A proposal from Nottingham City Council for a share of a £675m government fund to create a better high street for the future has passed the first round of the bidding process.

A new look West End Arcade is one of a number of proposals for a rejuvenated area of the city centre between Angel Row, Upper Parliament Street and Market Street, bringing back distinctive independent stores, creative spaces and experiential retail.

Located between the Playhouse and Theatre Royal, and close to Old Market Square and Canning Circus, the proposed West End Point is seen as having untapped potential given its location, links to public transport, nearby offices, food outlets and strong night time economy.

Plans for the area include a wholescale refurbishment and enhancement of the area, creating better pedestrian access, improved public realm, conversion of unused retail space into creative maker spaces and conversion of unused space above shops. A programme to make the area greener and provide experiential market space for pop up retail and independent retailers would enhance this part of the city and lead to further job creation.

The bid for the Future High Streets fund is well timed given Nottingham’s ambitious plans for the city. The £2bn Southside regeneration, including the Broadmarsh redevelopment programme, will bring new homes, offices, retail, leisure and culture experiences, as well as providing more jobs and economic growth in the city. A new City Centre Strategy is under development to support the high street, looking at a long term plan to bring even more people to the largest retail and leisure city in the East Midlands.

Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Growth and the City Centre, said: “Nottingham is the leading shopping destination in the East Midlands, but like many retail areas, it has been under pressure from the rise of online shopping and a changing retail landscape.

“This shortlisting is positive news, and if we are successful in attracting more funding it will complement the significant investment that’s already underway at Nottingham Castle and around Broadmarsh and the Southside of the city centre. West End Point is an area where we want to bring about major redevelopment and this funding would help us realise that goal.

“The City Centre Strategy project has so far involved a huge input from stakeholders and the City Council to create a new city centre vision. This will keep us on track with our delivery of a growing, vibrant city centre with more people living, working-in and visiting Nottingham.”