Trailblazing partnership creates one-stop shop for business support in Derby

7 June 2023

A unique partnership between the University of Derby, East Midlands Chamber and Derby City Council is set to benefit small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across the city and beyond.

The Council’s Economic Growth team has begun sharing working space at the University’s Lonsdale House, and there are plans for both to liaise closely with the East Midlands Chamber.

The co-location creates a one-stop shop for business support, with access to the University’s research and training, talent pool of students and graduates, and state-of-the art equipment, as well as funding advice and opportunities from the City Council and membership benefits from East Midlands Chamber.

Among the University teams that will be sharing the space are experts from the Regional Economic Observatory, which conducts regional business research to inform and influence government policy. The University's Zero Carbon researchers will also be based on site, providing opportunities to collaborate with businesses and share insights into the latest innovations in the drive towards net zero. Businesses from the advanced manufacturing, net zero, life sciences, creative and digital sectors are among those expected to benefit from the partnership. The space also houses key organisations such as the Rail Forum.

Lonsdale House is currently undergoing refurbishment to accommodate the latest cutting-edge facilities for business and research, as well as adaptable conference and meeting spaces and a flexible hot desk area. Local architects Matthew Montague have been appointed to work on the refurbishment.

Adam Doyle, Head of Business Engagement and Employability at the University of Derby, said:

“Co-location is intended to ensure a solutions-based support approach, no matter what size the business. In addition to the large organisations that are our strategic partners, around 99.9% of British businesses are SMEs. Supporting them is crucial to the growth of the wider economy. Having access to this range of services, advice and expertise in one place will improve the speed with which business owners can have their questions answered and receive the support they need.”

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, added:

“This initiative is a superb example of key organisations coming together to support the prosperity and ambitions of our region. In addition to the benefit to local businesses, this collaboration provides opportunities for our students and graduates to engage in placements, internships and mentoring and to showcase their talent to potential employers.”

Councillor Nadine Peatfield, Cabinet Member for City Centre, Regeneration, Culture and Tourism at Derby City Council, said:

“We are fully committed to supporting businesses of all sizes to locate, innovate and thrive in Derby. By working together collaboratively, we can ensure that partners complement each other in providing easy access to expert business support, advice and funding opportunities.”

Find out more about business support services at the University of Derby.

If you would like to visit the co-location space and meet the team, contact them or call 0800 001 5500.

For further information contact the press office at