Museum of Making Derby UK

Derby Bids to Become the UK City of Culture

Fresh from its success in being longlisted for the UK’s City of Culture 2025, Derby is set to roll out a host of new visitor experiences in 2022.

After winning praise for is innovative transformation of its traditional Market Place into a summer al fresco meeting-and-eating venue and an autumn outdoor, and indoor, events space, Derby’s city centre regeneration will pick up pace in the New Year.

As part of its recovery plans to breathe new life into the city centre, Derby’s streets are set to come alive with colourful new canopies and its buildings light up with ‘son et lumière’ projections, while street graffiti projects will add an urban edge to the city’s regeneration.

Derby City Council, in partnership with other organisations, aims to deliver long term recovery schemes, all aimed at transforming the city centre into not only a place for shopping and dining, but also a vibrant base for entertainment, street performances and events.

Among new experiences already planned for 2022 are art installations, including projections onto buildings and city landmarks to create a fresh perspective of Derby as a city proud of its industrial heritage and worldwide reputation for innovation.

Busan city view from sea with skyscrapers, best destination for play, work, live

Despite the pandemic, Derby has already forged ahead with new developments, including the opening the Museum of Making in May 2021, celebrating the creative and manufacturing history that helped make the city one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution.

A major construction project, it saw the city’s historic Silk Mill, on the site of what is widely regarded as the world’s first modern factory, brought back to life, revealing the whole building to the public for the first time. Fittingly, the Museum was unveiled to visitors during the 300th anniversary of The Silk Mill, and the 20th anniversary of the Derwent Valley Mills becoming a World Heritage Site.

A contemporary space telling Derby’s 300-year history of innovation and ‘making’, the Museum of Making stands as an inspirational new gateway to the ‘city of making’, as well as to the World Heritage Site, and has been designed as a place to not only celebrate past and present but encourage the makers of tomorrow through ‘hands-on’ experiences.

Derby also displayed its innovative approach in summer 2020, in response to Covid restrictions, by creating the new-look Derby Market Place, transforming this centuries-old central hub into an al fresco dining and meeting venue – with social distancing built in – helping to support 50 independent restaurants, cafes and stall holders in the city.

This summer a new temporary space, dubbed ‘Derby Loves You’, was added to the venue as part of Derby’s ambitious recovery plans, designed to offer locals and visitors alike new reasons to discover, or rediscoverer, the city centre.

While the Market Place will eventually transform back into its traditional open-air role at the heart of the city, Derby is setting its sights on other new initiatives for 2022. While details are still being finalised, among plans are new street lighting and artwork schemes, and street art created by graffiti artists on vacant property.

Eye-catching murals will be part of a partnership project with Derby-based music and arts development organisation, ‘Baby People’, which works with young people of all ages who struggle to engage in mainstream education.

All the projects form part of a major city-wide partnership effort to support Derby, the city of making, to become the next UK City of Culture. Derby is among the eight successful bids through to the longlist of places in the running to be UK City of Culture 2025, with the winner to be revealed in early 2022.

For tourist information about Derby, see

Photo shows: A family admire the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Engine at the Museum of Making – [c] Chris Seddon Photography

Newsletter subscription

Scroll to Top