The Heart of the Midlands

The Heart of the Midlands is an area of the East Midlands, England, incorporating the three counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.

As a region it’s rich in heritage and innovation, the people from the Heart of the Midlands have left an indelible mark on the world - and continue to lead the way. Whether through inventions, inspirational people or our legends, the Heart of the Midlands exports in interlect, products and thinking continue to shape Great Britain and the World.


Do you think it's time to stand up and shout about the Heart of the Midlands?

Maybe it’s the reserved English nature to be understated, quietly change things and get on with the tasks ahead. However, in an ever expanding global market where fake news rewrites history, makes unsubstantiated claims and a culture where bad news prevails - some passionate business leaders have combined to create this website, the poem to the right and the video performed by poet Jamie Thrasivoulou below.


We are Heart of the Midlands YouTube video


Introducing The Heart of the Midlands

The Heart of the Midlands is an exciting new concept which aims to create a stronger identity for Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire and showcase the crucial role they play in driving the East Midlands and the wider Midlands region forwards.

It was developed by Love Business with support from East Midlands Chamber and local poet Jamie Thrasivoulou.

The photo above was taken at Love Business Expo on February 27th, 2020 at Holywell Park. Pictured left to right are; Jon Smart, Love Business News Editor; David Pearson, Director of Partnerships at the East Midlands Chamber; Scott Knowles, CEO of the East Midlands Chamber; Steve Megson, Quiet Storm Managing Director; Gemma Orton, Mocha Marketing Managing Director; Philip Megson, Operations Director Quiet Storm.

While planning for Love Business 2020, its organisers wanted to do something to highlight everything that’s great about the three counties, which often operate in silos.

After considering and researching this proud legacy of innovation, plus the opportunities presented to our businesses and communities through investment, location, skills, culture and diversity, Love Business took the concept from its partner, East Midlands Chamber.

The Chamber, given its geographic focus, really got behind the idea and offered to sponsor the commissioning of a poem that celebrates the three counties which make up The Heart of the Midlands.

On the back of this, and using the research and information provided by Love Business, Jamie was commissioned to develop the poem which tells the story – from Robin Hood to Lara Croft – of the innovation, creativity, leadership and passion of some of the individuals and organisations which have helped establish Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire as the Heart of the Midlands and the engine room of the UK.

So, if you’ve got any association with Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, remember, We are The Heart of the Midlands.


Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire are the Heart of the Midlands.

These three counties, and their respective cities, sit at the centre of the UK.
They are the vessel through which the lifeblood of British business flows. Our tourism, hospitality, business, sports, leisure, retail, cultural, natural and heritage assets have a formidable reputation.

We are extremely fortunate in this part of the region to be blessed with a number of these across our three counties. In fact, that’s an understatement. When it comes to what the Heart of the Midlands has to offer, we sometimes don’t appreciate how lucky we are.


Famous faces and places

Nottinghamshire is famed for its caves, its castle and the legend of Robin Hood. Leicestershire is home to the National Forest and King Richard III. Derbyshire, meanwhile, has its proud industrial heritage, its stately homes and, of course, the stunning Peak District, a real jewel in the region’s crown.
This region gave birth to some famous faces, from Jason Statham to John Hurt, Rebecca Adlington to Kate Beckinsale.

There are iconic sporting venues, from Trent Bridge to the King Power Stadium. Some of the biggest music acts in the world are regularly drawn to perform here at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena, festivals like Y Not and the spiritual home of rock, Donington Park.

All these assets bring people to the region, often from all corners of the globe. And that’s before you start talking about our industrial heritage.
Our three cities and counties fit together well, both in geographical terms but also in the way they complement one another. It’s this collaboration, this pride and this innovation, that makes this part of the region tick, that creates the complex business infrastructure that sits at the heart of our economy. It’s an alchemy which is unique to this part of the UK.


A history of revolution

Let’s look at the facts about Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. Innovation is in our DNA. We are the site of the world’s first factory… so the industrial revolution started here.

Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, was a prophet of the computer age, helping to decode the world’s first computer programme… so the digital revolution started here.

The world’s first and oldest department store, Bennett’s, is in Derby… so the retail revolution started here. Thomas Cook, the godfather of modern travel, was born in Leicester... so the tourism revolution started here.

Florence Nightingale lived in Matlock, she started the healthcare revolution, aided and abetted by Jesse Boot, from Nottingham, who brought us the high street pharmacy. Alice Hawkins, from Leicester, was a leading suffragette who revolutionised women’s rights and equality.


It all started here, in the Heart of the Midlands.

In this part of the world, we have fantastic advantages over other regions.
When you look at the business operating here, we punch well above our weight. We’ve got the UK’s biggest manufacturers in construction based here, the biggest manufacturers in engineering, in automotive, all within a 35-mile radius of the airport. Plus, you’ve got great motorway links and the busiest air freight and cargo operation in the country, which is set to level up even further thanks to the East Midlands Gateway development. It’s a great place to do business.


We are the Heart of the Midlands

Still not convinced? Here’s more proof if you need it… We’ve got two of the world’s first football teams, who started the football league. There are so many inventions and innovations from our three counties that it’s impossible to list them all… traffic lights, tarmac, ibuprofen, the MRI scan, hot dogs, HP Sauce, the list goes on and on.

We’ve got the Peak District, the National Forest and the Legend of Robin Hood. We’ve got iconic brands – Paul Smith, Raleigh, Triumph, Norton, Rolls-Royce, Toyota. We make things here that are world famous, from Samworth’s, Speedo and Raleigh to John Smedley and Saint Gobain.

But we don’t talk about these things enough. We take them for granted, instead of bigging up the three counties like we should. What we’ve got here is unique, it’s special, it’s the Heart of the Midlands.The challenge is to package it up and sell it properly.

When you look at somewhere like the Black Country, they’ve got it right. They’ve got a really strong identity which not only fits into the regional agenda of the West Midlands, but also sets them apart as a unique part of a greater whole.

That’s what Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire should be working towards, creating a strong identity that reflects everything that’s great about the three counties, their people, their culture and their economies, and presenting it as a full package.

At the end of the day, when we come together to collaborate, we’re always stronger for it. We need the Heart of the Midlands to beat strong. It is, after all, the pulse of the UK.



We are The Heart of the Midlands

From Chatsworth house, to Bradgate Park

Trent Bridge to Mansfield's viaduct

Our crooked spires (stretch reet) far

We're the country's thriving heart


We are The Heart of the Midlands

An expansive infirmary of invention

Hot dogs and HP Brown Sauce

Are just two that you I could mention

But that’s not to everyone’s taste

So you might well be more impressed

By Walkers Crisps, or DNA Profiling

But we’re not just living in the past

Our enterprise is simply unmatched


We are The Heart of the Midlands

The East Midlands Gateway centres our plans

We’re revolutionising transportation logistics

To provide business with the helping hand

It needs in order to succeed

In this ever-expanding global market place

Innovation forms the basis of our every move

Anything is possible

Our track record is proof of that


We are the Heart of the Midlands

We’ve always been leaders in the race

So peddle off on your Raleigh Chopper bike

If you don’t believe me when I say

That this is a special place


The bustling gateway to innovation

Biggest freight airport in the nation

Exporting blueprints for public parks

Along with Westwood and Paul Smith garms

Our business is international to the core

From Lace Market produce to Rolls-Royce engine roar

We’re the leaders and the trendsetters

For engineering, technology, retail and more


We are the Heart of the Midlands

Two of our teams

Were members of the original football league

But let’s not say which

Let’s leave the rivalry to the pitch

Or pools or tracks

Our athletes have always given back

Be it through Olympic medals or World Cup winners

See Carl Froch, Rebecca Adlington or Martin Johnson


We are the Heart of the Midlands

Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire

Pave the way for business opportunity

We gave the world an Industrial Revolution

This Country rides high on the shoulders of our giants

And with changing times we’ve reprioritised

Our Digital Revolution is in full phase

From Ada Lovelace to Lara Croft, we’ve led the way

To cope with an ever-changing landscape


We are the Heart of the Midlands

With a reputation for getting on and giving back

Robin Hood’s spirit roams this land

The greatest tale that some folk live by

Or simply just a fact


There’s no doubt that storytelling

Is an art form in our blood

Scriptwriters, poets or musicians

This place has bred the lot:

From Shane Meadows to Sillitoe

Kasabian to White Town


We are the Heart of the Midlands

Our Diwali festivals light up the sky

The biggest outside of India

We boast over 71 different languages

And plenty of cultural delight


Dig through the history books

And you’ll see that our heritage is rich

Whether its Florence Nightingales’ foresight

Or Ellen MacArthur’s unmatched spirit


We are the Heart of the Midlands

Innovators on an environmental level

Attenborough’s insights have proven ever invaluable

We’re blessed with beauty here not just factories

Where the peaks and heritage of our Counties

Bring visitors the world over

With a countryside that’s inspired


We are the Heart of the Midlands

Join us as we thrive.