Latest News | 28 July 2022

Why ‘Derbados’ is a great city for young professionals

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After another cohort of students graduated from the University of Derby earlier this month, we are reminded by Jack Readman, a senior account director at PR and communications agency Nielsen McAllister why young professionals are choosing to settle and start their careers in Derby.

Here, in his own words, Jack explains why ‘Derbados’ remains the perfect place for young people to not just build a career, but a life.

Drop that eyebrow please, I’ve got a serious, if somewhat philosophical, point to make here:

Derby is a fantastic place to establish your career and to start building your life – and I’m tired of pretending that it isn’t.

There’s a notion that for graduates, millennials or other ‘avocado-aligned adults’, the big four cities (Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol or the one to rule them all…London) are the only places worth considering moving to for work.

They have all the glamourous nightlife, attractions and reputation that stereotypically should attract young professionals like myself, but does that make those places great to live in?

For some people, the wallet crushing rent prices and higher cost-of-living is absolutely worth the metropolitan lifestyle – and I mean that with full sincerity!

But what about those who just want a decent place to live, work and play?

Well, consider ‘Derbados’…

According to the Derbados Facebook page: ‘Derbados is not just a place, but a state of mind’.

As with most stereotypes, they quickly fall apart when you look at the wider spectrum.

Not every graduate or young professional is necessarily keen on the fast-paced metropolitan lifestyle.

Many of us would like to simply crack on with our careers and start building our lives, and Derby is a fantastic place to do that.

Now, I could argue the business case for the growing city that is Derby – a birthplace of the Industrial Revolution (as seen by the fantastic Museum of Making).

I could point out that Derby is chock full of high-tech businesses, including Toyota and Rolls-Royce and a wealth of opportunities in a huge range of different sectors.

I could point out that Derby has been recognised as the best city in the UK for millennials to start a business with excellent transport links, a central location and well-priced and abundant commercial property.

But not all of us are necessarily looking to set up our own enterprises – so what does Derby have to offer for its residents? Plenty.

With a city population of over 250,000 (and the greater metropolitan area somewhere around 700,000), Derby is by no means a small city.

But it also isn’t too large to feel unwelcoming as cities like the ‘big four’ can do.

In practical terms this means that you are likely to find every business, hobby or sports group that you could possibly need, without having to feel like an ant in a concrete jungle or packed like sardines into sweaty public transport.

Derby is a very affordable city with relatively low property prices, (in the same way that the temperature of the surface of Venus is lower than that of the sun at least), which should make that the process of saving for a deposit that little bit easier.

So, in simple terms: it’s not too big and not too small.

But what is here that’s worth celebrating?

I’m not going to jettison those precious few shreds of integrity that survived my stumble through higher education by claiming that Derby is the place to be for nightlife.

It isn’t’, but that’s kind of the point – not everyone wants that. Some people want a more relaxed experience in the pub for instance.

And Derby has a seriously impressive range of fantastic pubs for people from all walks of life, including several CAMRA Pub of the Year titleholders (my personal favourite is The Seven Stars).

More young adults than ever are keen on outdoor pursuits such as hiking, particularly since the pandemic, and Derby is certainly well situated if that’s your thing.

Some parts of the Peak District, famous for its…uh…peaks, are as little as 20 minutes’ drive away with the popular walking routes of Mam Tor and Kinder Scout can be reached in under an hour.

There are also regular bus services to the picturesque towns and villages of Ashbourne, Bakewell and Castleton – making a day out perfectly reasonable on short notice.

For the musically inclined, Derby is well-known for its diversity of independent music venues who regularly host performers from all known and yet to be discovered genres.

And perhaps one of the best but overlooked benefits of Derby is its centrality…
Almost nowhere, at least in England and Wales, is unreasonably far away.

Both Brighton and Newcastle (complete opposite ends of the country) are around three hours’ drive.

The same is true for the coastline and castles of North and South Wales.

London is around an hour and a half by train with direct services available.
An experience familiar to young professionals regardless of whether they personally went to university or not is seeing all your friends move to towns and cities all over the country.

Personally, I have friends that have moved to Cardiff, Newcastle, Cambridge, and London; and all of them are within reasonable travelling distance from me which over the years I have come to appreciate immensely.

If you do want that large city experience, then Derby still has you covered through its proximity to Nottingham.

Putting the rivalry aside, the ease of travelling to and from Nottingham is stellar – with direct and regular coach services between the two cities.

It is incredibly easy to decide last minute to go to Nottingham of an evening and then be able to get back to Derby.

Everyone wants different things from their lives. Some seek the constant thrill of adventure. Some relish the fast-faced lifestyle that large cities promise.

And some enjoy the process of building their lives, meeting new friends, getting stuck into various hobbies or starting a family – whilst also enjoying a productive career.

Derby is a great place to live for all the reasons I’ve stated here, but don’t forget there are wonderful opportunities here too.

Which is why I have chosen, as a young professional, to make it my home.

Thanks to Nielsen McAllister for allowing us to republish this blog. To read more insight from the Nielsen McAllister team, visit

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