

Fantabulosa 185. Photo Credit: Simon Hadley

Fantabulosa 185. Photo Credit: Simon Hadley

Derby Festé Artistic Director Stephen Munn from Déda said: "Festé is a true partnership of a vast number of organisations and businesses – bringing together a range of committed individuals who work really hard to make the annual event a reality.

"It is this combination of talent and effort that ensures that Festé is always pushing boundaries, bringing the unexpected and unusual to the city and creating unforgettable memories.

"The fact that so many Bondholders are at the heart of the continued success of Derby Festé is testament to the widespread passion for cultural activity in the city and we are also particularly grateful for the input from Arts Council England and the Without Walls Touring Network Partnership."

For more information, please visit or follow on social media.

BaroloSolo - ile O splash. Photo Credit: Vincent d'Eaubonne

BaroloSolo - ile O splash. Photo Credit: Vincent d'Eaubonne


Science park phase two plans move forward

Plans for the second phase of development at The University of Derby Science Park, which includes the expansion of the iHub, have taken a step forward after a request for a screening opinion was submitted to the city council.

The science park – which forms part of Infinity Park - is a collaboration between Derby City Council, the Harpur Crewe Estate, Rolls-Royce and developers Cedar House, Wilson Bowden and Peveril Securities.

It is located in the south of the city, next to the global headquarters of Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace.

The second phase could comprise an extension to the iHub, including 38,394 sq ft at the ground floor and 21,764 sq ft at the first floor.

Two more buildings are proposed; a diagnostic centre which would span almost 29,000 sq ft over two floors and a cancer treatment facility which would provide almost 43,000 sq ft of space.

Known as the Rutherford buildings, they will be used for patient diagnostics and treatment including MRI imaging, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, proton beam therapy and supportive care.

The development would also include car parking, infrastructure works, drainage, access, roads and attenuation ponds.

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2019 Sponsors

A big thank you to this year's Food & Drink Awards sponsors, who now have the difficult (and fun) task of picking a winner from their sponsored category!

See below for our full list of 2019 category sponsors and what they say about the awards.

Restaurant of the Year sponsored by Denby Pottery
"Denby is delighted to sponsor the Food & Drink Awards again this year as this region has many impressive venues for dining and socialising. Denby is offering a prize of £1,000 RRP of its locally made tableware for the winner of the ‘Restaurant of the Year’. As restaurants want their food to look as good as it tastes, this seemed like the perfect partnership for Denby!"

Outstanding achievement award sponsored by Royal Crown Derby
“It gives us great pleasure to be sponsoring this year’s Outstanding Achievement award. At Royal Crown Derby we have been manufacturing fine bone china tableware for over 265 years, meaning the Food and Drink industry is right at our heart. Being founded in Derby and being based in the city for over 2 and a half decades, it is an honour to be sponsoring such an important award in an industry and a city that means so much to us.”

Best Café sponsored by Derby College
"Derby Food and Drink Awards celebrate the best of creativity, high quality customer service and entrepreneurial endeavour which are all attributes that we engender into our student body as part of their study programmes."

Excellence in Customer Service sponsored by The Derby Telegraph
"Good customer service can mean the difference between an average dining-out experience and a truly memorable one; it can be the deciding factor which compels people to make a return visit.”

Remember this award is voted for by YOU. You can vote here for Excellence in Customer Service.

Best bar sponsored by Irongate Group
“Irongate is delighted to continue its support of the awards for another year, helping showcase the innovative and vibrate food and drink culture we have in Derby”.

Best pub sponsored by Mortgage Advice Bureau
"We’re proud to once again sponsor the Marketing Derby food and drink awards. Derbyshire is dubbed the real ale capital of the UK and we have a thriving food and drink scene so we’re extremely excited to see this year’s competition."

Most family friendly sponsored by Cattermole Electrical
"As a small award-winning family business and having a young family of my own it made sense for us to sponsor the Most family friendly award."

Best newcomer sponsored by Hot House Music School
"Derby has a tradition of being both innovative and inspirational. We believe that Derby has an exceptional level of talent in every aspect of its culture and business which is why we are delighted to sponsor the Best newcomer award"

Best international sponsored by KRCS
"As a local business, KRCS is proud to support restaurants in Derby and the surrounding areas. We’re excited to sponsor the Best international award 2019, as we celebrate diversity in the city and the eclectic mix of flavours and cultures that make Derby great."

Best out of town sponsored by the University of Derby
"We are delighted to be supporting the Food and Drink Awards 2019. Our Culinary and Hospitality courses are preparing the next generation of talent to support this highly valuable sector."

The Market Place sponsored by Gem Radio


Class of 2018

With over 4,000 nominations received from the public and some intense judging, Marketing Derby was pleased to announce the winners of the tenth annual Derby Food and Drink Awards in 2018.

The winners were announced at the awards ceremony, held at The Roundhouse on Monday 8th October 2018.

On the night, Marketing Derby presented the Royal Crown Derby Outstanding Achievement award to The Palfrey who made a significant contribution to Derby's food and drink scene.

The event also saw the launch of a new recipe book called Ten: A recipe for success, produced in collaboration with AVIT' Media and Once Upon a Fork.

The Winner of the 'Restaurant of the Year', Terroir Bistro, won £1,000 worth of Denby tableware.

The 2018 winners & finalists were:

Restaurant of the Year – sponsored by Denby Pottery
Terroir Bistro (winner)
The Dovecote

Best café – sponsored by Derby College
Bear (winner)
The Coffee House at Derby Museums
Milk & Honey Deli

Excellence in customer service – sponsored by the Derby Telegraph
Portobello (winner)
The Coffee House at Derby Museums
POINTSIX Coffee House
Milk & Honey

Best bar – sponsored by Irongate Group
Suds & Soda (winner)
Slug & Lettuce

Best pub - sponsored by Mortgage Advice Bureau
The Exeter Arms (winner)
The Dog & Moon
The Last Post

Most family friendly – sponsored by Derby Days Out
Buttermilk (winner)
POINTSIX Coffee House

Best newcomer – sponsored by the University of Derby
The Squashed Tomato (winner)
POINTSIX Coffee House
The Yard

Best international – sponsored by Riverlights Derby
Anoki (winner)

Best Out of Town – sponsored by Smooth Radio
Hackwood Farm (winner)
Fishermans Rest, Belper
The Shed at Hilton


A jolly good Fellow

Fiona Shelton, Dean of Students at Bondholder the University of Derby, is to receive a National Teaching Fellowship – the most prestigious individual award in higher education.

Fiona, who began her career in higher education in 2003, has been awarded the accolade in recognition of her contribution to teaching excellence at the University.

Fiona, who is also Head of the University’s Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), joins five of her University of Derby colleagues who already hold National Teaching Fellowships:

Paula Shaw, Academic Manager, University of Derby Online – awarded in 2018
Professor Malcolm Todd, Provost (Academic) – awarded in 2014
Dr Ian Turner, Associate Professor in Learning and Teaching – awarded in 2014
Professor Dennis Hayes, Professor of Education – awarded in 2010
Professor James Elander, Head of the Centre for Psychological Research – awarded in 2004
Fiona joined the University of Derby as a senior lecturer in Initial Teacher Education (ITE), having spent ten years as a primary school teacher in the city.

Fiona said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive the Fellowship because it is a recognition of my commitment to education, but also of how the University encourages and promotes teaching excellence and how it is improving the educational experience for all of our students.


Inspiring the future

Bondholder East Midlands Chamber is backing a new initiative to connect primary schoolchildren across Derby with local employers, to help introduce them to the world of work.

Our Future – Derby is a new project funded by Bondholder Derby City Council, which supports the Department for Education’s Opportunity Area Programme, led by Bondholder the University of Derby's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kath Mitchell.

The Chamber is calling on its member businesses to lend their support to the project by volunteering to engage with primary schools and help raise their pupils’ aspirations.

It is hoped that engaging local employers will help to open children’s eyes to their future career possibilities and develop their employability skills. It will also encourage parents to raise their children’s aspirations and support teachers in linking classroom learning with the needs of the local labour market.

In addition, the project will spark conversations at a range of events across the city to help broaden horizons, raise aspirations, and open up a world of greater opportunities to the children, their families, and their teachers.

The Chamber is delivering the project on behalf of the City Council, with its partners Learn by Design, Forum Talent Potential and DMH Associates.

Pieter Eksteen, the Chamber’s Education and Business Partnerships Manager, said: “Our Future - Derby is an innovative programme which aims to inspire children and help them see the link between their education and the world of work from an early age.

“Research shows children’s aspirations are often shaped, moulded, and restricted by gender stereotyping, socio-economic background and the people they meet in their local area. We believe that collaboration between schools, families and businesses will help children to gain a better understanding of world of work, the opportunities that are out there and how they can make the most of them.”

By becoming an Inspiring The Future volunteer, you can help inspire young people to think about what is possible in their futures. Whether you’re a CEO or an apprentice, you’ll be amazed at how inspiring your story can be.

Your commitment can be as much, or as little, as you can offer, from giving up just one hour a year to share your career journey with young people in a school, to becoming a school governor.

Sign up today and start inspiring children in your community by showing them a future they can aspire to.

Bondholder partnership boost

Bondholder Roundhouse Events has launched a new initiative to network with other events companies in the area to boost communication and referrals.

Meeting with a series of events companies once a month, with the aim of ensuring that event bookings are retained in Derby, the group has been co-created by Helen Vann, Sales Manager at Bondholder Pentahotel and Amy Wicks, Conference and Events Manager at Roundhouse Events.

Amy said "The aim of the group is to ensure Derby venues work together in collaboration to service the needs of companies and individuals looking to hire quality event space.

“There are many fantastic venues in Derby and we want to ensure that we service the needs of businesses and the community by offering suitable, quality space to host their event."

Helen added "It's a great way to get to know the people behind other Derby venues and hotels. It will enable all of us to work together, share best practise and, as a result, will enhance the offering across Derby as a city".

The group is made up of representatives from Bondholders Derby Conference Centre, Derbyshire County Cricket Club, Derby City Council, QUAD, Deda, Jurys Inn, Derby County Football Club, Derby Museums and the University of Derby, along with Visit Derby, Hallmark Hotel, Riverside Centre and the Cathedral Quarter Hotel.

To register your interest in becoming part of the group, please contact


Time to TALK Derby

A major new Government programme has been launched in the city to improve the education and future job opportunities of local children.

TALK Derby aims to increase the social mobility of children across the whole city, and particularly in some of the least advantaged areas, by strengthening speech, language and communication skills.

Information and resources will be provided widely, with additional free training and support for schools, childminders, children's centres and early years settings in eight Derby wards - Abbey, Alvaston, Arboretum, Boulton, Chaddesden, Derwent, Normanton and Sinfin.

TALK Derby is encouraging everyone in Derby to pledge to spend more time talking and listening to the children in their lives - at mealtimes, during play and through everyday conversations.

The £845,000 programme is funded by the department for Education through the Derby Opportunity Area. led by the Vice-Chancellor of Bondholder the University of Derby, Professor Kath Mitchell, and will run until September 2020.

140 people who work with local children in the eight target wards are being recruited as "champions" to drive the project forward. Trained staff will lead effective early years practice and work with parents and wider families, to encourage them to have more of the right kind of interactions with their children.

Councillor Evonne Williams, Bondholder Derby City Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People added: "We know that social mobility is an issue in the city and TALK Derby is another piece of the puzzle to tackle it. The Opportunity Area has proved really valuable. The early results are really positive and I believe that this project will also prove a success."

The greater Midlands

Taken from a series of new blogs by the senior team at Bondholder the University of Derby, Vice-Chancellor Professor Kath Mitchell says why the Midlands is a great place to be.

In her piece about the importance of place, Profesor Mitchell talks about the Midlands as an outstanding place to live, work, study and visit, and that the University of Derby is well-positioned to support Derby and Derbyshire, businesses, schools and colleges, and its community.


She writes, "This region of the Midlands has continued to exploit its heritage and enabled innovation and manufacturing to continue to be the bedrock of its economic growth, whether it is quarrying in the north of Derbyshire or planes, rail or automobiles in Derby. However, this is a simple description of our city and county. Our wealth of heritage and the juxtaposition of rural and city living creates an attractive and convenient place where you can live well.

"Over the last five years, there have been many exciting projects across our region that highlight the collaborative partnerships between local authorities, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), business and national funders, such as the Heritage Lottery Fund. These projects improve opportunities for both working and living in the East Midlands, especially in Derby and Derbyshire."

Professor Mitchell goes on to highlight the importance of regeneration of key sites in Derby city centre, the city's burgeoning cultural offer and the strides being taken in Derby to improve outcomes for young people.

"We champion social mobility and strive to inspire and create opportunities for all across our region and beyond, regardless of age, background or location. The University is a significant heartbeat in our city and our region. We take seriously the responsibility we have to drive the economic, social, cultural, educational and environmental prosperity of our home, " she writes.

To read the full blog on "Why the Midlands is a great place to live, work, study and visit

Food & Drink Last Chance to Vote!

Nominations close this Friday (26th) for the 2019 Marketing Derby Food & Drink Awards; vote now for your favourite establishment, 2000 already have!


Now in its eleventh year, the Awards recognise and celebrate the city's vibrant and growing food and drink sector.

Managing Director of Marketing Derby, John Forkin says: "Food and drink is an important sector but a tough one too. We want to celebrate the best locally and promote customer growth, so I encourage everyone to vote to give support to their favourites."

Here is the list of the categories available for nomination:

The Excellence in Customer Service award (Sponsored by Bondholder Derby Telegraph) is voted for by readers of the Derby Telegraph, from a shortlist of six establishments.

Nominations are judged on quality, not quantity, so make sure you consider your nominations carefully.

When the nomination period ends, judges from each category will sample each finalist to select a winner.

The finalists for each category will be announced on Friday 16th August, with the much anticipated awards ceremony taking place on Monday 7th October at Bondholder venue The Roundhouse.

For more information on the awards please contact Katie Wells


Superior Spas expands

Bondholder Superior Spas has successfully secured £1.6m to complete its planned expansion, which will see its relocation to 20,000 sq ft premises in Chesterfield.

The announced expansion comes as a result of continuing growth and success, which has seen the family-run company quickly become the UK’s leading name in high-end spas. In addition to expanding its European reach and capacity, Superior Spas is excited to announce the move will also create 30 new jobs.

Superior Spas secured £750k from Bondholder NatWest with the support of Relationship Director, William Islip and also a £150k loan from fellow Bondholder University of Derby’s Invest to Grow programme.

The Managing Director of Superior Spas, Robert Carlin commented: “The move to our new premises will bring with it a range of benefits to both the company and the local community. The facility will dramatically improve our efficiency by reducing despatch times, whilst also providing a high-end showroom and offices."


New to the team...

Marketing Derby has welcomed three new members to its team this summer with the appointment of Simon Kirk, Sarah McAllister and Christopher Tebbs.

Simon Kirk joins as an Inward Investment Executive and will work with investors and developers considering Derby and Derbyshire, as well as helping to raise the profile of the city and county to target audiences, attract investment and create jobs. Born in Derbyshire, he brings both public and private sector experience to the team, most recently from his time with the Invest in Nottingham team.

Corporate Administration Officer, Sarah McAllister, has worked previously for a number of Bondholder companies and joins Marketing Derby to provide support across the breadth of the business and to the company's Bondholders.

Christopher Tebbs is spending his summer with the company as a Digital Marketing intern to gain valuable work experience before he returns to Bondholder the University of Derby to complete his studies on the BSc Marketing (Digital) degree scheme.

Managing Director of Marketing Derby, John Forkin said “We are delighted to welcome Simon and Sarah to the Marketing Derby team; their appointments will further strengthen the activity we undertake to attract and support investment, and help us to provide even more valuable support to our investors, stakeholders and Bondholders.

"We are delighted to be able to offer Christopher an internship and hope his time with us provides a useful insight into the world of work and practical application of his degree studies. He is testament to the talent being produced by the University of Derby and their real world approach to learning."

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University honour for John

Marketing Derby managing director John Forkin will be named an Honorary Doctor of Bondholder the University of Derby at a ceremony next week.


The award is made in recognition of his tireless work to get investors to ‘think Derby’ for more than a decade and Marketing Derby’s efforts to generate investment and development in the city for over 12 years, contributing to the creation of over 4600 new local jobs.

John said: “To be honest, I was totally surprised but also equally delighted to be offered the award. So many people have contributed to the development of the city and the University and it's a genuine honour to be considered. Derby is a city of innovation in ideas and making and I'm keen to support our continued evolution as an attractive location in which to live, work or visit."

John is one of six people from Derbyshire to be honoured by the University of Derby at ceremonies this month. Also receiving honorary degrees are:

  • Chris Shrigley, one of the creators of the Tomb Raider franchise and its heroine Lara Croft;

  • Andy Sneap, a rock music producer who has worked with some of the world’s top heavy metal bands, such as UK veteran rockers Judas Priest;

  • Judy Leden MBE, who runs a flying school in Ashbourne and is being honoured for her pursuit of excellence in hang-gliding and her promotion of the sport;

  • Brian Jones, who since 2006 has been chief executive of the SENAD group, which has developed high quality educational programmes for children and adults with a variety of special educational needs;

  • Chris Hughes, former chair of the University's Governing Council, who will be honoured for his work to promote the growth of the University and the wellbeing of its staff and students over the past 17 years.

The six will receive their honorary degrees in front of thousands of graduating students, their families and friends at ceremonies taking place at Bondholder Derby Arena on 17-19 July.

Professor Kath Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “It is wonderful to be able to celebrate the work of six people from our city and county who have excelled in their very diverse fields and had such a positive impact on so many people’s lives.

“They each exemplify the values of boldness and brilliance to which we encourage our students to aspire, in order to achieve success in their careers and lives.

University opens new Rail Innovation Centre

A £1.4m rail innovation centre at Bondholder the University of Derby has been unveiled to the industry to help transform rail travel in the UK.

 Exterior view of the Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering (IISU)

The University of Derby’s Rail Research and Innovation Centre (RRIC), at Lonsdale House in Derby, was developed thanks to a £902,600 grant from fellow Bondholder D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund.

The funding has allowed for the purchase of three technology ‘demonstrators’ to help improve innovation and productivity within the rail industry: Advanced Rail Composite Design and Manufacture; Rail Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence; and Future Rail Propulsion.

It is hoped that the RRIC will upskill upwards of 80 rail sector employees, while also supporting around 80 supply chain businesses, 15 new collaborative research projects, and shepherd 20 companies through innovation funding applications by 2022.

Professor Warren Manning, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the University of Derby’s College of Engineering and Technology, said: “We are grateful to D2N2’s Local Growth Fund for the support it has given the University of Derby to develop this superb facility."

“The Rail Research and Innovation Centre will provide expertise and technology with the capacity to transform the development of rail transport, allowing organisations to get the best value out of data and find better ways of decarbonising the railways."

“Secondly, it will provide opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises in the rail supply chain and associated industries to collaborate with us in innovative and exciting ways. This will help to put them at the cutting edge of the industry, unlocking opportunities for them not just regionally and nationally, but potentially across the world too.”

Tom Goshawk, D2N2 LEP Capital Projects Manager said of the opening: “The Rail Research and Innovation Centre project has provided an excellent opportunity for D2N2 LEP to invest in the important rail industry in Derby."

“Transport Equipment Manufacturing is a sector of great importance to the D2N2 area and this investment enables greater efficiencies and enhances the inward investment offer to rail supply chain businesses in the region."

Arts Council Hub for Derby

Bondholder Derby Theatre has been awarded £1.5m by Arts Council England to become a pilot Performing Arts Producing Hub from September 2019.

As one of only two venues selected as a Producing Hub, Derby Theatre will use the three years of funding to programme work in community settings across the city; produce new small-scale productions that will tour into these hubs and beyond; produce new mid-scale work which will play on the Derby Theatre main stage and produce new outdoor work which will play at festivals like Festé and across the city.

The exciting consortium of companies who will help to support, deliver and develop the Producing Hub model in Derby include: Bondholders Déda, Derby City Council, Derby County Community Trust, QUAD and the University of Derby, along with Baby People, China Plate, Crying Out Loud, Maison Foo, Milk Presents, Not Too Tame and Wild Rumpus.

Sarah Brigham (Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Derby Theatre) said:“We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the Producing Hubs funding which will enable us to forge and develop new and exciting relationships with artists, local people and organisations across the city and beyond.”

Neil Darlison (Director, Theatre at Arts Council England) said: “These pilots will examine whether a better connected performing arts sector increases production capacity and provides greater opportunities for artists and audiences.”

In addition to the Arts Council England Funding, Derby Theatre along with Bondholders Artcore, Déda, Derby County Community Trust, Derby Museums, QUAD and Sinfonia ViVA, as well as Baby People and East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network (collectively known as the Derby Cultural Education Partnership) has also been awarded £1.1 million from the Arts Council Youth Performance Partnership Fund for the continuation of This is Derby.

The overall aim of the Arts Council’s Youth Performance Partnerships programme, through This is Derby, is to provide new opportunities for more children and young people, aged 8-18, particularly from areas of low cultural engagement and high levels of deprivation to take part in high quality cultural activities. It is a 3-year programme running until August 2022.