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The local area guide to living in Derby
Derby has a spooky reputation as one of the country’s most haunted cities – perhaps a reputation it owes to its varied history. It housed what is likely the first ever mechanised factory in the world, the ‘Lombes Mill’ silk mill, which marked the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th Century.
In the 19th Century, Derby was at the forefront of railway development, although it is now best known for its involvement in the automotive and aerospace industries. It’s the headquarters for Rolls Royce and is the birthplace of the popular video game franchise Tomb Raider.
The other key industry is tourism, with the city serving as the entry point to the famous Peak District. Around 700 acres of open land surround the city’s urban centre, making rural living spaces such as converted barns a common sight in the area.
Of course, this blend of country and city doesn’t minimise Derby’s entertainment offerings. As well as being one of the most popular shopping centres in the UK, the city is home to three theatres and several cinemas, and hosts regular street festivals dedicated to music and art.
Information about the local residents
Derby is home to approximately 250,000 people, and a further 6 million live within an hour of the city.
Part of its popularity is likely its high earning potential – salary averages are the second highest in the country, beaten only by London. There are roughly 6,000 businesses in the area, 40% of which are in the professional services sector and 12% of which are in the technology sector.
There’s no shortage of education options in and around Derby, with multiple state and private primary schools available – including six that offer proviso to students with special educational needs.
Among the private schools on offer are Derby Grammar School for boys aged 3 to 11 years, the coeducational Old Vicarage School and Derby High School for girls aged 11 to 18 years, as well as Ockbrook School and Repton School.
There are also 14 secondary schools in the city, including three academy-status schools. Students with specialist interests benefit from a choice of colleges dedicated to sports, languages and performing arts among other subjects.
Further education is available at Derby College, which caters to both school leavers and adults with its range of vocational courses, A Levels, degrees and even corporate training. The college recently joined an £8million investment programme, which will mean major redevelopments to come.
Degree students can attend the University of Derby at the in-city campus, or the nearby north Derbyshire campus. There are also nursing and midwifery courses on offer for graduates, through the Royal Derby Hospital.
Derby has great public transport links both within the city and to nearby areas, and there’re also approximately 100km of cycle routes to be explored. There’s a park and ride service available six days a week, and frequent buses service the local area. National coach services provide easy long-distance travel.
The town also features a railway station with quick, direct services running to major cities such as Birmingham, Cardiff, Newcastle and Sheffield. There are 35 trains a day that run to London St Pancras alone.
The easiest access by car is via the M1, with other options for travelling North or South including the A6, the A38, the A50, the A52, and the A61.
The closest airport is East Midlands Airport, which offers domestic flights, as well as travel to European destinations.
Derby is home to Westfield Shopping Centre, which is one of the country’s most popular shopping destinations, as well as multiple dining options – such as the busy restaurant quarter, Georgian Friar Gate, and the popular cafe hubs, Cathedral Quarter and Iron Gate.
Those looking for entertainment will find a host of activities on offer, thanks to the council’s £50m investment in leisure pursuits. A sports arena, velodrome and Olympic-sized swimming pool are all currently in the works.
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