Two connect building receive prestigious awards


Two of the latest buildings to join the Connect Derby portfolio of managed workspaces have received prestigious awards from the Derby Civic Society.

The iconic Marble Hall on Nightingale Road in Osmaston has been named the Best Restoration Project and the new £12m iHub Innovation Centre on Infinity Park has been highly commended in the New Build category at this year’s George Larkin Brighter City of Derby Awards.

The awards were presented to Martin Rawson, deputy leader of Derby City Council and representatives from Connect Derby at the Civic Society’s annual awards ceremony, which took place on 10 February at St Mary’s Church Hall.

Marble Hall, the grade-two listed former Rolls-Royce building, which was officially opened last summer by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, has been the subject of a £4m restoration programme to transform it into a managed workspace facility and community hub.

Accommodation includes 42 high specification offices, along with meeting rooms and Claude’s café, which is operated by YMCA Derbyshire.

The iHub Derby is the centre piece of Infinity Park, the new 100-acre commercial and technology site situated between Chellaston and Sinfin, to the south of the city.

The 45,000ft2 facility provides high-quality, flexible workspace for start-ups, early stage businesses and established high growth SMEs operating in the aerospace, rail and automotive supply chains.

It features 18 offices and 14 state-of-the-art workshops, along with a multi-purpose ‘heart’ space suitable for hosting a range of events.

The George Larkin Brighter City of Derby Awards recognise restoration and building projects that have improved the environment of the city. Each year, a trophy in memory of George Larkin, donated to the Society by his family, is awarded in addition to the certificates. The Society also awards a second trophy for a work of refurbishment.

Commenting on Marble Hall, the judges said:

“As Rolls Royce’s first factory in Derby, this is a unique part of the city’s heritage and is therefore worthy of restoration and preservation. The developers have gone to great lengths to restore and conserve this important building, particularly with the good quality materials and craftsmanship used. They have found a new use for the building, by converting it into small business units.”

They also felt that the iHub was aesthetically pleasing and worked well as an ‘anchor’ for the important new Infinity Park business development.

Commenting on winning the awards, Ann Bhatti, Connect Derby business manager, said:

“We’re absolutely delighted to receive recognition from the Derby Civic Society for the hard work that has gone into refurbishing the historic Marble Hall building and creating a state-of-the-art facility at the iHub.”

Both Marble Hall and the iHub are building on the success of the hugely influential Connect Derby scheme, which has created a strong market for mixed use and sector specific serviced offices across the city.

Other buildings in the Connect Derby portfolio include Friar Gate Studios, Riverside Chambers (former Magistrates’ Court building on Full Street), Sadler Bridge Studios, Shot Tower and Kings Chambers.

Connect Derby provides micro businesses, entrepreneurs, and SMEs with the high specification working environment, IT infrastructure, and business support they need to improve business survival rates and act as a catalyst for expansion and growth.