Derby City Council is seeking to create a new role of Derby Ambassador for Business and Innovation in order to represent the city regionally, nationally and internationally to both government and business.
Party leaders of Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat groups and the Chairman of the Renaissance Board have nominated Mel Morris CBE to become the first Ambassador.
The role, which is to be approved by Full Council, will be honorary and non-political. It will be conducted on a voluntary basis with no salary, however reasonable expenses will be recompensed when working on City business. The position will be for three years after which the Council can appoint a new individual or continue with the current individual for a further three years.
The creation of Metro Mayors has provided some regions with a direct line to government and senior business leaders providing potential opportunities for inward investment and government funding. Whilst we do not have a similar devolution deal in the East Midlands the development of the Metro Strategy between Derby and Nottingham is creating government interest. To capitalise on that, Nottingham have invited Sir John Peace to represent them to government and business and the new role of Derby Ambassador for Business and Innovation has been created to ensure that Derby is also represented at this level.
Paul Robinson, Chief Executive of Derby City Council said:
“Derby has a long and proud history of attracting and retaining high technology, manufacturing and innovative businesses. To maintain this reputation and to continue to attract new businesses and support its existing businesses the city must adapt to the changing environment of structures, political interfaces and funding opportunities in which we operate.
“We are delighted that Mel has agreed to work with us to represent the City.”
Mel Morris said:
“I am honoured and delighted to accept this post and look forward to helping further promote our great city in the tech arena.
“Derby is an exciting place to be. It is ideally suited to those looking to establish new start ups as much as for those looking to expand.
“I have personally been involved with many highly successful businesses founded in the City, including Minitech, uDate, Prevx and BriefYourMarket. The location, availability of high calibrate personnel, the attractiveness of the City to staff relocating, the success and diversity of the University and College have all played a key part in that success.”
The announcement comes on the back of a recent report placing Derby as the third fastest growing city economy in the UK across Q3 2017. According to The UK Powerhouse study, produced by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), Derby showed growth of 1.9% GVA, positioning it behind only Cambridge and Aberdeen nationally as the strongest economy in the midlands.