It’s the moment that will ultimately see one of Nottingham’s most unloved landmarks consigned to history – the start of the demolition of Broadmarsh Car Park.

And Joy Rice from Bulwell has been chosen as the lucky resident to wield the sledgehammer to kick off the demolition, on Monday 18 September.

The City Council ran a competition via its MyNottingham Facebook page asking people to say why they should be chosen to start the demolition. Joy’s poetic entry impressed the public and judges alike and as a prize, Joy will not only start the demolition of the Car Park and Bus Station but also keep the sledgehammer as a permanent memento of her day.

Joy said: “I’m so excited to have won this competition. I can’t wait to swing my personalised sledgehammer and kick off the whole thing – I’ve got a real good aim too.

I was told about the competition by the late great Councillor Alan Clark, and the idea of demolishing the Broadmarsh car park appealed to me, so I went on My Nottingham Facebook and entered my poem – not thinking I would get chosen. It will be great to be able to say I played a part in demolishing the car park which I think everyone will be pleased to see the back of – and I’m looking forward to seeing its modern replacement”.

Contractors have already been stripping the site and making the space safe over the last week, ready for the larger scale demolition to start. Work is due to be completed in early 2018.

Anyone wanting to see what it’s like to demolish a structure like Broadmarsh Car Park can head down to intu Broadmarsh on the weekend of the 23 and 24 September, as an exhibition will show the stages of demolishing the car park and provide an opportunity to try out a simulator used to train demolition workers.

Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of the City Council, said: “I know people have been looking forward to this for a long time – and changes to Broadmarsh are now happening. We will improve this area and make the southern part of the city a place people can be proud of.

“We’re being mindful of the impact works will have on the roads and are putting diversions and signage in place to help during the Broadmarsh regeneration. We’ll keep reviewing it to make sure people are able to move around the city, particularly with a busy October for us and Christmas coming up. While we transform Broadmarsh, we will ensure want people can still enjoy everything Nottingham has to offer.”

Joy’s winning poem

I am the right person to swing a sledgehammer at Broadmarsh car park,
because…it would be my one and only chance to make my civic mark!
To go down in history as the demolisher of this Nottingham landmark.
A task to get rid of this graceless monument, I would gladly embark.
People would cheer me on! “Knock it down!” they would remark.
I’d swing that sledgehammer through the air in a wide arc.
I wonder if there’d be splinters or maybe even a spark?
Goodbye! Farewell! Good riddance to Broadmarsh car park!