Some of the city’s biggest businesses and organisations are backing Nottingham City Council’s funding bid for £20m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to help bring the transformation vision of Broad Marsh to life.

The 20-acre Broad Marsh site is one of the most significant city centre development sites in the UK, with neighbouring streets and buildings already undergoing a transformation and strengthened connections to improved tram, train, bus and cycle networks. The independent Greater Broad Marsh Advisory Group, which was established by the City Council, led a bold new vision for the site, which was informed by an extensive public engagement through the Big Conversation and brought to life by world renowned urban designer Thomas Heatherwick.

Now local businesses and key organisations in Nottingham are getting behind the bid, with the likes of Experian, Boots, Capital One, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, all showing their support.

If successful, the £20m Broad Marsh bid would prepare the centrepiece of the vision – the Frame of the former shopping centre – to be retained and reimagined into a unique space to bring people together in the city for play, performance and food, providing the necessary catalyst and confidence for private sector partners to invest.

This would unlock other key elements of the vision including:

  • The creation of 6,000 jobs, 750 homes and over 400,000 sq ft of commercial and business space
  • A ‘Green Heart’ providing a wildlife rich green space in the heart of the city centre
  • The rejuvenation of Nottingham’s unique cave network to boost tourism and World Heritage status
  • A potential cultural anchor tenant.

Many local businesses and key organisations have said they see the huge benefits of a successful bid.

East Midlands Chamber chief executive Scott Knowles said: “The revitalisation of the Broad Marsh area, in conjunction with the nearby Island Quarter regeneration, represents a unique opportunity to reimagine a key part of the city centre and make it fit for 21st century use. 

“These projects, if backed sufficiently by Government, have the potential to bring new jobs, homes and amenities that will benefit existing residents, while attracting visitors and indeed investors who will see something exciting is stirring in Nottingham.”

Richard Donovan, Global Head of Social Innovation & UK & Head of Corporate Responsibility at Experian, said: “At Experian we are proud of the deep roots we have here in the East Midlands. As a leading employer in the region, we recognise the importance of transforming the Broad Marsh in supporting the economic development of the city and inspiring the next generation of talent within our local communities.”

Sandeep Mahal, Director, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, said: “We are proud to back the city’s bid to the Levelling Up Fund and the enormous opportunity if offers to set a vision for the future prosperity of the city.

“The Levelling Up Fund offers huge potential for attracting investment and growth that will in turn transform the lives of people in Nottingham, create jobs in the area and showcase the talent and creativity that our UNESCO Creative City has to offer. Nottingham is an ambitious, young and diverse city with a culture of grassroots collaboration and a rich heritage of rebellious innovation.

“As a UNESCO Creative City of Literature, Nottingham is important, not just locally and regionally, but also on the global stage; working to harness the power of creativity to build a better, more sustainable, more equitable world.”

Key local businesses, educational institutions and third sector organisations which are part of Nottingham’s Growth Board have also all signed a letter to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities formally backing the bids and calling for the Government to invest in Nottingham.

The Growth Board is an economic advisory group which includes the Confederation of British Industry, Marketing Nottingham, Experian, Federation of Small Businesses, Nottingham BID, East Midlands Chamber, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and both Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham.

Nick Ebbs, Chair of Nottingham’s Growth Board, said: “The city’s bids can deliver what Levelling Up aims to achieve – investment in infrastructure that can make a real difference to local communities; creating jobs and opportunities for people and businesses in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and the wider East Midlands region.”

Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “It is great that so many local businesses and organisations in this city can see the potential for Broad Marsh and are backing our bid for funding.

“The new vision offers real social and economic opportunity for Nottingham, generating 3,000 jobs in the build and 3,000 new jobs once development is complete, creating more than 750 new homes and over 400,000 sq ft of high-end business and office space. The structural frame of the old shopping centre would be reimagined, a new ‘green heart’ for the city centre created, lost street connections reinstated and Nottingham’s cave network rejuvenated.”

As well as £20m for Broad Marsh, the council is bidding for another £20m to invest in Bulwell town centre, to boost pride in the area, improve key amenities and links to transport services. The plans include:

  • The creation of a new Bulwell Promenade through substantial enhancements of green space and public realm alongside the River Leen
  • Improvements to the marketplace and urban greening
  • The restoration of heritage buildings
  • Easier access for all and better connectivity between Bulwell Bogs, tram stop, bus station, marketplace and high streets. 

The council has also submitted a £17m bid on behalf of Conygar to renovate three heritage warehouses as part of the Island Quarter development. The developers propose to create a community open theatre plus creative and digital studio space on the site.

Full list of members of Nottingham’s Growth Board –

  • Nick Ebbs, Chair, Nottingham Growth Board
  • CBI
  • Marketing Nottingham
  • Experian
  • B-Global
  • Federation of Small Businesses
  • Creative Quarter Company
  • Nottingham Youth Council
  • Nottingham Business Improvement District
  • Boots
  • East Midlands Chamber
  • D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • Futures Group
  • Nottingham Community & Voluntary Service
  • Haydn Green Institute
  • Nottingham College
  • The Nottingham Project
  • University of Nottingham