Latest News | 29 April 2021

£1.75m initiative launched to attract more firms to city centre

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Derby City Council has launched a £1.75 million initiative to encourage more businesses to locate to the heart of Derby.

It wants to work with businesses who will bring high-quality jobs into the city centre, as well as owners of vacant buildings, to repurpose redundant space for new economic uses, including offices and apartments.

Through the new scheme, the council recently supported IT company Bam Boom Cloud to move its global headquarters to a vacant building in the Wardwick, bringing almost 100 high-value jobs to the city centre.

Now, the council is making funding available to attract others to follow suit.

David Fletcher, the council’s director of city development and growth, said: “Bam Boom Cloud is the perfect example of what we’re aiming to achieve through this inward investment initiative. We now hope to attract further jobs into the city centre and achieve new uses for more of our vacant properties.”

John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, said: “People want to see a dynamic and vibrant city and this fund provides us with a unique opportunity to support new jobs and investment in making that happen. Early interest has been incredibly positive.”

The council is looking to support businesses that will bring at least 10 jobs to the city centre, and is able to offer help with rent, business rates, training, marketing, parking or office fit-out costs.

For repurposing of buildings, the initiative can fund up to 100% of feasibility studies and up to 50% of capital costs for repurposing, renovation, and conversion.

The authority has just agreed to support Manston Investments with a feasibility study to explore future uses for its empty former Bennetts building, in Iron Gate.

Applications will be considered from businesses proposing to generate employment anywhere within the city boundaries but weighting will be given to those targeting Derby city centre and those whose plans will help diversify the high street.

The authority aims to allocate its funding by March 2022.

Financing for the project has been provided from the Government’s Additional Restrictions Grant and will complement the £5 million Ascend business support programme, which has already been announced by the council.

The Ascend programme supports existing local companies to scale up and take on more staff by assisting with the development and implementation of growth plans and securing investments.


The £1.75 million inward investment initiative forms part of the city’s economic recovery strategy; developed to help the city build back better as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Fletcher said: “Our comprehensive recovery strategy is built on instilling confidence among businesses and investors, diversifying our local economy and de-carbonising.

“We aim to build back better and differently. We have already had some major wins, such as persuading SmartParc to build a high-tech food campus, which will create up to 5,000 jobs.

“But we remain focussed on doing everything possible to make Derby a fantastic place to live, visit and do business.

“We want our city centre, in particular, to be attractive and vibrant, with more homes, high-quality employment, brilliant cultural, leisure and retail offerings and we want to improve our public areas and make the most of our attractive and historic buildings.

“This new programme of support will help us to achieve those ambitions.”

For more details on the scheme and eligibility e-mail

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