Close to the wilds of the Peak District yet within two hours of 80% of the country’s population, Derby is a convenient centre for a corporate rendezvous.
Derby was once at the heart of Britain’s industrial revolution and many iconic firms have made it their base through the years.
The Midlands Railway Company helped transform the city into a major player in the booming rail industry of the 19th century, while Rolls Royce – which established its base here in 1907 – and Toyota are the city’s two largest employers of the present day.
Derby was also the home of Core Design who developed the world famous video game Tomb Raider. When the city’s inner ring road was completed in 2010, a section of it was named ‘Lara Croft Way’ after the game’s heroine.
Name: Marriott Breadsall Priory
Address: Moor Road, Nr Derby, DE7 6DL
Tel: 01332 832 235
The oldest Marriott in the world, this 13th century, four-star manor has recently undergone a £1.8 million refurbishment to its lobby, restaurant, bar, conference and leisure rooms. Located around four miles from Derby, this Marriott Hotel & Country Club has nine meeting rooms totalling 411m2 meeting space. The largest meeting room is the Pavilion, which has a maximum seating capacity of 120 – others have capacity for between 23 and 66 people. All rooms feature natural daylight and high ceilings, some with traditional oak panelling and fireplaces.
Name: Derbyshire County Cricket Club
Address: The County Ground, Grandstand Road, Derby, DE21 6AF
Tel: 01332 388 105
Derby’s recently revamped County Cricket Ground is easily accessed from across the city and guarantees to make events a very British affair. The venue offers extensive conference facilities and its huge playing area, plus a choice of two indoor sports hall facilities, all of which present plenty of opportunities for team-building exercises too. A marquee accommodating up to 600 people can be erected on the pitch, while permanent options include nine meeting and events spaces. They range from the Gateway Bar for up to 30 delegates theatre-style to the Gateway Main Hall for 700 theatre-style or 200 in a cabaret configuration.
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Name: Holiday Inn Derby Riverlights
Address: Morledge, Derby, DE1 2AY
Tel: 01332 412 644
Among the newest hotels in the city, the Holiday Inn Derby Riverlights opened for business in 2010 next to the Westfield shopping centre in the heart of the city. It is adjacent to the central bus station and a ten-minute walk from the train station. A four-storey glass atrium provides a striking welcome for delegates attending events at the property’s four meeting rooms. The smallest caters for 12 people and the largest for up to 120, with all rooms featuring air conditioning and free wifi access, plus AV equipment and other facilities as required. The hotel has 105 guestooms, a small gym and the Italian Stresa restaurant and bar.
ON A SHOESTRING
Name: Derby Enterprise Centre
Address: 37 Bridge Street, Derby, DE1 3LA
Tel: 01332 597 842
Part of the University of Derby, this purpose-built meetings and events centre opened in 2010 with capacity for events of up to 200 delegates. There are seven meeting rooms – all of which have natural daylight, air conditioning, free wireless internet access and full audio visual equipment – plus there’s an Executive Boardroom for 14 people that’s equipped with videoconferencing technology. There’s an onsite chef for ad hoc catering options.
Address: Market Place, Cathedral Quarter, Derby, DE1 3AS
Tel: 01332 285 444
The ultra-modern, multimedia QUAD centre is comprised of a cinema, gallery, cafe/bar, workshop and meeting and event spaces for groups ranging from ten through to 234 attendees. There are two large auditorium/cinema spaces for conferences and a further selection of smaller rooms ranging from the unique hi-tech ‘Box’ (best for launches, parties, meetings, workshops and networking events for up to 80 people) and Digital Studio (featuring 12 work-stations with the latest Macs and Apple software for training events), to the glass-fronted Meeting Room for up to 14 delegates in a boardroom set up.
SMALL BUT PERFECTLY FORMED
Name: The Hallmark Derby
Address: Midland Road, Derby, DE1 2SQ
Tel: 01332 292 000
This four-star Hallmark Hotel is located in a historic building opposite Derby train station and combines the contemporary décor of a recent refurbishment with Victorian features. There are nine meeting rooms, ranging from the Garden Room – which takes 130 theatre-style – down to the Dove Dale Room for more intimate events of up to 15 people. Between the two are rooms with capacity for 70, 50 or 30 people. There’s free wifi throughout the hotel and compli-mentary parking for delegates. The hotel is currently offering day delegate rates from £32 and 24-hour rates from £132, including dinner and breakfast.
Getting there: Derby is one of England’s most centrally located cities. It’s just 15 minutes from M1 junction 24 and accessible via the A6, A50, A38 and A52. Derby is a 90-minute journey from London St Pancras with 35 direct services every day. The journey by train from Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham is less than 30 minutes. East Midlands Airport is around a 30-minute drive from Derby, with connections around the UK and Europe.