Latest News | 28 February 2024

New-look Derby City Lab to open to the public at Derbion

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An opening date has been announced for the new-look Derby City Lab, which will relaunch inside the Derbion shopping centre.

Situated on Level 2 of the centre, the latest incarnation of the award-winning lab will open its doors to the public for the first time on Monday, 4 March.

Staffed by a team of newly recruited customer assistants, Marketing Derby staff and volunteer ‘changemakers’, the lab will be open seven days a week (Monday to Wednesday 10am to 4pm, Thursday to Saturday 11am to 5pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm).

Located between Castle Galleries and Goldsmiths (and opposite Frasers/Sports Direct and Marks & Spencer), the purpose of the lab is to engage the wider community in better understanding the evolution of the city and investment pipeline.

It is based on the concept of Urban Rooms in cities such as London, Amsterdam and Shanghai.

Previously situated in St James’s Street, the new-look lab is a public/private partnership involving Marketing Derby, Derby City Council, the University of Derby and Derbion.

It houses the City Living Room, which includes detailed information about the city’s investment pipeline.

The centrepiece will be a brand-new Derby City Model – a detailed 3D model of Derby city centre, which aims to help visitors visualise the city’s ongoing regeneration story.

And visitors will be invited to view the city of the future by watching a film all about the University of Derby’s Derby Urban Sustainable Transition (DUST) project.

Going forward, the lab will host dynamic exhibitions and discussion groups focused on ideas to regenerate Derby.

Adam Rodgers, inward investment executive at Marketing Derby and Derby City Lab lead, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to open the lab to the public – and cannot wait to engage with them on Derby’s future.

“With its high footfall, Derbion is the perfect location as we look to reach out to a wide variety of people, gain their feedback and discuss ideas on regenerating the city centre.

“A visit to the lab will hopefully show them that there are many exciting developments taking place in Derby – and we very much want them to be part of that regeneration journey.”

Last year, the public/private partnership behind the first incarnation of the lab, which also included Clowes Developments and Lathams, was recognised at the prestigious EG Awards, organised by Estates Gazettes, winning the Public/Private Partnership Award, ahead of entries submitted by London Brent Cross, Liverpool and Manchester.

The new-look lab has been made possible thanks to the contribution of a number of partners, many of whom are Marketing Derby Bondholders.

This includes MX Display, which fitted out and supplied the graphics for the unit.

Ahead of opening to the public, VIPs who attended Marketing Derby’s recent Annual Business Event were given a preview.

On the day, the lab was officially opened by Derby College Group student Hannah Denis, 17, from Borrowash.

Hannah, who is studying English Literature, History and Music A-levels, was supported at the ribbon cutting by Mollie Cox, environmental and sustainability officer and Carol Dixon, director of employee partnerships at the college.

Kate Martin, deputy principal at Derby College, said: “It was really good that DCG were able to be part of the opening ceremony.
“We look forward to using the lab and are now exploring new ways as to how we get students involved in the future of the city, through the city lab.”

To coincide with the opening of the lab to the public, a new website, designed by Think3, has been launched.

More information about the Derby City Lab can be found at this new site

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