Latest News | 9 June 2022

Why we’re proud to wave the flag for Derby and Derbyshire

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Here, in his latest monthly column reflecting on the news over the past month, our Press and PR Executive Robin Johnson looks at the headlines.

Throughout the long bank holiday weekend, the Union Jack flag was a prominent sight across the country as we came together to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

As a trainee reporter at the Derby Telegraph back in the 1990s, I would’ve got told off by a sub editor for referring to it as the Union Jack.

“It’s the Union flag, Robin!” they would bellow across the newsroom so everyone could hear. “They only call it the Union Jack in the Navy!”

However, in 2013, following historical investigations by the Flag Institute (yes, such an organisation does exist) this assertion was dismissed.

If only I had known back then, that would’ve been quite a good comeback.

Whether you call it the Union Jack or the Union flag, our national flag means different things to different people.

At major events like the Jubilee, it represented national pride and respect for our longest serving monarch.

In the run up to the Jubilee, I put together a special Jubilee-themed news e-shot, detailing all the major events which took place in Derby city centre, as well as stories with a Jubilee flavour.

You can check out some of them here.

I hope you all managed to get to some of the Jubilee events that took place in your neighbourhood.

Myself, my wife and nine-month-old son went to a street party in our village – and thousands turned up!

It took us half an hour to walk 100 yards through the sea of humanity with the pram, being careful not to run over people’s feet, not to mention small dogs.

Of course, the baby slept through the whole thing. He’s a good lad!

Anyway, in the run up to the celebrations, there were plenty of stories in May which had a Royal flavour to them.

For example, we learned that the Queen’s Baton Relay, held in the run up to this summer’s Commonwealth Games, is due to visit Derby and Derbyshire. (Read the full story here.)

One of the venues it will visit is Derby City Council’s brand new, £42 million Moorways Sports Village, which in May opened to the public. (Read the full story here.)

It will also be paying a visit to Derby Museums’ Museum of Making, which in May marked its first anniversary by being shortlisted for the world’s largest museum prize. (Read the full story here.)

Derby Museums also had another reason to celebrate, after announcing it would be the guardian of a rare painting by the world-renowned Derby-born artist Joseph Wright. (Read the full story here.)

In May, we were still basking in the success of Derby and Derbyshire companies who were named as Queen’s Award recipients towards the end of April. (Read the full story here.)

Derbyshire received a record nine awards (the fourth highest in the country) – three of which went to Marketing Derby Bondholders – Cosy Direct, Ward and Nimbus.

Derby is known for many things – most notably its manufacturing prowess in the fields of aerospace, automotive and rail.

One thing it isn’t noted for is its film-making industry, although we do have some promising independent talent.

But all that could change if plans by MARV Studios – the production company behind such films as Kingsman, Stardust and Rocketman – gets the go-ahead to turn the former Aida Bliss factory into a state-of-the-art facility. (Read the full story here.)

So, if you bump into Taron Egerton in Chester Green newsagents some day in the future, you’ll know why!

I digress. One place where the Union Jack proudly flies is Rolls-Royce, whose very name is a byword for quality, not just in the UK but around the world.

The company is perhaps best known for aero engines, but Derby is also home to its submarines business, where it makes nuclear power plants for the Royal Navy.

The firm has also recently launched a new business, Rolls-Royce SMR, which will build small nuclear power stations, as the world looks to introduce cleaner and greener sources of energy.

Derby is integral to Rolls-Royce’s nuclear business, evidenced by some major announcements in recent weeks.

The company announced that Derby was to be home to a new skills academy for nuclear training, with the business taking on hundreds of apprentices every year. Not long after that announcement, it was confirmed that the iHub, on Infinity Park, would be home to that academy. (Read the full story here.)

And in addition to the academy, Rolls-Royce also announced it would be creating hundreds of jobs for its new Rolls-Royce SMR business, including a number in Derby. (Read the full story here.)

It is excellent news that Rolls-Royce is continuing to invest in Derby like this.

A timely show of the city’s appreciation was evidenced by Grainger Plc’s choice of name for its new 259-apartment scheme, which forms part of the first phase of the £200 million Becketwell regeneration scheme.

In May, we reported that the build-to-rent scheme is to be named after a famous Rolls-Royce engine. (Read the full story here.)

Becketwell is just one of the many schemes rising out of the ground across the city and county, which will be showcased at the forthcoming Derby Property Summit.

Due to take place in July, it will look at how we are repurposing our city centre to meet renewed expectations as a place to live, work and visit.

Featuring a host of top speakers, places can be booked by clicking here.

As well as looking at what is happening in the city – the summit will also look at what is happening in the county.

Of course, the economies of both are intrinsically linked – something that is recognised in a new tourism campaign devised by Derby City Council’s Visit Derby service and Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire. (Read the full story here.)

The ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign aims to encourage people to take short breaks, using Derby as a base to explore the city and wider county, and take advantage of a host of activities on offer.

Sometimes, you can’t beat a holiday in Britain, as most of us found out during the pandemic.

Canoeing up the Derwent or taking in the stunning views of the Peak District certainly sounds better than standing in an airport queue for hours on end.

The campaign has compiled a huge list of things to do in the city and county.

I’d list them all, but if you’ll pardon the pun, I’m beginning to flag!

Have a safe and productive June (what’s left of it) and I look forward to catching up again soon.

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