Nottingham’s independent Greater Broad Marsh Advisory Group, established by Nottingham City Council in March 2021, has published its vision and recommendations for one of the most significant city centre development sites in the UK.
The unique 20 acre site includes the former, part demolished Broadmarsh shopping centre which was handed back to Nottingham City Council when Intu went into administration at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
D2N2 LEP announced earlier this year it was providing £7.99m to Nottingham City Council towards the demolition of part of the former shopping centre, bringing the total investment by D2N2 LEP into the Nottingham’s Southside to over £76.5m – including the Central Library, Bus Station and car park, the new Nottingham College City Hub and the redeveloped Nottingham Castle.
A new vision for the city centre
Nottingham City Council set up an independent Advisory Group to build on the Council’s successful ‘Big Conversation’ consultation to reimagine the derelict Broadmarsh shopping centre. Heatherwick Studio, led by the world-renowned and highly-acclaimed British designer Thomas Heatherwick, and Stories, a leading socially responsible development company, were commissioned to work with the Advisory Group on the creative vision for the City Centre site and advise on how Nottingham can deliver the project.
The Advisory Group believes the new vision gives Nottingham a ‘once in many generations’ opportunity given the size, scale and position of the site and would offer social and economic opportunity to Nottingham on an unprecedented and historic scale. The development, which the Advisory Group thinks will take ten years to fully deliver, will generate 3,000 jobs in the build and 3,000 new jobs once development is complete and create more than 750 new homes and over 400,000 sq ft of high end business and office space.
Something for everyone
Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “I would like to thank the Advisory Board, Heatherwick Studio and the team at Stories for their creativity, hard work and ambition. When Heatherwick Studio was commissioned to create a new vision for Broad Marsh, there were some key things I was keen for it to include. I think Thomas and his team have delivered on all of them. They have clearly listened to the feedback from the Big Conversation and captured the wide range of views and ideas put forward in what was the Council’s biggest engagement exercise to date. They have used the extensive footprint of Broad Marsh to ensure the Vision provides something for everyone.
“It includes a substantial green space via a ‘green heart’ at the centre of the vision. It will lead to over 750 homes and 6,000 jobs for local people. By proposing to make some use of the existing frame, reducing the waste and carbon emissions from new construction, it is sustainable, something which is very important for the city’s ambition to be the UK’s first carbon neutral city by 2028. And it respects and promotes the city’s rich heritage by opening up views to the Castle, enhancing the Caves, one of the city’s hidden gems, and re-establishing old street patterns.
“Now we will begin the important work necessary to test the new Vision and our ability to realise it. We have said all along that this isn’t something the Council can or would want to do on its own. We will continue to work with colleagues on the Advisory Group to develop a Masterplan for the space and secure the investment needed from public and private sector partners. This will take time to get right but people will see major changes soon with the opening up of the area between Collin Street through to Lister Gate as part of the creation of the ‘Green Heart’.”
Lilian Greenwood, MP for Nottingham South, said: “Nottingham has a fantastic opportunity to lead the way in rethinking who and what our city centres are for. This plan draws on the area’s heritage and historic street layout but reimagines the space for a green and sustainable future. I hope my constituents are as excited as I am about this vision for the Broad Marsh.”
The key elements of the vision:
- Rebuilding the lost connections: reinstate many of Nottingham’s lost street connections and rebuild them for the future of the city
- A new green heart: this wildlife-rich green space, which will permeate the whole site, will aim to create a beautiful, tranquil core to the city
- Living by the Nottingham Castle: over 750 new homes located within walking distance of the train station
- Work by the new green heart: new commercial and mixed use buildings, creating high end business and office space
- The retention of ‘The Frame’: keep some of the structural frame of the Broadmarsh shopping centre and give it new life and meaning
- Sleep above the caves in a new art hotel: rejuvenate Nottingham’s unique cave network creating a new entrance and transforming the existing Severns House into a hotel, providing the opportunity for tourists to sleep right above the caves and forming part of a new heritage and culture trail through the city centre.
Nottingham City Council has backed the Vision and asked the Advisory Group to continue its work and advise on the formal setting up of the delivery partnership, in March.