A new pedestrian route is to be opened up across the demolished section of the former Broadmarsh shopping centre, showing fresh progress for an area of the city that’s undergoing huge change.
The route will provide uninterrupted open air access between the Southside of the city into the city centre for the first time since the Broadmarsh centre was built in the early 1970s. The building created a huge barrier, requiring visitors to be funnelled through part of the shopping mall to get into the heart of the city. More recently, a covered walkway has been in place to maintain pedestrian access during demolition.
City Council leader, Cllr David Mellen, said: “There are huge changes underway in the Broad Marsh area, with vastly improved streets creating pleasant areas to walk and relax, along with the new car park that’s already open, bus station that’s now started running coach services and the Central Library where fit-out gets underway this summer.
“Of course, one of the major changes is the demolition of the former shopping centre, which makes way for a fantastic vision of what could replace it. We’re pleased that this phase of demolition is now nearing completion, allowing us to open up a new open air pedestrian route between the Southside and city centre for the first time in almost fifty years.
“This is a small but significant step towards creating a reimagined gateway to the city that will play an important role in Nottingham’s future, making it a more attractive and accessible part of the city.”
Now that contractors Willmott Dixon acting on behalf of the City Council have demolished a substantial section of the shopping centre, including areas most recently occupied by Argos, BHS, Boots and TK Maxx among others, it’s possible to provide a pedestrian link between Collin Street and Listergate.
The new route will open later this summer with the previous covered walkway being closed. The move comes as work progresses on extensive improvements to the streets around the new Broad Marsh Car Park, Bus Station and Central Library building – with work to fit out the library due to get underway this summer and National Express starting operating from the new bus station earlier this week.
The section of Carrington Street alongside the new building is now completely pedestrianised and features planting and benches, with the area alongside Middle Hill near the new Nottingham College building given similar treatment. The section of Canal Street alongside the new building is now only accessible for buses, taxis and cycles – reducing another barrier in the city.
The work – funded through a successful bid for the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund – will also see Collin Street transformed from four lanes of heavy traffic to a public space between the new library and what will become the reimagined Broad Marsh area, linked to the Sussex Street area near the college via amphitheatre steps.
The new pedestrian route across the site will eventually be fully developed to tie in with the Collin Street improvements and become part of the ‘green heart’ space that’s been set out in the vision for the Broad Marsh site. The walkway will be four metres wide, with lighting and CCTV and bollards at either end, fenced off from the demolition site either side with windows to see progress on the site.