Westminster visit promotes importance of twinning of Derbyshire and Toyota City

13 September 2018

Representatives from the University of Derby, Marketing Derby and the region’s City, County and District councils joined government ministers and MPs in Westminster this week for an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the twinning of Derbyshire and Toyota City.

The event promoted the significant contribution made by the twinning relationship to business and manufacturing in the region, as well as its social and cultural impact.

At the event, Professor Judith Lamie, Derby’s Pro-Vice Chancellor – External Affairs, gave a speech highlighting the need for support from national politicians and Westminster civil servants to continue to create an environment that encourages overseas inward investment, particularly that from Japan and Toyota City into Derbyshire.

Professor Lamie said: “As Pro-Vice Chancellor with responsibility for our external and community engagement across Derbyshire, as well as overseas, I am able to experience first-hand the significant positive impact that inward investment from Japan – particularly through Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK – has had on our city and county.

“A number of projects are planned this year to celebrate the 20th anniversary. As part of this, we are embarking on research projects with Chukyo University, with researchers from Derby visiting Japan and vice versa, delivering strong benefits for both institutions.”

John Forkin, MD of Marketing Derby, said: “The inward investment of Toyota stands as one of the most iconic events in creating economic confidence in Derby and Derbyshire, creating a positive legacy which can be used as our narrative to promote the area to new investors.”

Councillor Tony King, Chair of the Toyota City Partnership Development Board, spoke on behalf of Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council and South Derbyshire District Council, saying: “Not only is TMUK a vital part of the backbone of our economy, it is also a good neighbour and has become equally a vital part of the community; there is an exemplary three-cornered relationship, between Derbyshire councils, Toyota City Council and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, which sustains our ongoing commitment to one another.”

The Westminster event was part of wider activities to promote the 20th anniversary of the twinning of Derbyshire and Toyota City. Next week, members of the Toyota City Partnership Development Board will visit the Toyota City Industry Festa in Japan to promote the region.

The Board includes the University of Derby, Burton and South Derbyshire College, Derby College Marketing Derby, Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council, South Derbyshire District Council, Toyota City Council, the National Forest, Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire, and East Midlands Chamber of Commerce.

Westminster event to mark the 20th anniversary of the twinning of Derbyshire with Toyota City
L-R: Marvin Cooke, MD Toyota Manufacturing UK; Professor Judith Lamie; Helen Wheeler MP; Ambassador Koji Tsuruoka, Embassy of Japan in the UK; Councillor Tony King, Derbyshire County Council

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