Opportunities in Derby: Manufacturing and Retail Businesses for Sale

Quality of life, location and connectivity make Derby the perfect place to expand your business

Derby is one of the UK’s leading business cities with an economy that balances high technology, manufacturing and retail. It’s the UK’s most central city and offers great prospects for anyone looking to find businesses opportunities for sale. It is:

  • The 6th best performing city by GVA (Gross Value Added)
  • Famous for creativity and innovation in manufacturing, particularly in the rail and aerospace industries.
  • World Headquarters to Rolls-Royce civil aerospace, giving Derby the highest array of aircraft engines and nuclear expertise in the UK.
  • The last city in the UK to manufacture trains. Bombardier Transportation, the global leader in the rail equipment manufacturing and servicing industry, has been producing trains for over 170 years.
  • Home to Toyota Manufacturing UK, who operate in one of the greenest plants in the world, and are currently exporting cars to Japan.


  • Derby offers one of the highest skilled workforces in the UK, with 12% of Derby employees in hi-tech functions – four times the national average.
  • 15 universities are based an hour from the city, ensuring Derby’s workforce has high proportions of graduates
  • Derby’s rate of employment growth places it in the top five UK cities
  • By relocating to Derby individuals can save up to 70% on the cost of purchasing a home
  • Annual salary costs in the East Midlands are 10% lower than the national average

Where is Derby located in the UK?

Derby is located in the East Midlands and is about an hour and a half from London by train.

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Derby Factsheet

  • Estimated population: 246,855
  • Population density (per km²): 3,190
  • Residents age groups

aged 0-14: 17.9%

aged 15-19: 6.5%

aged 20-59: 49.8%

aged 60 and over:  20.7%

  • Job Seeker allowance claimants (as a percentage of population aged 16-64): Derby North: 3.7%; Derby South 7.1% (UK: 3.9%)
  • Median weekly wage: £440
  • Major business sectors within the City of Derby:

32% (1,114) are Retail, 16% are Manufacturing (554), 15% are Hospitality (522), 14% are Health and Social Care (499), 8% are Creative industries (233), 5% are Tourism related (169) and 4% are Logistics (125).

Source: Derby City Council Demography Data 2012, Office for National Statistics 2012

Connectivity and Transport

Derby is only 93 minutes from London by train and has high speed rail connections to all major UK cities. The network connects Derby to Paris and Brussels via the Eurostar terminal, with a typical journey taking about four hours.

East Midlands Airport can be reached in only 15 minutes by road from Derby city centre.  Birmingham and Manchester International airports are 45 minutes and 1.5 hours drive, respectively.

Derby is central to the motorway network. Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham are less than an hour away, and Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool are within 90 minutes drive.
The city centre is just 10 minutes from the motorway.

Derby support groups can help you explore the business-for-sale marketplace

Derbyshire Enterprise Agency DEA offers a variety of programmes aimed at supporting pre-start and new businesses and is the enterprise provider of choice in Derbyshire. DEA has more than 25 years’ experience  helping small firms  survive and prosper as well as assisting enterprising individuals get their business idea off the ground.

Information about City Council Business Support and Licensing

Derby City Council Information Services offer a wealth of helpful advice and support for businesses, including: assistance in identifying staff, business rates, licences and street trading, funding opportunities and commercial properties.

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce

DNCC works in partnership with numerous business clubs and organisations across the two counties, offering opportunities for business owners to generate more business, raise their profiles and reduce costs.

Local newspapers

Derby Telegraph, Derbyshire Times,

Business Rates


Local Business Directory