This Is Derby & Reimagine

Derby is a brilliant city, but not one without its challenges. We have a strong sense of our rich culture - a city in the heart of the UK, connected globally but still small enough that people feel connected.

However, some families and young people are being left behind. They tend to be families from areas of Derby that are higher in deprivation, where people may not get the chance to benefit from all the culture that the city has to offer.

It is well proven, that culture and the arts can be the spark that ignites a young person’s confidence and excitement for life. 

This Is Derby

In Derby, our arts and sports organisations have joined forces to create an award-winning consortium, This Is Derby, to address this issue and support the young people who are most in need through enriching cultural opportunities and experiences. The University of Derby, a key supporter of This is Derby, won the Guardian University Award 2020 for Social and Community Impact.

This is Derby was originally funded as part of the Derby’s Opportunity Area programme and now continues as a thriving collaboration between organisations, who are united to co-create amazing performances and other works with the young people in our city. One of these projects is called Reimagine.


Reimagine is an ambitious, strategically connected, performance programme delivered with young people in the city's areas of lowest cultural engagement. 

Derby’s performing arts organisations will collaboratively support the young people in schools across 5 ‘hubs’ through progressive encounters with inspirational artists and settings.

The young people will produce their own work, reimagine everyday spaces and author the story of their lives in innovative and extraordinary performances.

As new skills are nurtured, families will be engaged, teachers will gain new knowledge and the young will uncover routes to creative careers. 

The 5 Reimagine Hubs are:

- Abbey, working with Derby Theatre 

- Chaddesden/Derwent, working with Déda

- Normanton/Arboretum, working with Artcore

- Sinfin, working with Baby People

- Virtual Hub, working with Sinfonia Via and SEND schools (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)

Reimagine has been made possible through £1.1 million of investment from Arts Council England through the Young People’s Performance Fund, with additional support from Derby’s Opportunity Area, Derby County in the Community Trust and Derby City Council.

Belonging Together Project

Part of #ThisIsDerby Reimagine, we created three brand new music videos in collaboration with Sinfonia Viva, QUAD, Hubbub Theatre Company and Sam Jordan Films, together with five SEND schools from across Derby.

View more about the Belonging Together Project

Abbey Hub

Check out the latest news and work being created with young people from schools and the community in Abbey hub...

Spotlight On... Abbey Hub: Interview with Tom Craig on the Reimagine project

Watch the short animation films created as part of Reimagine film project

Simon Marshall working in schools as part of Reimagine film project

New documentary showcases Derby school that stayed open during first national lockdown

Bemrose School create rap music video in response to Alex Wheatle’s Crongton Knights

Bemrose Knights split screen