A year of change in Nottingham – with the best yet to come


As construction teams close down for Christmas, Nottingham is in a rare quiet period after a busy year of redevelopment in the Southside area of the city centre.

In January, only a couple of cranes could be seen on the Nottingham horizon that has since been awash with them. Cranes in the air means jobs on the ground too, as over 1,000 jobs have been created, with over half of those going to local residents.

Significant progress has been made as part of the £2 billion Southside regeneration programme, primarily in the Broadmarsh area where the programme to redevelop intu Broadmarsh, Broadmarsh Car Park, Bus Station and Central Library, City Hub, Nottingham Castle and new public realm is well underway.

We take a look at the progress over 2019 – and what’s to come in 2020.

intu Broadmarsh

intu began work in January 2019, with hoardings going up around the centre, the top floor closing off for demolition work and the Drury Walk entrance closing to be transformed into an extension of Bridlesmith Gate. A tower crane arrived in October to aid demolition and construction, which has seen a temporary ceiling created in Lister Square and large sections of the Collin Street façade demolished.          

Broadmarsh Car Park, Bus Station and Central Library

Clearing the site and laying foundations began in Spring, with major works beginning in July. Steelwork began in September, with the building being built in sections along the length of the site. Work to build the new structure has progressed rapidly, with three cranes on site and new sections seeming to emerge every day.

In June, architects were appointed to design Nottingham’s new Central Library, listening to feedback from key stakeholders and library users. Proposals for the new library will soon be available for the public to view and feedback on early in 2020.

Nottingham College City Hub

At the start of 2019 only a few steel beams were out of the ground at the City Hub: now the frame is complete and the building reached full height in July. Cladding is well underway, with work on the second ‘block’ of the building beginning in November, highlighting how the building will aesthetically fit with the surrounding area.

Nottingham Castle

Nottingham Castle architects visualisation
Nottingham Castle architects visualisation

A huge scaffolding tent still adorns the Castle to protect the building as the roof is replaced. Work to construct the new visitor centre, tunnel soundscapes, rebellion galleries, virtual reality gaming and new access to caves is ongoing. Historical stone and glasswork in the castle is also being restored to its former glory, ready to welcome new visitors in 2021.

Unity Square

The new offices for 4,000 HMRC staff from across the Midlands has also made swift progress this year. After receiving planning consent in January, major construction started in March, with two tower cranes building the steel frame of this 10 storey office block. The majority of the steel frame is now up, allowing internal work to begin.

Across the city…

Work on Nottingham Science Park’s new Grade A offices began in March 2019, due for completion in Spring 2020. The new building will provide 22,700 sq. ft. of Grade A office space for businesses looking for research and development facilities near like-minded organisations, with a pre-let already agreed for some of the space.

In April, outline planning consent was granted for the Island Site. The development, which is expected to begin in 2020, will see homes, offices, a five star hotel, market space, a new park and student accommodation built on the 40 acre site in phases.

Finally, in November, a new City Centre Strategy was launched for consultation. As the city centre grows and develops, local people were asked their views on what they would like to see in Nottingham to make it a great area for people to work, live, learn and play. 

What’s next?

2020 will continue to be a busy year in Nottingham, as work continues at Broadmarsh Car Park and Bus Station, plans for the new Central Library are presented for feedback and the redevelopments of intu Broadmarsh, Nottingham Castle and Unity Square continue.

Nottingham College’s City Hub will open its doors in September, with students entering the building for the first time as the first element of the Broadmarsh redevelopment programme comes to fruition.

Work will begin on reshaping the roads in the Broadmarsh area, as plans progress for the closure and pedestrianisation of Collin Street in 2020. Smaller road changes around the area will take place first to fully prepare for the closure of Collin Street and working with utility providers to minimise disruption.

The new Nottingham Science Park building will open in Spring 2020, welcoming new tenants and visitors, and work is expected to begin on Crocus Place and the Island Site in the first half of the year. With all of these developments will come new jobs and opportunities for local people to help be a part of building the new Nottingham.

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