The names of ten Made in Derby celebrities were unveiled in a city centre ceremony that also launched the city’s first augmented reality trail. It was also announced that a second trail will be created in 2019.

The trail combines public art installations with computer-generated information to tell the Derby story through the people who have made a significant contribution to the city.

The ten who are sharing eight plaques embedded into Albion Street and Exchange Street are:

  • Alice Wheeldon, Derby’s most famous suffragist and a fervent anti-First World War campaigner;
  • Bess of Hardwick, England’s richest Elizabethan woman after Queen Elizabeth I used her considerable wealth to help Derby poor and needy;
  • Brian Clough and Peter Taylor, the top management duo that took Derby football from obscurity to national fame;
  • John Hurt, in recognition of his sterling contribution to the arts as an accomplished actor;
  • Joseph Wright, globally recognised English landscape and portrait painter and the first to express the spirit of the Industrial Revolution;
  • Louis Martin, the Jamaican-born sportsman from the Windrush generation who became Britain’s greatest-ever Olympic weightlifter;
  • Philip Noel-Baker, a former MP for Derby, credited with saving the 1948 Olympic Games for Britain;
  • Charles Rolls the pioneer aviator and Henry Royce the engineer and designer who formed Rolls-Royce which sets the global standard for excellence in automotive and aviation technology.

Relatives and associates of the stars unveiled plaques during a ceremony in Derby city centre.

Augmented Reality - Louis Martin
Augmented Reality – Louis Martin
Augmented Reality - Bess of Hardwick
Augmented Reality – Bess of Hardwick
Augmented Reality - Rolls-Royce Engine
Augmented Reality – Rolls-Royce Engine

Made in Derby is a joint project, involving Derby City Council, Derby Telegraph and local business leaders and part-funded by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership; the private sector-led partnership promoting economic growth, jobs and business start-ups in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

The ten celebrities, noted for their achievements in business, visual & performing arts, sports, politics, peace campaigning, innovation and industry, were selected from hundreds of public nominations by a panel comprising the Mayor of Derby, Derby Telegraph, Quad, Derby Museums, Marketing Derby and St Peters Quarter Business Improvement District.

Chair of the selection panel, Steve Hall, told crowds gathered to watch the unveiling that the time has come for Derby to do more to honour its own.

Many of us had long felt that Derby had not done enough to publicly celebrate its fantastic heritage and that feeling returned as City of Derby swimmer Adam Peaty raced to gold in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

How could it be that our people were fêted around the world but there was so little obvious in the city where they were born or where they had such strong associations to celebrate their achievements?

A group of us from across the business and political sectors decided the time had come to rectify matters – and, with leadership from the Derby Telegraph and Derby City Council, and funding from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, momentum gathered behind the campaign.

Made in Derby Part II

In his speech to declare the Made in Derby trail open, Mayor John Whitby revealed that D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has approved an allocation for a next phase.

For centuries, Derby has been at the cutting edge of industry and technology and this augmented reality trail bring us another first. Today, Derby is the UK’s number one hi-tech city. Blazing technological trails, such as this one, is part of our DNA as a city.

The original Made in Derby concept is to expand this trail to honour people from all walks of life who have helped to contribute towards the very essence of Derby.

Our Local Enterprise Partnership, D2N2, has part-funded this £70,000 project and they have agreed to allocate another £80,000 for the next phase. This allocation is being provided from their current investment of £1.65m in our city centre improvement scheme and it is my hope that there would be consensus among all actors to make this happen.

We are appreciative of their unswerving partnership with us on our journey to transform Derby into a City of Choice for residents, businesses and visitors.

Matthew Wheatley, Interim Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership said:

A strong and vibrant city centre is vital to an area’s economy if it is to attract new investors and retailers, and create jobs. That is why we have worked closely with Derby City Council on the Made in Derby project, as part of the city’s wider placemaking project.

Each plaque has an augmented reality feature. When scanned with the Made in Derby App, it superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world and provides people with a way of learning more about the individuals and their achievements.

Derby becomes the first city in Europe to use this technology in its walk of fame. The app is available free of cost from Google Play and the App Store.

Last November, nominations for names on the plaques were invited and there were numerous recommendations in many fields of endeavour. The final ten that were selected represent people in business, visual & performing arts, sports, politics, peace campaigning, innovation and industry.

The artwork is being produced and installed by artist Tim Clapcott, who also created the Friar Gate heads on Derby’s Friar Gate and the Talking Heads at Speakers Corner.

Made in Derby, costing £70,000, is part of a bigger £1.9m Derby City Council city centre improvement scheme in which D2N2 has invested £1.65m from its Local Growth Fund allocation.