Nottingham currently has a massive £4 billion worth of recently completed developments and opportunity sites across half a square mile of the city centre, highlighting the Core City’s importance as a major driver of the regional and national economy.

A newly created development map of the city highlights a total of 14 major schemes sites including two of the largest and most significant city centre projects anywhere in the UK – Broad Marsh and The Island Quarter.

Together the new developments would provide over 7,000 new homes, 15,000 new jobs and create 2 million square feet of new office and commercial floor space.

Nottingham City Council has led work with private and public sector partners to ensure extensive sustainable infrastructure is in place to provide a platform for development, including a transport network second to none in the UK and a multi-million pound investment in high quality public realm improvements via the Transforming Cities Fund.

Nottingham’s £4bn development programme was presented this week at UKREiiF, the UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum in Leeds, brings together thousands of investors, funders and developers looking for new opportunities across the UK.

City Council Leader, Cllr David Mellen, spoke at the event which was also attended by the council’s Chief Executive, Mel Barrett and Corporate Director for Growth and City Development, Sajeeda Rose, as part of the city’s team at the event led by Invest in Nottingham.

Cllr Mellen said: “In Nottingham we support development sites with major improvements to the public realm and transport network. So the Broad Marsh has already benefitted from public investment in a brand-new state-of-the-art car park and bus station, while the surrounding streets have been transformed into a thriving multi-activity area featuring a popular new skateable space and major new street art.  

“We remain ambitious for our city – in spite of the current cost-of-living crisis – and we pride ourselves on the way we work with partners to ensure this important development can continue.

“Right now we are re-imagining our city centre – reinventing ways for people to live, work and enjoy the city – through better connectivity, better sustainability and perhaps most importantly the creativity to be able to see how people want their city centres to evolve – so that we can offer them a greener, brighter future.”

In addition to Broad Marsh and The Island Quarter, key sites include the Nottingham Waterside development; the University of Nottingham’s new Castle Meadow campus and Unity Square phase two alongside phase one, the new HMRC office.

Broad Marsh

Broad Marsh is a “a once in many generations opportunity” for Nottingham to lead the way in city centre regeneration following the impacts of Covid-19 and online retailing.

Heatherwick Studios, led by the world renowned and highly acclaimed British designer Thomas Heatherwick, was commissioned by the City Council and the Greater Broad Marsh Advisory Group to create a new vision for the 20-acre site.

The vision offers social and economic opportunity to Nottingham on an unprecedented and historic scale, generating over 6,000 jobs, creating up to 1,000 new homes and over 500,000 square feet of commercial and office space.

The council has been working to procure a master planner and supporting team to turn the vision into a more detailed master plan over the next few months and is now nearing completion of this process. A more detailed business case and delivery strategy will be developed to help procure the very best private sector partner to work closely with the council to deliver an exemplar sustainable development with social value, viability and deliverability at its core.    

Significant development has already taken place around Broad Marsh over the last three years including the new Nottingham College City Hub and a state-of-the-art car park and bus station.

Major improvements to the public realm have been completed on Sussex Street next to the new Nottingham College, creating a thriving multi activity area featuring a popular new skateable space and major new street art.

A new ‘Green Heart’ public space the size of a football pitch, designed by Townshend Landscape Architects, is being created at the centre of the Broad Marsh site following the partial demolition of the old shopping centre with work starting later this year. Work is also due to start soon to create a new playable public space on the now pedestrianised Collin Street alongside the new Nottingham Central Library.

The Library is nearing the end of its fit out and the books and other equipment will soon be delivered and installed to ahead of a planned opening later this year.

The Island Quarter

The 36-acre Island Quarter site, 500m from Nottingham Station had been derelict and blighted for over three decades before work started on a major redevelopment three years ago.

The Island Quarter is an exciting mixed-use development and unique, not just for Nottingham but for the Midlands and the UK. The 36-acre site is being totally transformed to bring new homes, grade A office space, creative spaces, a lifestyle hotel, PRS apartments and co-working space, retail units, a ‘linear’ park and vibrant community and event space as well as student accommodation to the city.  

1 The Island Quarter – the site’s first phase – opened in 2022, comprising restaurants Cleaver & Wake and Binks Yard. The venue’s outside space opened earlier in 2023, and will be hosting live events and entertainment throughout the summer.

The purpose-built student accommodation on the east side of the site will top out in summer 2023 and be ready for the September 2024 intake of students, and phase 1B – featuring a dual-branded IHG hotel and private rented apartments – will start on site later this year.

Nottingham’s integrated transport system

Nottingham has taken a joined up approach to planning and transport over the last two decades.

The council has retained public ownership of the bus company Nottingham City Transport and made significant investment in public transport including a tram system and Park & Ride which helped grow usage from 67m in 2004 to 80m 2019.

Nottingham City Transport has the largest fleet of bio-gas double decker buses in the world with remaining diesel buses using technology which reduces their emissions by 90%.

A Workplace Parking Levy was introduced in 2011 which helped fund the tram network extension and improvements to Nottingham’s railway station.

Integrated smart ticketing has been introduced across all forms of transport and also e-mobility hubs which support the roll out of electric vehicles including e-bikes, e-scooters, a recent wireless electric taxi charging pilot and fleet vehicles which actually put electricity back into the grid.

We’re also investing in our cycle network including a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Trent.

All of these measures support Nottingham’s target to be carbon neutral city by 2028.