Latest News | 18 June 2024

Innovate Magazine: Maximising Derby’s ‘olympic’ opportunity

Nimbus Disability
Two Chevrons CIC
Derby City Council
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In the latest edition of Marketing Derby’s Innovate Magazine launched this week, we look at how the city is planning to take full advantage of some major new schemes set to come online in 2025 – dubbed Derby’s ‘olympic year’.

One of these schemes is the new entertainment and conference venue in Becketwell, which is set to open its doors next year.

The 3,500-capacity venue will be a major game-changer in terms of attracting extra footfall.

Once open it will host over 200 cultural and commercial events each year and is expected to attract an additional 250,000 visitors to Derby.

But is the surrounding neighbourhood ready for such an influx? Innovate finds out how local businesses and landlords are working with Marketing Derby to help create a vibrant, interesting and welcoming feel to Becketwell.

One business owner who fully realises the potential is Jai Sandhu, owner of Nixon Coffee, in Abbey Street.

He is fully behind efforts to improve Becketwell – and we catch up with Jai (over a coffee, of course) who shares his hopes for the area.

While creating new places of entertainment, Derby is putting plans in place to resurrect some of its existing ones.

The historic Guildhall Theatre, in the Market Place, has been shut for the past five years after it was forced to close due to structural issues.

Now, the Grade II listed building is set to be given a new lease of life thanks to a £24.5 million cash injection.

Innovate is given a look inside the venue as it is now – and is given an insight into the ambitious plans to bring it back to life.

A man who has helped to oversee much of the progress Derby has made over the past five years is Paul Simpson, chief executive at Derby City Council.

Innovate sits down with Paul for a Q&A in which he reflects on what has been achieved – and the work that still lies ahead.

The exciting schemes set to happen in 2025 provide the focus for this edition’s Talking Business roundtable discussion.

Our panel of experts discuss whether 2025 can be Derby’s ‘olympic’ year and why it presents a golden opportunity to repurpose the city.

In this edition, we also meet Marketing Derby’s Rising Star for 2024 – Joshua Leach-Aslam.

Joshua is the founder of Two Chevrons Group, a social enterprise which supports armed forces veterans and the blue light community transition to civilian life.

Joshua himself is an armed forces veteran. After joining the British Army in 2009, he became a sniper at the tender age of 17.

By the time he was 18 he had already served in Afghanistan. He became a full corporal (hence the two chevrons name) at just 20 years old.

But his burgeoning career in the military was cut short at 23 years old when he was given a medical discharge.

He was passionate about giving something back, particularly to the veteran and blue light community, which is where Two Chevrons Group comes in.

In his interview with Innovate, Joshua shares the battle people like himself face to adjust back to civilian life.

In this edition we also meet Martin Austin, from Nimbus Disability – the Derby-based social enterprise behind the innovative Access Card.

Martin tells the story behind the invention – the first accessible ticketing scheme of its type in the world, which uses bespoke software to translate a cardholder’s verified disability and access requirements.

Today, it is being used by around 400,000 disabled people to help them attend festivals, concerts, theatre performances, theme parks and sporting events at 1,700 venues across the UK and beyond.

And Innovate drops in on Seven, the luxury restaurant and café bar on Pride Park, to meet with Helen Salloway and her son Campbell.

The business is celebrating its 10th anniversary – and Helen and Campbell share their recipe for success.

Finally, in his latest Innovate column, John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, talks about the power of partnerships – in particular Team Derby, which has not only helped the city secure new wins, but also protect what we have.

A digital version of the latest edition of Innovate magazine is now available on the Marketing Derby website at .

To find out more about advertising opportunities in future editions of Innovate Magazine e-mail Andrew Lowe at

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