December 2020

Sinfonia Viva Share Christmas Music Magic

A brass quintet from Derby-based Sinfonia Viva – the East Midlands’ award-winning professional orchestra – has performed two outdoor concerts of Christmas favourites in Ilkeston and Derby.

The concerts, for care home residents and staff, aimed to help everyone get in the Christmas spirit despite the ongoing pandemic.

Window Wonderland winners announced

The winners of Window Wonderland 2020, where retailers and businesses in central Derby transform their shop windows with creative displays for Christmas, have been announced. The competition’s third year has attracted more entries than ever before – 38 in total. 

Lubrizol staff post positive messages to pensioners this Christmas

There are few things nicer than receiving a letter in the post and colleagues at one firm have been putting pen to paper to help combat loneliness over the festive season.

Staff at various Lubrizol sites including Derby and Huddersfield decided to take part in an initiative called Give a Few Words, which provides letter writers with the name of someone who would appreciate some post and positive messages.

Vulnerable families are supported by Murray Park’s festive food bank

Staff at a Mickleover school have been delivering emergency food parcels to pupils’ families who are struggling financially in the run up to Christmas.

The PRIDE Response Team was set up at Murray Park Community School during the first lockdown when staff and friends of the school collected donations of non-perishable food, toiletries and household items to distribute to needy or vulnerable families.

Countdown to Christmas with Festive Derby

With just days to go until Christmas Day, Festive Derby will be sparkling in the background, helping to make the city a safe and enjoyable place to be while buying those last-minute gifts.

Derby Market Place will be the scene for six days of trading by artists and makers for the Make & Trade Market, curated by Mainframe. Open from 10am to 4pm from Fri 18 to Wed 23 Dec, the market is the ideal opportunity to support local creatives and browse and buy some unique gifts.

Derby’s new Museum of Making seeks new recruits for flagship attraction

Derby's new Museum of Making will be opening to the public for the very first time in Spring 2021 and to make this exciting new visitor attraction even more exceptional, Derby Museums has launched a new recruitment campaign across the region to find people to join its Visitor Experience Team. The roles available include a wide range of part time and flexible positions with permanent contracts. 

Toilet bombs help Danielle clean up in 2020

A Derbyshire entrepreneur is feeling flushed with success after handling pre-Christmas orders for more than 12,500 fizzy bombs - for the toilet.

Danielle Dunn runs toiletries firm Divine Box from her Swadlincote home and makes a range of luxurious handmade bath bombs, soaps, showergels and shampoos with a team of eight staff.

But her best-selling line of 2020 has given the 33-year-old’s bottom line a boost after she received orders for 12,732 toilet bombs in the last month alone.

Deal unlocks plan for major Derbyshire logistics hub

A joint venture featuring the owners of Ward Recycling has revealed plans to build a huge logistics hub on the former Stanton Ironworks after securing a deal for the site. 

Verdant Regeneration, which is made up of the owners of Ward, along with Trust Utility Management, has bought the 192-acre former steelworks at Ilkeston from St Gobain.

Local Business Offers Graveside Support For Families This Christmas

A local business which specialises in creating and renovating graveside memorials across the Midlands is offering to step in and lay wreaths and flowers on the graves of loved ones whose families cannot visit this Christmas due to Covid restrictions.

Artstone Memorials celebrates its 10th anniversary this December. It was set up by stone mason Oleksandr Burlaka who leads a team of three craftsmen at their workshop in Drakelow alongside showrooms in Stapenhill and Alvaston.

Sinfonia Viva Brings Viennese Charm Home This NYE

Sinfonia Viva, the East Midlands’ Grammy-nominated professional orchestra, has released tickets for its first online New Year’s Eve performance.

The Orchestra has performed an early-evening gala concert at The Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, on December 31st for more than 25 years which has obviously had to be cancelled due to the pandemic this year.

Developer reaffirms commitment to Derby apartments plan

The developer behind a £37 million project to create more than 250 new apartments in Derby city centre has reaffirmed its commitment to the scheme. 

Elevate Property Group has said it is currently putting the finishing touches to its Castleward Boulevard plans, which would see 258 apartments built in two phases across a 1.55-acre site between Liversage Street and John Street.

Wilf Goes Wild! New musical explorer puts Derby on the map.

‘Wilf Goes Wild’ is a new digital interactive musical for primary-school aged children written by Sarah Middleton, with music from Grammy nominated musician Josh Sneesby and directed by Matt Powell.

Presented as a free 15 minute pilot episode online, ‘Wilf Goes Wild’ follows the adventures of self-proclaimed explorer Wilf, and his older sister Willow, as they learn about the world around them, meeting memorable characters along the way and teaching children they don’t have to leave the house to have an adventure!

Live & Local: 12 Positive Stories

Read on for some happy news... With only 12 days to go until Christmas, we'd love to share with you 12 positive stories from throughout 2020, a year that has been unlike any other.

Rock along with The Hollies at Derby Arena

Derby LIVE are excited to announce that The Hollies will be coming to Derby Arena in autumn next year. Join the legendary icons of British rock on Saturday 16 October 2021 at 8pm for a brand new tour of their brilliantly crafted songs in The Road is Long.

Further statues added to mining memorial

Eleven new statues have been added to the ‘Walking Together’ mining memorial at our Markham Vale Business Park, commemorating miners who tragically lost their lives in 3 major disasters at Markham Colliery.

The ‘Walking Together’ memorial trail by Artist Stephen Broadbent symbolises a miner’s journey to the pit and back and represents the men who lost their lives in the disasters of 1937, 1938 and 1973.

Get in the Festive Mood with Buxton International Festival

To celebrate the festive season, Buxton International Festival are thrilled to share a series of classical Christmas playlists, selected by Buxton International Festival artists, with you! Today, you can view what is included in the first collection, chosen by Martin Roscoe and Klezmer-ish. The second selection will be shared via newsletter on the 19th December.

VAO 2021 - Artist Application Closing Soon

Artists applications closing midnight Tuesday 15th December  -  Join the 5th Visual Art Open Competition.   Apply Now

All UK & International artists are invited to apply for the Visual Art Open Prize 2021. Presented by the Visual Artists Association, the prestigious VAO 2021 Prize is now celebrating its fifth edition and offers an £8,000 Prize Fund.

Moments of hope amidst the loneliness of lockdown captured in moving photographs

A professional photographer has beautifully captured moments of hope amidst the loneliness and isolation felt by many during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Tony Fisher, 66, from Riddings, Derbyshire, came up with the idea for a photography exhibition on loneliness before lockdown, and was given the go-ahead from the Arts Council to take a series of portraits and nature photographs exploring the theme of isolation.

St John Street Gallery is open!

Festive Cheer!

How about giving the gift of art for Christmas? We have wonderful original paintings, limited edition prints and beautiful sculptures and ceramics that will make the ideal Christmas present.

There are special prices on selected items, and if you buy a print for over £50, you can get a second one at 10% discount!

You will also support local artists and local business - spread the festive cheer!


Safe and Sound CEO’s Achievements Recognised

Derbyshire’s specialist child exploitation charity Safe and Sound has finished an award-winning year with news that the charity’s chief executive 

Tracy Harrison has been recognised in the Derbyshire Live Heroes awards.

Tracy was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Safe and Sound’s chair of Trustees Allen Graham.

Hubbub Club: Winter Wonderland

Hubbub Club: Winter Wonderland​ - 7-9pm | Friday 11 December

Join our fun winter party, hosted by Hubbub Theatre Company with DJ Omar and special guest performances.
Come and have a dance and enjoy some Hubbub warmth and fun!
Please invite family, friends and carers to join you.

Email for the Zoom link for Hubbub Club Winter Wonderland.

Christmas is Coming at the Barn...

The Barn might currently remain closed to the public, but that's not stopped us getting trimmed up for Christmas!

A big thank you must go to the volunteers who helped us to set up the lights - as we're sure you'll agree from the photos, it was certainly worth the effort.

Matlock Music - online concert

This concert is kindly supported by the Making Music Philip & Dorothy Green Young Artists Scheme.

To watch go to Youtube "Matlock Music" Channel. Recording will be available for at least 48 hours afterwards.

Sunday 20th December at 6 pm
Eleanor Corr and Emil Duncumb will play Grieg Piano Sonata No 2, Ravel Szigane and Massenet Meditation.

'A Natural Christmas' at gallerytop

As the lockdown ends tomorrow, you can visit the gallery and see our festive exhibition 'A Natural Christmas'. Work has been online since the middle of November but from tomorrow it's possible for you to visit the gallery and see the work in the flesh.

Our opening times are Wednesday to Saturday from 10.00 until 5.00 and on Sundays from 11.00 until 4.00.

FORMAT News: Two Days to Go

Join Us For FORMAT21 - Preview
11th December 2020 - 6.00pm - 7.00pm

We will be presenting an amazing collection of exhibitions, drawn from artists and curators from all over the world. We will reveal projects to be shown exclusively at FORMAT21 and shows that will be presented in the UK for the very first time.

We will be announcing some fantastic new partnerships and collaborations and revealing our plans for the FORMAT21 Online Platform.

Oddsocks Productions lifeline CRF grant from Arts Council England

Oddsocks Productions receive a lifeline grant and are on the road with “A Christmas Carol”

At a time of uncertainty for theatres companies and venues, with live performances few and far between, it is exciting to be able to announce that Oddsocks Productions is about to tour to a selection of venues across the UK who are under Tier 2 Covid-19 restrictions.

Give a Gift this Christmas

Treat someone special and support the work of Derby Museums with these unique gift ideas.

Join the Derby Museums Friends:

Joining the Friends is a great way to support Derby Museums. The Friends enjoy a range of benefits: an exclusive events programme, free entry to special Friends' talks, 10% discount at our shops and cafés and a Friends' e-newsletter. Prices start from £10.

Find out more.

Dave Butcher Black and White Photographs - News December 2020

What a year 2020 has been so far and we hope you are all keeping well despite the virus risk and all of the restrictions.

The year started as normal when we went skiing to Schladming, Austria in January, then followed a week in the Lake District walking the hills and taking photos in February, then from early March the world became a different place. Covid-19 arrived and we had to cancel and make refunds for all of the photography courses and darkroom workshops booked through the year. I also cancelled all of my lectures through to April 2021.

Cromford Mills: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Christmas returns to Cromford with festive markets and activities throughout December. We are looking forward to closing 2020 on a high note; bringing a sprinkle of Christmas Magic to the Mill Yard.

The New Year will see a whole flurry of celebrations taking place: 

- 250 years since Sir Richard Arkwright established his first factory in Cromford, 
- 50 years since the Arkwright Society was formed and
- 20 years since the Derwent Valley Mills were inscribed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Artswork - The December Snapshot

Artwork's Creative Christmas Fundraiser:
Artswork is fundraising this Christmas to bring joy and creativity to children in Southampton, Portsmouth, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Many of us are looking forward to a Christmas full of giving, family and fun, but this year, perhaps more than any other, could be a tough time for families, and even more so for those children, living in challenging circumstances.

Artcore December Newsletter 2020

A message from Artcore:

December is here and we hope that you are all safe and well and hopefully starting to get into the festive spirit.

November was by no means a quiet month for us and even in lockdown, we managed to find plenty to keep us busy and connected with people. From multiple interactive zoom and Facebook Live sessions to our brand new creative kits, we have been working hard to make sure as many people have access to arts and crafts, especially in the wintery lead up to Christmas.

Writing for Wellbeing - The theme of Beginnings

Derbyshire author Leonie Martin is offering a choice of two January dates on Zoom for her latest online Writing for Wellbeing workshop on the theme of Beginnings: Saturday 9th January 11:00-13:00 and Wednesday 13th January 11:00-13:00.

Hubbub Club: Winter Wonderland Raffle!

Have you signed up for the Hubbub Club: Winter Wonderland next Friday? Here is some information about how to take part in the raffle at the event and a reminder of all the information you need to sign up.

A £1 donation to Hubbub Theatre Company gets you one raffle ticket for some wonderful prizes! Prizes include tickets for online events and shows, goodies and acts of kindness. 

Computers now available at Derby Libraries

Derby Libraries is committed to digitally supporting and connecting our communities so we are pleased to announce that Alvaston, Mickleover, Normanton and Riverside libraries are now open for public computer use only. Alvaston, Mickleover and Riverside also have public WiFi available for people who prefer to use their own device.

Leisure facilities reopen with Tier 3 restrictions

Derby Active’s leisure facilities are ready to welcome customers back to Derby Arena, Springwood Leisure Centre, Queen’s Leisure Centre and Moorways Stadium from Wed 2 Dec.

Not all activities will be available, as we follow the Government guidance for Tier 3, which Derby will be in from this date. The safety of our customers and staff remains our priority, and measures that were in place before our temporary closure will continue.

Celebrate Christmas in Markeaton Park

Christmas is coming to Markeaton Park! We are very excited that in just one day’s time, the festivities will begin with a range of great outdoor activities for all the family! The elves have moved in, the tree has gone up and Father Christmas’s North Pole post box has appeared.

The new Museum of Making - The Prospect

Derby Museums is running a survey to explore what local makers need from the Prospect at the new Museum of Making. 

By becoming a member of The Prospect, it will enable you to hire and book our work-spaces and fully fitted out workshops, where expert support is available.  Being a Prospect member you will gain access to a group of like-minded individuals, coming together to support and learn. You will be able to participate in learning and teaching sessions as well as networking events.

Let the Festive Markets begin!

Derby’s first Festive Market gets under way today, with creative crafts, gorgeous gifts and fabulous food to browse in the safe surroundings of the Derby Market Place venue.

When Derby Market Place launched in the summer as an outdoor dining area to support the local hospitality sector, it was designed with social distancing in mind. So it lends itself well to being a self-contained outdoor market space which can be regulated to be safe and Covid-compliant.

A fresh look at Festive Derby

Festive Derby is full of the traditional Christmas Trees and lights – but look a little more closely and you will find some unusual seasonal sights to enjoy.

DCG Recognised As A College of Sanctuary

Derby College Group (DCG) has become just the fourth in the UK to be awarded College of Sanctuary status in recognition of the support it provides to the asylum and refugee community in the city.

DCG is one of only two education providers in Derbyshire to be recognised by Derby City of Sanctuary which is an umbrella group of organisations working to create a climate of welcome and safety for asylum seekers and refugees in the city.

Promotions Secured Through Timms Solicitors’ Pathway

Two solicitors at Timms have been promoted to Associates having completed the firm’s innovative Pathway Programme – designed to support staff in their career development plans.

Personal Injury solicitor Natasha Layton and Family Law senior solicitor Dee Khunkhuna have both successfully completed the ten-month Pathway to Associate programme.

This has been specially-designed by Timms to help progress individuals into more senior and management roles.

Derby economy set to bounce back in 2021 says report

Derby’s economy is expected to bounce back stronger than anywhere in the East Midlands, according to a new report. 

The latest UK Powerhouse report, published by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), predicts that the city’s annual GVA growth in the second quarter of next year will be 25%, ahead of Leicester (24.9%) and Nottingham (23.2%).

Rail Forum backs project to protect supply chain firms

Rail Forum Midlands has joined a project which aims to help minimise the risks of the coronavirus pandemic on the transport manufacturing supply chain. 

The group, which represents several rail-related firms in Derbyshire, has teamed up with leading regional industry associations from different sectors, including the West England Aerospace Forum and the North East Automotive Alliance, to support the ACCESS Project.

Writers' Newsletter - Alex Davis

This week's news is all about Writing events with Alex Davis

Tuesday 8th December, 6:30pm-8:00pm: FUNDAMENTALS OF SCRIPTWRITING

Online Workshop via Google Meet Pay What You Like Session

In this session, we’ll be exploring some of the most important elements of scriptwriting for those new to or wanting to find out more about the form. With a look at formatting your work, the balance of actions vs dialogue, ‘stage directions’ and much more, this session will give you a broad overview of the form for you to build upon and try with your own work!

FORMAT News: 2021 Festival Preview

11th December 2020  6.00pm - 7.00pm GMT

Join us for the announcement of the FORMAT21 festival exhibitions and events 

Whether you are in Tier One, Two or Three, in France, Argentina or China remember to tune in on Friday 11th December at 6.00pm GMT to watch the livestream presentation of FORMAT21 preview.

We will be broadcasting across Youtube and Facebook. All you need to do is book your free pass so we can send you the link.

Bookings open for new year adult education courses

Residents can now sign-up to learn something new in the new year with our adult education service.

Courses for the new spring term start in January 2021 with a mixture of online, COVID-secure face-to-face and blended (mixture of both) courses.

Arts charity’s poetry film sends a message of hope

An arts charity we fund has commissioned a community poetry film for the county on the theme of hope.

Award-winning poet Helen Mort has been commissioned by Arts Derbyshire and the council’s Derbyshire Arts Service to produce the film.

'Ticket to Hope' can be seen on Arts Derbyshire’s social media channels. Members of the public were invited to submit words, poetry and images to inspire the poem and 75 people responded to the call.

Junction Arts Big Give Christmas Challenge

Junction Arts is the driving force behind annual local events such as the Tapton Lock Festival and the Bolsover Lantern Parade. Their events give people the opportunity to come together, to support one another and celebrate their communities. In a year of increased isolation and loneliness, Junction Arts has worked throughout with schools, care homes and community groups to bring the opportunity of conversation and friendship when people have needed it most.

New retailers open at Derby Centre in time for Xmas

Eight new retailers are set to open their doors at Derby Centre in time for the festive season. 

The centre is preparing to welcome a mixture of new stores and pop-ups, including the winners of its Hatch competition.

Young Ideas will be opening its new Derbyshire location at the shopping destination tomorrow. It will open on Level 2 next to Ernest Jones, stocking both premium women’s and menswear.

Derby businesses urged to seek support as Tier 3 beckons

Hospitality businesses impacted by the decision to place the city under Covid alert level ‘Very High’ are being urged to seek support, says Derby City Council.

Last week, it was revealed that the Government had decided to put Derby and Derbyshire under Tier 3 restrictions as from tomorrow, following national lockdown restrictions coming to an end. Areas placed under Tier 3 (the highest COVID alert level) are those with significant transmission within the community.

Derby BIDS Support Calls For Greater Business Support

Derby’s Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have joined a national campaign calling for greater measures to support high street businesses.

The national #RaiseTheBar campaign, which has been backed by industry representation bodies and BIDs across the UK, has widened its appeal to the Government to save the high street with further assistance.

Professor Brian Cox returns to Derby Arena for 2021

Derby LIVE is excited to announce that Professor Brian Cox is returning to Derby Arena on Thursday 28 October 2021 at 7.30pm with his dazzling new cinematic journey, Horizons. Having set two Guinness World Records with his previous sell-out tour, this brand new show is not to be missed!

Viva La Diva lands in the Peak District!

A giant blue head, elaborate costumes and a 3 foot replica of the planet Jupiter were an unusual delivery for Peak District quarry firm Longcliffe! The shipment arrived all the way from Austria and was met at the company’s Brassington site by crew from Buxton Opera House and Buxton International Festival on Thursday (12/11/2020). The items are part of an impressive set that will be used for the forthcoming opera Viva La Diva, which Saltzburg State Theatre has produced in association with Buxton International Festival.

Déda return to Enhance Education through the Arts

Déda’s Dance Development and Learning Team is seeking schools to support education through the arts.

Déda’s award-winning Dance Development and Learning Team are eager to start delivering cultural experiences with children, young people and adults within community and education settings, after a seven-month period of hibernation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Necklace collection at gallerytop

We have a range of new work in the gallery for our 'Natural Christmas' exhibition which is being continuously added to our website.

Part of the exhibition features a showcase of new jewellery. 'Necklace 2020' is a collection of unique and one-off necklaces which celebrate the creativity and innovative work of the jewellers we already stock here at Gallerytop.

Each jeweller was asked to present just one necklace; an opportunity to make something new, to work in another way or in a different material.

FORMAT News: Keep the Date

FORMAT21 - Revealed
11th December 2020  6.00pm - 7.00pm GMT

Join us for the announcement of the FORMAT21 festival exhibitions and events.

With the promise of Covid19 vaccines coming onstream in time for us to gather together once again in Derby, next March 2021, the team are busy preparing for FORMAT21 in both the real and virtual worlds.

Be sure to tune in to FORMAT's Youtube or Facebook channels on the 11th December to discover the exciting festival programme of exhibitions and events and hear the curator's presentations.

Artcore Newsflash

With Christmas just around the corner, here at Artcore we have just the thing to get us all in the festive spirit and get people creating and crafting!

With our brand new Creative Craft Kits we have something for everyone. From children’s card making kits to creative watercolour kits, these brilliant kits make perfect gifts or are great to have a go at yourself! Check out our range of kits in our brand new online shop on our website!