Breaking new ground at Derby Business School development

9 June 2023

Construction is underway for the development of the University of Derby’s new Business School, which will provide a facility for cutting-edge research, learning and teaching, and support businesses in the region and across the globe.

The new Business School, which is being built by Kier on land adjacent to the University’s One Friar Gate Square, 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.

To mark the progress of the project, a ground-breaking ceremony was held at the site today (Friday 9 June, 2023), with guests including the University’s Chancellor Lord Burlington DL, academic colleagues, and representatives from Kier and Derby City Council.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, 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.

“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.”

The development, which is proposed to be net zero carbon in construction and operation under the UKGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework, kickstarts the University’s City Masterplan, which aims to develop its footprint in the city and improve connectivity across sites.

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

Lord Burlington DL, Chancellor of the University of Derby and Chair of the Business School Council, 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. This is one of the reasons why I agreed to Chair the Derby Business School Council, which will help shape our strategy to achieve this.”

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.”

Find out more about studying Business at the University of Derby.

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