Living in Derby
What is life like in Derby?
Derby is a large city in the East Midlands, perhaps best known as the home of Rolls-Royce. In fact, it remains a key manufacturing destination within the UK, with companies such as Toyota and Derby Litchurch Lane - the only remaining train manufacturer in the UK - based there.
The presence of such prestigious and sizeable firms means employment opportunities are plentiful in many areas.
While Derby is not renowned as a city with ample aesthetic appeal, it is undergoing many redevelopment and renovation projects, making it a more pleasant place to spend time. Its population has grown to more than 250,000 in recent years.
One of the most significant developments in Derby’s history was the creation of Pride Park in the late 1990s. This area boasts a business park, a wildlife sanctuary and the much-loved home of Derby County FC, the iPro Stadium.
In a 2014 poll by Jetpac, Derby was named one of the three happiest places to live in the UK, underlining the positive approach that is typical among its residents. With booming local industry, it is a good time to be finding a place to live in the area.
And with a number of high-quality residential areas already in place, investment being made in its town centre and excellent transport links, living in Derby is an appealing option to many people - and it is not difficult to see why.
There is much speculation over the origins of the name Derby, with theories ranging from the possibility that it comes from the Roman name Derventio to the idea that it could be a shortened version of Derwent.
Derby was a key battleground in the Civil War, with the Parliamentary troops defending nearby Nottingham against the Royalists and also managing to protect Derbyshire.
The arrival of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century was a watershed moment for Derby, with the city going on to become a major industrial power. Its major business included the production of ribbed hose and cotton.
By the start of the 19th century, Derby was starting to be known as an engineering hub, with leading manufacturers such as James Fox sending their products across the world. The North Midland Railway based itself in Derby in 1840 and triggered a thriving rail industry in the area.
Perhaps Derby’s most famous resident, Rolls-Royce, opened its car and aircraft factory in the city in 1907 and it has remained there ever since.
In more recent years, the development of Pride Park was a major step forwards for Derby, with its business park attracting more firms and jobs to the city and the magnificent iPro Stadium providing a new home for Derby County FC.
Entertainment, sport and days out
There are plenty of landmarks and attractions to enjoy in and around Derby, with its imposing cathedral arguably the most celebrated of all. A tour of this historic building is a must for everybody who calls Derby home.
Alternatively, those seeking a spot of local culture should head to the Arboretum and the Industrial Museum, which tells the fascinating story of Derby and its industrial roots.
Sports fans will want to catch Derby County in action at the iPro Stadium, located on the Pride Park development just a short distance from the city centre. Leaders incorporating ISM has a branch just metres from the stadium.
As well as football, Derby is a proud sporting city in a number of other areas, including motorsport as it lies just a short distance from the famous Donington Park race circuit, which previously hosted Formula 1 grands prix.
Another option is to enjoy a show at The Playhouse, which is one of Derby’s most popular venues. Or head to the modern QUAD complex, which houses a gallery, cinema complex and a digital studio.
People who wish to get out of the city and into the countryside will be spoilt for choice in Derby, although no destination is as impressive as the nearby Peak District National Park. The UK’s most visited national park offers a stunning landscape that can be enjoyed all year round.
Eating, drinking and shopping
Those with a passion for retail therapy will be delighted by what they find in Derby, with the city divided into two distinctive zones. The first of these is the Cathedral Quarter, where independent and boutique stores line the narrow streets.
Secondly, there is a large Westfield complex with all the main high street names based there, along with a multiplex cinema and food court. It means people are well served for shops across Derby, no matter what they are looking for or where they prefer to shop.
When it comes to enjoying a drink with friends, the Friar Gate area of Derby is a great location. It boasts a wide range of bars and clubs, making it the perfect spot for either a quiet social occasion or a night out.
The Derby Food and Drink Awards have brought a number of venues to even greater attention in recent years, with the likes of Iberico World Tapas, the Bean Caffe, Mansion Restaurant & Wine Bar, Masala and the Spice Lounge among those to have been recognised.
Schools & healthcare
There are dozens of schools in and around Derby, meaning every young person is able to enjoy access to the education they require. With about 30 primary schools and 15 secondary schools in operation, there is also plenty of choice.
Among the most popular primary institutions are Ashgate, Dale Community, Parkview and Wyndham, while good secondary choices include the City of Derby Academy, West Park and Bemrose School.
There are two hospitals in Derby, in addition to a selection of local clinics and surgeries. The Royal Derby Hospital is a great option for anybody in need of health care, while the London Road Community Hospital provides an alternative.
As a major city, it is no surprise to find Derby has impressive transport infrastructure in place. Located just ten miles or so from the M1, it is easy to access the city from across the UK, while local roads are also conducive to good traffic flow.
Park and ride schemes operate from Pride Park and the Meteor Centre, while there are about a dozen car parks in the city centre.
Derby has a long and rich history in the rail industry, so understandably rail links are among the strongest in the country. Its central station offers direct links to London and a host of other destinations in the Midlands, while there are smaller local stations at Spondon and Peartree.
Trent Barton, Arriva Midlands and several other companies run local bus services in Derby and the surrounding areas, making almost any journey around the city a straightforward proposition.