Derby County owner Mel Morris has agreed to become the city’s first-ever Ambassador for Business and Innovation.
The role has been created by council chiefs to help attract more businesses and investment.
Mr Morris was nominated by leaders of the city’s Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat groups. Councillors are expected to approve the appointment at a Full Council meeting on January 24.
A spokeswoman said the role will be “honorary and non-political” and involve Mr Morris representing Derby “regionally, nationally and internationally”.
She added 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 Mr Morris for a further three years.
Paul Robinson, the council’s chief executive, 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 was made a CBE last year for services to business and charitable services
Mr Morris – an early investor in King Digital Entertainment, the firm behind the smash-hit game Candy Crush – said he felt “honoured and delighted” to accept the new post.
He said: “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 of Derby and Derby College have all played a key part in that success.”
The council spokeswoman explained the thinking behind the new role.
Mel Morris took sole control of Derby County in 2015
She said: “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.”
The latest business news in our area
Toyota Auris news
Rolls-Royce demolition plans
New Co-op latest
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.
We’ve just launched our very own app for Android and Apple devices which can be tailored to deliver the news and sport that you’re interested in.
To download the IOS app click here.
To download the Android app click here.
Source: Derby Telegraph