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Derby firms promise to give students a voice as they back the City of Culture bid

Derby firms promise to give students a voice as they back the City of Culture bid

Three well-known Derbyshire companies have stepped forward to jointly pledge a total of £60,000 to help Derby’s City of Culture 2025 bid - and have set their sights on getting young people on board.

Learning equipment supplier Cosy Direct, additives manufacturer Lubrizol and legal firm Smith Partnership have each pledged £5,000 over a four-year period to support the City of Culture bid, which is currently being put together.

The bid organisers have called on local businesses and individuals to pledge money which would help pay for the programme of events and activities should the city is named the winner in May this year.

All three firms are long-time supporters of community and charity causes in Derby and, as proud local companies, felt it was their duty to back the bid.

But they say they want to give added value to their support by using their ties with local primary and secondary schools in order to get students involved in shaping the City of Culture programme to ensure that young people have a role in the celebrations too.

Cosy Direct was established in the city 11 years ago and its CEO, Peter Ellse, gives 10% of its profits away to good causes every year.

He has promised he will use Cosy Direct’s local connections and its extensive social media reach, which includes more than 14,000 followers on Twitter, to help spread the word among the schools and nurseries it works with.

Peter said:

“I’m thrilled to be making this joint commitment alongside Lubrizol and Smith Partnership. Winning the City of Culture 2025 would put the city on the map and allow us to showcase all of the great talent and activities that we have going on here.

“At Cosy we feel its only right that young people are involved in that, which is why as well as a financial commitment we will all use our reach and connections to ensure that schoolchildren are given the opportunity to play their part too.”

Lubrizol, which is based in Hazelwood, has also spent many years making a difference on a local level and its staff give up many hours every year to work with local schoolchildren to increase their knowledge of STEM projects.

Claire Hollingshurst, quality systems manager at Lubrizol, said:

“We are very proud supporters of the Derby City of Culture Bid and in partnership with Cosy and Smith Partnership, we believe that the city in which we have been proud to call home for many years, deserves the international recognition that City of Culture will bring.

“Nobody can deny how science and technology has helped to shape the cultural life of Derby down the years, not least through the paintings of Joseph Wright, and we’re really excited about using our STEM work in schools as a way to encourage students to think about how they can help to shape the city’s culture in the 21st Century.”

Claire Twells, who is a partner in Smith Partnership, said:

“Smith Partnership have always supported culture and community since the inception of the company in 1987, we have and will always seek to support children across the city and we know the importance of education to the development of future generations.

“We hope to strengthen our connections and build new ones within the community on supporting the Bid.

“We have given a pledge of financial support to the Bid and we hope that the hard work and dedication of the Bid team and sub committees is rewarded by the title being awarded to the City for 2025.”

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