A new study has emerged that Derby is the second best place to live in the East Midlands – here are three reasons why

A new study has emerged that Derby is the second best place to live in the East Midlands - here's why

Derby city centre
Derby has recently been announced as the second best place to live in the East Midlands. Source: Carl Bradbury/Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/carlbradbury/4591619781 courtesy of https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/)

The city of Derby has been recently announced as the second-best city to live and work in, in the East Midlands, that’s according to the latest PwC’s growth for cities index.

The index, which considers many factors like jobs, health, income and work-life balance and was established in 2011 – highlights whether that city underperforms or overperforms in these metrics.

Here are the three main reasons why Derby has shot up the charts and have usurped Nottingham but remain behind Leicestershire.


Derby is surprisingly the only city in the region to perform above the UK average on jobs, with a low unemployment rate of 3.5%, compared to the national average which currently stands at 3.9%.

Despite it looking below average, there has been a steady increase, since the pandemic, of new businesses in Derby with there being a post-pandemic boom of new businesses following the pandemic lull of 2020 and 2021.

Significantly, more foreign companies are also purchasing land in Derby to build on and this will, in turn, give more jobs to the people of Derbyshire. There have been examples of this with Alstom and Rolls Royce. There is hope that this boom won’t be a blip and a more consistent cycle of growth.


Another factor that has led to the favourable rating of Derby is the safety index, with Derby’s safety indicator increasing by 12%, with Nottingham and Leicester the only other East Midlands region to also record an improvement on their previous year’s index rating.

A big part of the reason for Derby’s improvement safety around the city and particularly the city centre is the Safer Streets funds.

Since 2020, according to Derby City Council’s website, the council has been awarded £1.7 million from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund. The funding provided allows the Council and partners to use data and intelligence to target key areas of concern and offer support and protection to these areas.

As well as this, the launch of a Safe Derby campaign has also had huge benefits, according to the Council’s website. The aim of the campaign is to help keep women and girls safe on the streets which saw the delivery of Active bystander training and Get Home Safely workshops, and the Safe Places Project.


The third factor, which is of particular importance recently, is the housing in Derby, with an increase of 9% on the previous year. Another fantastic policy introduced by the Derby Council is the affordable housing policy 2020-2029. Introduced in January of 2017, the policy for the decade of the 2020s sets out the plan to try and ensure that ‘all people of Derbyshire have affordable and safe housing’.

According to the Council’s 48-page dossier about their plans, the Council’s big plan has been renovating and redeveloping the already existing houses in the Derbyshire area. With only 20,000 houses in the Derbyshire area which are described as ‘affordable’ the Council decide on a case-by-case basis on the needs of the people looking to buy or rent a house and the predicament that they are currently in.

Vulnerable people in Derby have also hugely benefitted from the scheme, with just 7% of the population homeless, compared to Nottingham’s 9%.