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Calls to save Broadmarsh vision amid fears over commissioners’ likely arrival at city council

today24 June 2022

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Calls are being made to protect Nottingham’s vision for Broadmarsh which could “turn the city’s fortunes around” after plans were lodged for commissioners to be appointed by the government at Nottingham City Council. Council leader David Mellen has admitted it is likely the commissioners will be sent in to oversee the authority’s finances and try to balance the books.

It comes after the collapse of Robin Hood Energy and almost £40m from the council’s Housing Revenue Account was found to be misspent on the wrong services. Amid fears some of the city’s most valuable council-owned assets could be stripped away or sold, figures from across Nottingham have come together to emphasise the importance of plans – which are already well underway – to redevelop Broadmarsh.

In December last year a new vision for the Greater Broad Marsh area, which is roughly the size of Wembley Stadium, was unveiled by the project’s advisory group. Nottingham City Council had established the group, which is chaired by the Nottingham Project’s Greg Nugent, after shopping centre giant intu collapsed into administration in 2020.

New skatepark to be built as part of Broadmarsh redevelopment – read more here.

Nottingham’s Broadmarsh centre almost completely demolished – read more here.

Mr Nugent has worked on major projects, notably acting as director of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee, and has stressed how important the next two years are for the historic hub of the city. He said: “It would be my personal view as someone who has chaired work on Broadmarsh, that what we need to do as an entire city is we would need to impress upon the commissioners just how much of a unique opportunity the city has with Broadmarsh.

“Huge progress has been made since December, and a lot more has been made in the background – the market reaction has been stunning. I would say it’s vital if they do come in that the city council and all of us stress that this is a strategic turning point for the city. If they do end up with strategic control, everybody should play their part so the commissioners understand just how strategic it can be to the city’s long term future.

“Broadmarsh can turn the city’s fortunes around. That will be a really important part of their process. [Broadmarsh] has been done really differently, they have used a lot of volunteers like me and we believe this scheme is deliverable – it is a critical two years for the Broadmarsh project.”

An artist's impression of the Broad Marsh project by Heatherwick Studio.
An artist’s impression of the Broad Marsh project by Heatherwick Studio

So far a new vision has been thought up, with the help of world-renown urban designer Thomas Heatherwick and his studio, revealing plans for 700 new apartments, a hotel, a new entrance to the caves and a green area known as Lister Square. The project is undoubtedly one of the most important Nottingham has ever faced, shaping the face of the city for years to come.

Hilary Silvester, chair of the Nottingham Civic Society, said: “It is an important part of the city. A lot of time and money has gone into improving that area and I think that having a welcoming approach to the city is very important, we have done some good work to begin with.

“It’s important that it should be treated sensibly with a view to its historic significance so it should be managed appropriately and fairly. It belongs to the city of Nottingham.”

People in Nottingham city centre said they hoped the latest developments at the council wouldn’t derail plans for Broadmarsh. Roma Lovett, 25, from Bingham, who works at Hopkinson in the city centre, said: “That would be tragic as a redevelopment would bring a lot more customers. If it doesn’t get built it would affect the whole of the area.”

Paul Ford, 53, a private tutor from Hucknall, said:“I don’t want it left like this. The site should be used for the betterment of the area. No one wants it to stay derelict. Needs to be used for something.”

David Harris, 46, a Christian evangelist from the Meadows, told Nottinghamshire Live: “I think the interesting thing about Broadmarsh is that it’s a bit of a gateway to the city – it’s an important spot. So I think it’s something that they need to come up with a plan for and hopefully get it looking nice.

“It’s a great opportunity, so hopefully they’ll end up getting it looking good.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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