Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Council launches ‘Big Conversation’ on future of Broadmarsh shopping centre site

The future of a key site in Nottingham city centre is the subject of a Big Conversation being launched by the City Council, to get people talking about what they would like to see happen there.

Council Leader Councillor David Mellen has described it as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine and reshape a significant space in the heart of one of the country’s Core Cities and build a new vision for how cities should look following the coronavirus pandemic.

The site of the old Broadmarsh shopping centre covers around a million square feet in the centre of Nottingham surrounded by major projects nearing completion including the new Nottingham College City Hub, the Nottingham Castle transformation and a new car park, bus station and library building.

Broadmarsh was partway through redevelopment as a major leisure and retail centre when the coronavirus pandemic hit, leading to owners intu going into administration

The site has now passed to the City Council which wants to hear a wide range of views from inside and outside the city to help it create a new vision for the area.

The Big Conversation will take place over 10 weeks and involve engagement events with local residents, young people, businesses, the voluntary sector and other key partner organisations.

A web app has been developed to provide a guide to the Big Conversation, tell the story of Broadmarsh past and present, and give people the opportunity to share their views and ideas on its future by completing a survey.

There will also be a ‘drop-in shop’ on Lister Gate near the entrance to the Broadmarsh walkway open from 10am to 3pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout November where people can find out more about the Big Conversation and discuss their ideas in person in a Covid-safe way.

City Council Leader, Councillor David Mellen said: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine and reshape a significant space right in the heart of one of the country’s Core Cities.

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on national and local economies across the world with the retail industry particularly badly hit. The collapse of intu put a stop to the original plans for the Broadmarsh centre.

“But now the site has been handed over to the City Council we have a chance to look again at this important site and take some time to get a wide range of views and ideas on what should happen next before we finalise future plans.

“Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, Nottingham’s renaissance continues at pace, with many major schemes opening and due to complete over the next 6 months.

“Broadmarsh is surrounded by huge regeneration projects including the Nottingham Castle transformation, new Broadmarsh Car Park, Bus Station and Central Library, Nottingham College City Hub, HMRC’s Unity Square, the new Nottingham Island Quarter, and a new aspirational community at Waterside along the River Trent.

“Within just half a square mile south of Broadmarsh, there are over 30 significant regeneration projects happening, amounting to over £2 billion worth of development. All of these are continuing to be delivered and will see new opportunities to live, work and spend time in Nottingham over the next few years.

“We want and need to work in partnership with private and public sector partners to develop any future plans, not least due to the financial pressures Nottingham and many other councils are facing at the moment.

“There are practical challenges with the site too due to different height levels and the current structure being partly demolished. But a lot of important preparation work has already taken place as part of the previous development.

“What happens next with the Broadmarsh centre is vital to the future of the city and its ongoing regeneration. We have an opportunity here in Nottingham to build a new vision for how cities should look following the coronavirus pandemic – one that is people centred and green but that also leads to jobs and housing, improving quality of life for local people.

“We want everyone to play a part in creating that vision by joining the Big Conversation about Broadmarsh.”

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