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NEWS

New City Centre Living Set To Improve Derby’s Accommodation Needs

 
Owners of vacant or under occupied commercial properties in Derby will soon benefit from an initiative that will see Derby City Council loan funding of up to £6.5m to convert their buildings into residential accommodation.

The City Centre Living Initiative aims to breathe life into vacant properties over the next three years and reduce dereliction in order to increase the long term sustainability of Derby City Centre.

Councillor Martin Rawson, Cabinet Member for Planning, Environment and Regeneration, said: “We have a lot of suburban housing in Derby at the moment and not much diversity. There’s not really a market for people looking to live somewhere with a bit of character, such as heritage conversions and contemporary apartments.

People looking to live a city life aren’t necessarily able to get that in Derby at the moment and we have people living in surrounding areas like Nottingham and Leicester commuting in. Bringing people into the city permanently will have a great financial impact for Derby.”

Derby City Council can expect to see an increase in Council Tax Income and through the New Homes Bonus.

With more people living in Derby, the city can expect to bring extra spend into the city centre economy. As well as economic benefits, Derby residents will notice an improvement to the look and feel of the city, making it a more attractive city to live and visit.

This initiative will bring more people living in the city centre resulting in the increased footfall and vitality of the city centre during the day as well as night time. It will help meeting the Council’s housing targets and create a high quality residential market which will be key to attract highly skilled people to live and work in Derby.

Funding will launch this month with the aim to enter initial loan agreements in April 2015. Support will then be delivered to 225 new dwellings over three financial years up to March 2018.
Added on 14 October 2014
 

Hero Hails Our Workers and City as it Looks to Double Staff

 
A Call centre company that is creating 800 jobs in Derby has revealed it is in talks with potential clients from China and the US that could lead to a doubling of employment at the site within 12 months.

Hero TSC took over the former Egg internet bank HQ in Pride Park at the end of last year, has already recruited 400 staff to work on behalf of Sky TV and is in the process of bringing in another 400.

And its chief executive, David Turner, revealed yesterday that the company was so delighted with the quality of those workers - and with Derby as a base – that it was already showcasing the operation to three further potential clients.

"Some guests flew in from China a few weeks ago. Some others from the US will join us next week," he announced at the international property show Mipim, in Cannes, France, yesterday.

"I'm hoping by this time next year, that we will have at least doubled the employment that we bring to Derby," he added.
Mr Turner was addressing an audience of around 150 people who attended a Derby Embassy event, staged in Cannes to try to attract more investment into the city.
He told guests that he had been "blown away" by the quality of people that the company was managing to recruit in Derby and by the support it had received from the business and civic community.

Hero's move to acquire the Egg site was assisted through a £10 million regeneration fund established by the city council.
Hero already operated eight call centres before expanding to Derby and Mr Turner said it was persuaded here by the city's location, infrastructure, its record of partnership working and its people.

And it is the quality of those people that has given it confidence to push ahead so quickly with plans to occupy the rest of the Egg site and take total employment to around 1,600.

"We run assessment centres as part of our recruitment process," he said.

"In other areas around 30% of people will get through those centres. Derby put through around 85%. I've been blown away by the type of people we've had coming in for those jobs. What we see is a confidence that takes us a long time to build in other parts of our estate."

And he told the audience: "For those people looking to invest in a city moving forward, you will be pleasantly surprised by what Derby has to offer today and also what it can offer in the future."

Hero was today due to announce plans for its 10th call centre – at a so far unspecified location – creating a further 500 jobs.
Yesterday's embassy was staged by Marketing Derby and the city council.

The authority's chief executive, Adam Wilkinson, described how the regeneration fund was on course to create or safeguard 1,865 jobs and leverage £92.6m of private sector investment.

He announced the council was seeking a partner to carry out a major revamp of the Roman House office block, currently occupied by council staff, before taking it to market.

He spelled out how the council was committed to investing £240 million over the next three years on housing, infrastructure and leisure schemes, including a multi-use sports and leisure arena and an Olympic size swimming pool.

Work is expected to begin on both later this year. And he revealed plans for the council to acquire the former magistrates' court in Full Street from developer Wilson Bowden and transform it into a business start-up centre.

The council would then work with Wilson Bowden to demolish the derelict adjacent police headquarters and develop that site for homes and a hotel.

He hoped work could start on the court building by the autumn. Mr Wilkinson said movement on this key site was seen as "symbolic to the city's future".

There was a positive reaction to the presentation from audience members and to Derby's presence in Cannes.

Roger Shine, whose company, Lowbridge, has just begun work on a £20 million office development off Friar Gate, said: "It's important that Derby is here. It's a city that's perhaps still undersold and more people need to know about it."

Derby's delegation has been funded by sponsorship and through Marketing Derby's private-sector bond-holders.
Added on 08 March 2012
 

Derby Team to Host VIPs

 
Marketing Derby Bondholder Innes England is supporting the Derby team in Cannes by sponsoring a VIP dinner on Wendnesday.

Nick Hosking, Commercial Property Consultant at Innes England said, “MIPIM is a unique opportunity to target thousands of decision makers in one location over a short space of time."

"Lowbridge’s new office development, Friar Gate Square, is currently the talk of Derby and we will be discussing this scheme and other inward investment opportunities during the three days of the event”.

Friar Gate Square was the result of the Derby team's presence at MIPIM from previous years. The first speculative development in the midlands since the economic downturn, started construction last month and will soon change the city skyline.

Marketing Derby will be updating the Derby team’s progress at MIPIM via Twitter. To keep updated follow @MarketingDerby on Twitter.

You can also receive free updates from us via SMS. To do this, text “Follow MarketingDerby” to 86444.
Added on 07 March 2012
 

Derby City Embassy

 
The Embassy will be the launch pad for the city’s plans to spend over £300 million in Derby.

Derby City Council Chief Executive Adam Wilkinson will give a presentation about £240 million of capital investment during 2012/2013, whilst Peter Richardson, Chairman of Derby Renaissance Board, will be outlining the city’s £40 million Regional Growth Fund will be spent.

There will also be a presentation from David Turner, Chief Executive Officer of HEROtsc – on why he brought a multi-million-pound investment and 700 jobs to the city in a showcase Sky customer centre.

Faithful+Gould Director Shaun Lunn said, “Faithful+Gould is delighted to be a sponsor of the Derby City Embassy at MIPIM. We are proud of our role as an employer in the city and are excited by the next wave of regeneration spearheaded by Derby City Council.”

John Phipps, Director at Lathams Architects said, “We recognise the importance of actively promoting Derby to the UK and international property investment and development markets."

"Having attended Derby events at MIPIM over several years we have been consistently impressed by the coherence and enthusiasm of the message presented…we are therefore delighted to be associated with the Derby team.”
Added on 07 March 2012
 

Work Begins on First City Office Development for 20 Years

 
Work has officially started on Derby's first major office development for 20 years.

Yesterday, a ceremony was held to mark the beginning of work on the first phase of the £20 million Friar Gate Square scheme.

Derby City Council is providing an undisclosed amount of cash from its £10 million Regeneration Fund for the development.

Sited on the corner of Agard Street and Ford Street, it will initially create about 250 jobs.

Friar Gate Square will be a two-phase development.

The first phase, which is due for completion in January next year, will provide 32,000 sq ft of office space over six storeys.

Work on the second phase will begin once all the offices in the first phase have been let.

It is believed the development, the first new office space in the city centre since a development in Stuart Street, could create 700 jobs when both phases have been completed.

At a sod-cutting ceremony yesterday, city council leader Councillor Philip Hickson joined John Needleman, from Glacial Properties, which is managing the project for developer Lowbridge, along with various other partners involved in the scheme.

Mr Hickson said: "It was an important day for Derby. Work beginning on this project will hopefully act as a catalyst for other office developments to begin.

"We know that there are businesses who are already interested in taking space at Friar Gate Square, which I hope will provide further evidence to those developers who are standing around waiting that there is a demand for this kind of development."

Mr Needleman said: "We've waited around four years to start work here, so we're really excited about getting started.

"We will deliver a building that Derby can be proud of and that will hopefully herald the start of the regeneration of this area of the city, giving a boost to shops and restaurants that are already here.

"We shall also be using contractors from the region."

One of those is Clegg Construction.

Managing director Simon Blackburn said: "This is a major scheme, not just for Derby but for the East Midlands as a whole."

At present, Derby has about a million square feet of city centre office projects waiting to be built.

But because of a lack of confidence in the market, developers are struggling to attract investment for projects where a tenant is not already in place.

The city council's Regeneration Fund was set up to stimulate office developments in the city centre by helping with construction costs.

John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, an organisation that promotes Derby as a place to invest, said: "There are only a handful of commercial property developments being built speculatively in the entire country – and this is one of them. That is the message that we will be taking the MIPIM international property and investment show in Cannes next month.

"When they hear that properties are being built speculatively, I'm confident that investors will show an interest in Derby."
Added on 28 February 2012
 

Derby in Top 10 Happiest Cities!

 
In last week's Sunday Times, Derby was listed as being the 7th happiest city in the UK.

The report by online property portal Rightmove collected 25,000 responses to their questionnaire which probed people's contentment from their home's safety, value and size, as well as the friendliness of their neighbours and the quality of local amenities.

The unhappiest parts of the UK included Harrow, and the North and West sides of London.

In other "happy" news for Derby, the skate park situated on Bass Recreation Ground has been given a one-off award for its importance to young people in the city.

The accolade was presented as part of the Derby Civic Society's annual George Larkin Awards Ceremony held last week, in which the skate park was acknowledged for making Derby a "brighter city".

Other awards were given to recognise outstanding restorations in the city. That included the work of architects MMA Design who restored the frontage of the one of the world's oldest department stores, Bennetts on Iron Gate.
Added on 15 February 2012
 

New City Sky Centre Launched

 
HEROtsc today launched its new operations centre on Pride Park only weeks after announcing its intention to invest in the city.

The company will initially bring over 800 new jobs into Derby which will act as a centre for direct contact with Sky customers on both service and sales related enquiries.

At the opening HEROtsc Chief Executive David Turner revealed that a key factor in choosing Derby was a belief that there was a ‘vibrant and talented’ labour market available in the area.

David Turner also thanked "Derby City Council, Marketing Derby and especially Sky without whom this investment would have not happened."

Over 2,500 applications for employment have been received and 200 people have already been appointed with some commencing the HEROtsc Management University programme.

Operations at the centre started in late January with over 1,000 calls being taken on the first day and the current phase of recruitment will be complete by July.

The investment is the city’s largest since the arrival of Toyota in 1989 and was seen as an essential part of Derby’s strategy to replace the jobs lost with the sale of Egg last year.
Added on 15 February 2012
 

Work to start on £20m Friar Gate Square

 
Work will start next month on a multi-million-pound office development in Derby.

Developer Lowbridge has said that it will begin building the first phase of the £20 million Friar Gate Square scheme, creating about 250 jobs, on February 13.

Sited on the corner of Agard Street and Ford Street, it will be the first speculative office development to be built in Derby for 20 years.

Derby City Council is providing an undisclosed amount of cash from its £10 million Regeneration Fund, which was set up to stimulate office developments in the city centre, to help with construction costs.

Friar Gate Square will be a two-phase development.

The first phase, which is due for completion in January next year, will provide 32,000 sq.ft. of office space over six storeys.

Work on the second phase will begin once all the offices in the first phase have been let. Innes England and CBRE have been appointed as the letting agents.

It is believed the development could create 700 jobs when both phases have been completed.

City council leader Philip Hickson said: "This project will deliver major regeneration benefits and provide an enormous boost for the city.

"The council has an ongoing commitment to stimulating the economy in Derby and the purpose of the regeneration fund is to help kick-start schemes which otherwise might not start because of the economic climate.

"If we encourage developers to start work on new schemes, they will become a catalyst for others to follow and the city will benefit from the major inward investment that is generated."

At present, Derby has about a million square feet of city centre office projects waiting to be built.

But because of a lack of confidence in the market, developers are struggling to attract investment for projects where a tenant is not already in place.

City council chief executive Adam Wilkinson said: "There has been considerable work to get to this point and this will be the first major scheme to start with the assistance of the Regeneration Fund.

"With this first scheme coming out of the ground, we are encouraged that other developers will see the benefits of investing in Derby with everything our vibrant and attractive city has to offer."

Roger Shine, chairman of Lowbridge, said: "I'm delighted that our further investment in Derby, together with funding from the city council's Regeneration Fund will bring to fruition this exciting development.

"These new office buildings will help to re-establish this historic quarter as the premier location for businesses in Derby."
Added on 25 January 2012
 

Sky revealed as key client of huge call centre in city

 
SKY has been named as the key client behind a call centre which will create about 700 jobs in Derby.

As exclusively revealed in the Derby Telegraph on Wednesday, Hero TSC is to take over the former Egg call centre on Pride Park, which will handle customer service calls on behalf of the broadcaster and telecommunications giant.

The jobs will be created over the next six months and recruitment days have already being arranged, with the first tomorrow.
Hero TSC's chief executive, David Turner, said: "I'm delighted to say that we are in a position to offer employment opportunities at a variety of levels to the Derby workforce.

"At Hero TSC, we continually stress that our biggest asset is our staff and I'm confident that our new employees in Derby will fit smoothly and seamlessly into our operation."

The news is a welcome boost to Derby, which this year has suffered a series of economic setbacks this year, including job losses at Bombardier, Celanese Acetate and Royal Mail.

Mr Turner said: "Everyone realises the importance of bringing new work for the people here and I'm so pleased we managed it.

"We start the recruitment drive immediately with the intention of having the centre fully operational by early next year."

Hero TSC already runs eight call centres – seven in the UK and one in India.

In the past two years it has doubled its workforce and today employs more than 4,000 staff, handling customer service contracts with several major companies including Vodafone and E.on.

Chris Stylianou, head of Sky's contact centres, said: "As a business we've got more customers joining us, taking multiple and more complex products so we need to ensure we are continuing to provide excellent customer service.

"With Hero TSC we have picked Derby for its pool of talented prospective employees who can help us maintain our standards."

The call centre became available when Egg's parent company, Citi, sold its credit card business to Barclaycard, which opted not to retain the Pride Park base.

The decision led to around 650 staff being made redundant. It is expected that some of those staff will apply for jobs with Hero TSC, which has its head office in Falkirk, Scotland.

Mr Turner said: "I can assure the people of Derby that this brings an opportunity to join a company that fully intends to maximise the potential of this operation and to further add new employment as we grow our business here.

"We have a proven track record of promoting from within and encourage all our employees to make the most of these exciting opportunities."

It is understood the city council has invested in the deal with cash from its Regeneration Investment Fund. But details have not been disclosed.

Council chief executive Adam Wilkinson said: "This shows the benefit of the council's open approach to business underpinned by our highly innovative £10m Regeneration Investment Fund.

"My staff have been focused from the start on winning this opportunity against competition from much bigger cities. This is another winner for Derby."

John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, said: "Marketing Derby is delighted that Hero TSC recognised the highly skilled workforce in Derby.

"Attracting this level of investment is not easy and there has been a joined-up effort from a number of parties, including Derby City Council, Citi, Barclaycard and property agents Thomas Lister, CBRE and Jones Lang La Salle, working together to secure this investment for Derby.

"It was a real team effort and I'm delighted for the hundreds of people who will soon be employed there."

Following the deal with Egg, Barclaycard pumped in "significant" resources to help the 650 affected staff who were being made redundant and support the campaign to market the call the centre to prospective businesses.

Vikki Williams, Barclaycard's head of site at Derby, said: "It's fantastic news that Hero TSC is coming to the Pride Park site and we're delighted to have been able to play a part in encouraging them.

"The colleagues here in Derby are wonderfully talented people and real professionals who have continually impressed us throughout the year."
Added on 22 December 2011
 

700 New Jobs For Derby

 
HEROtsc, one of the UK's largest contact centre companies, today confirmed they are to take over one of Derby's largest and most prestigious contact centre facilities.

The company, which has an extensive network of UK sites, is to open its latest centre in Pride Park and has indicated that it hopes to offer employment to around 700 people over the next six months.

David Turner, HEROtsc's Chief Executive Officer, confirmed that they have launched a full-scale recruitment drive to offer job opportunities to people in Derby and surrounding areas.

"I am delighted to say that we are in a position to offer employment opportunities at a variety of levels to the Derby workforce," said Turner.

"At HEROtsc we continually stress that our biggest asset is our staff and I am confident that our new employees in Derby will fit smoothly and seamlessly into our operation.

"I would like to thank the current businesses in the Centre as well as Derby City Council and Marketing Derby for their help in making this happen so quickly.
"Everyone realises the importance of bringing new work for the people here and I'm so pleased we managed it.

"We start the recruitment drive immediately with the intention of having the Centre fully operational by early next year."
He confirmed that HEROtsc would be running the Derby operation on behalf of one of their biggest clients Sky as the company substantially increased its work for Sky across its UK operation.

Chris Stylianou, Head of Sky's Contact Centres said: "We're very pleased to be partnering with HEROtsc to open a new customer centre in Derby. As a business we've got more customers joining us, taking multiple and more complex products so we need to ensure we are continuing to provide excellent customer service.

"With HEROtsc we have picked Derby for its pool of talented prospective employees who can help us maintain our excellent standards."

"This new business underlines the good work done on behalf of Sky in some of our other sites," said Turner.

HEROtsc began as Telecom Service Centres in the Scottish island of Bute in 1994 with seven employees - and presently has over 4000 staff in eight UK sites - Derby will be the ninth.

In 2007 Telecom Service Centres was acquired by the India based HERO Group and the UK outsource business was renamed HEROtsc. Its Falkirk-based management team not only looks after the UK site network but also runs an Indian-based contact centre in Gurgaon.

The company has positioned itself at the forefront of the contact centre sector with the introduction of industry-changing innovations and work practices which have seen its workforce double in a two-year period.

Adam Wilkinson, Chief Executive, Derby City Council added: "This shows the benefit of the Council's open approach to business underpinned by our highly innovative £10m Regeneration Investment Fund. My staff have been focussed from the start on winning this opportunity against competition from much bigger cities. This is another winner for Derby."

John Forkin, Managing Director, Marketing Derby welcomed the news He said: "Marketing Derby are delighted that HEROtsc recognised the highly skilled workforce in Derby.

"Attracting this level of investment is not easy and there has been a joined up effort from a number of parties including Derby City Council, Citibank, Barclaycard and property agents Thomas Lister, CBRE and Jones Lang La Salle, working together to secure this investment for Derby.

"It was a real team effort and I'm delighted for the hundreds of people who will soon be employed there"

In welcoming the new potential recruits into the company HEROtsc Chief Executive Officer David Turner said: "I can assure the people of Derby that this brings an opportunity to join a company that fully intends to maximize the potential of this operation and to further add new employment as we grow our business here"

"HEROtsc wants to maximise the potential of all our staff. We have a proven track record of promoting from within and encourage all our employees to make the most of these exciting opportunities."

Alan Duffell, Country Business Manager for Citi's UK Consumer business said "We are delighted to have played a part in bringing HEROtsc to Derby. This is good news not only for Citi but for the local area as well."

Vikki Williams Barclaycard's Head of Site said: "It's fantastic news that HEROtsc are coming to the Pride Park site and we're delighted to have been able to play a part in encouraging them. The colleagues here in Derby are wonderfully talented people and real professionals who've continually impressed us throughout the year''.
Added on 22 December 2011
 

Derby's Fund to Kickstart Five Schemes

 
The £10m Derby Regeneration Fund, established by the City Council, is to contribute to five projects in the City that aim to stimulate jobs and provide new office space, the Derby Embassy event at MIPIM was told this morning.

The specific schemes have not all been revealed, as they are to go to the Council's Cabinet meeting next Tuesday, but they include the acquisition of two sites to enable the Castleward Urban Village scheme to go ahead.

Chief executive Adam Wilkinson said: "We listened to developers and found there was a need for this Fund. We've had no real new office development for 20 years - that's been a failure - and there's a feeling there is pent-up demand.

"Over the lifetime of the Fund we hope to replenish and roll it over until the market doesn't need it."

Wilkinson said the original intent was for 200,000 sq.ft. of office space, private sector investment of £75m to be levered in and for 500 jobs to be attracted.

The five schemes selected will bring 100,000 sq.ft. of new floorspace and refurbished floorspace of 26,000 sq.ft. and will bring in £18m of private investment and safeguard 860 jobs, it was said.

Marketing Derby chairman Bob Betts said: "Ten million pounds is a ballsy call - but this is typical, pragmatic Derby."

Added on 09 March 2011
 

Derby Regeneration Fund Announcement At Mapic Retail Conference

 
Speaking from the MAPIC retail conference, Marketing Derby managing director John Forkin stated the fund shows Derby has "ambition".

Forkin, who is encouraging businesses to invest in Derby, said: "It shows the City Council continues to have ambitions for the City. This initiative improves the viability of some of the key commercial property sites in the City.

"These are really difficult times but it is important for all Cities to have the courage not to abandon all their plans as investors will be looking to see who is giving it a go."

Forkin added: "We have to change the perception of the place and that takes time. We have to stick at it and show the progress that has been made in the last three years."

He said: "We are gathering the contacts and raising the profile of Derby. We are the number one high-tech knowledge City in the UK and have the highest salaries outside London."

Talking of the £10 million Fund, Adam Wilkinson, Chief Executive of Derby City Council, said: "An essential next step in Derby's regeneration is the construction of the new commercial office space right in the heart of the City centre.

"This will complement the massive retail and leisure investment of the past few years by putting more suits on the street and thus support the day trade of local businesses.

"We are looking for imaginative applications from developers who are serious about taking forward their schemes with Derby City Council as a potential investment partner."

Councillor Harvey Jennings, leader of Derby City Council added: "We are totally committed to maintaining Derby's regeneration momentum and this Fund recognises the need for the public sector to take a lead in these difficult times."

"We understand that the market climate and the credit crunch had prevented important developments from being taken forward and we want to use the Regeneration Fund to help unblock this."
Added on 19 November 2010
 
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