Latest News | 21 June 2023

Work starts on university’s state-of-the-art business school

University of Derby
Derby City Council
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Construction work has officially begun on the University of Derby’s new Business School.

A ground-breaking ceremony recently took place at the development site, which is adjacent to the university’s Friar Gate Square.

Designed to be a facility for cutting-edge research, learning and teaching, and support businesses in the region and across the globe, once built, the business school is projected to be the study base for more than 6,000 students by 2030, supporting the local economy and adding to the vibrancy of the city centre.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, vice-chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “This new development is ground-breaking for many reasons.

“The state-of-the-art facilities will not only enable the university to extend its opportunities to undertake innovative and impactful research but will also enable staff to deliver experiential learning and teaching through co-location and co-creation with businesses, and will become the front door of the university for the business and wider community.”

(Phil Searle, University of Derby) – University of Derby new Business School Ground Breaking Ceremony. Members of The University of Derby, Kier Construction and Derby City Council take part in the ground breaking ceremony of the new business school for the university. (l to r) Martin Williamson, Operations Manager for Kier construction North & Scotland, Councillor Nadine Peatfield, Deputy Leader Derby City Council, Andrew Bevan, interim Director of estates, University of Derby, Prof. Kathryn Mitchell CBE, DL, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive University of Derby, Lord Burlington, Chancellor University of Derby, Councillor Baggy Shanker, Leader Derby City Council, Prof Kamil Omoteso, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean, College of Business, Law and Social Sciences, Mark Dady, Managing Diector Kier Construction, Eastern and Midlands Regions

The Business School is planned to include facilities such as an auditorium, a stock market financial trading room, a creativity lab, an extended reality suite and a range of social collaborative study spaces and quiet contemplative areas.

The development, which is proposed to be net zero carbon in construction and operation, kickstarts the university’s City Masterplan, which aims to develop its footprint in the city and improve connectivity across sites.

The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by the university’s Chancellor Lord Burlington, academic colleagues, and representatives from Derby City Council, as well as Kier – the company that is constructing the new business school.

Lord Burlington said: “The new Derby Business School will provide a place that inspires and encourages enterprise and innovation, where students and expert academics can collaborate, network with, learn from, and support local business leaders and entrepreneurs.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a substantial impact on economic development and social mobility in our region.”

As part of the development, Kier will work with the university, local businesses and supply chain partners to create new jobs and apprenticeship opportunities, 25 work experience placements and two graduate opportunities.

Martin Williamson, operations director for Kier in the East Midlands, said: “We are delighted to be working with the University of Derby on this innovative business school in the heart of the city.

“We will use our extensive experience in the higher education sector to deliver a landmark building that fulfils the university’s ambition to connect students with local businesses and their wider community.”

Professor Mitchell said: “At Derby, our ethos is on equipping students with the skills and confidence to become gamechangers in their chosen career.

“As a leading institution for applied research, we recognise the importance of providing relevant activity to industry and the wider world, leading the way in impact from industry engagement.

“We look forward to seeing the project develop and continuing to work closely with key stakeholders to drive the new site to completion.”

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