As we approach the New Year, the start of a new decade, I believe there are good reasons to be optimistic about Nottingham’s future in the 2020s, writes City Council Leader, David Mellen.

Nottingham is a great city that I love living in after adopting as my own following studying here many years ago. Its greatest assets are the wonderful people, their warmth, humour and determination to get on with things and with each other – we’re known as the UK’s friendliest city!

We’ve had to draw on all of these strengths in recent years, as Nottingham has been overlooked by the Government for funding – even when the need for it is all too clear.

It would be easy to become downbeat and disheartened in the face of Government cuts. But that’s not the Nottingham spirit.

In Nottingham we are resilient, we help each other and – in the face of hardship – we find new ways to achieve our goals. As a council we will continue to provide support for those in need. Yet at the same time we aim to be ambitious and create a brighter future for our people.

We want to make sure that Nottingham is a place where everyone can thrive – from hard working families and elderly people to schools and students, shops and businesses.

We have listened to what people value and also the improvements they want to see. We’ve taken this on board and set out ambitious pledges in our new Council Plan – a plan of action that will shape the new decade.

Our top five pledges include:

  1. Building or buying 1,000 council or social homes for rent
  2. Creating 15,000 new jobs for Nottingham people
  3. Building a new Central Library, making it the best children’s library in the UK
  4. Cutting crime, and reducing anti-social behaviour by a quarter
  5. Ensuring Nottingham is the cleanest big city in England and keeping neighbourhoods as clean as the city centre.

We are creating a better Nottingham. Everything we do is geared towards helping Nottingham people to live in a cleaner, safer city with opportunities to get on in life – get a good home, get a good job and raise their children to have a better start in life.

That’s why we will create more jobs, build more homes, develop an exciting new library and work to keep your streets cleaner and safer. We’ve already built a new library in Strelley and we’re committed to bringing a number of vacant sites across our neighbourhoods back into use, providing employment opportunities for local people.

I firmly believe that Nottingham’s time has come, with a huge wave of public and private investment now transforming the city. The cranes on the skyline tower over the major developments which are bringing jobs, opportunities, confidence and a brighter, more positive future for the city.

  • A revitalised Nottingham Castle becoming a major national heritage attraction
  • A revamped intu Broadmarsh into a shopping and leisure destination
  • A new Central Library, including the best children’s library in the UK
  • A new bus station and car park
  • A new City Hub for Nottingham College students
  • The whole area revitalised and transformed to be more welcoming and pedestrian friendly

The Broadmarsh redevelopment programme alone is expected to bring 3,000 new jobs to the city, and with the Southside regeneration due to see £2billion of investment, we are creating a huge number of skilled and unskilled jobs for Nottingham people.

We stand ready to make the most of this exciting, unprecedented moment in our city’s future and to make sure local people reap the benefits.

We all want a brighter future. A better tomorrow. For you… for your children… for your community.

Together we can achieve our shared ambitions for Nottingham people for the new decade.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year for all in Nottingham.

Councillor David Mellen

Leader of Nottingham City Council