Some of Nottingham’s unique and most interesting shops and businesses will feature in a series of short films under the title HIDDEN, to promote nine areas of the city centre, from Hockley to Derby Road, and highlight the fact that Nottingham has one of the biggest independent sectors in the country.

The high-impact 30-second films, designed to be shared on social media, have been funded and commissioned by Nottingham City Council, and delivered in partnership with Experience Nottinghamshire, the Creative Quarter and the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) under the It’s in Nottingham brand.  The nine films celebrate Nottingham’s vibrant independent sector and direct customers to businesses they might not otherwise know were there.  Each film, made by Nottingham company Swearboxed, captures the essence of that area and shows shoppers how to find it.  Viewers will be able to look for the canine stars in the Derby Road film or listen to the great jazz soundtrack on the West End Arcade film, for example.

The films will be available at and shared across other social media platforms, with the first film, covering Hurts Yard (, to be released on Thursday 4 August and the rest to follow over the summer.

Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Business, Growth and Transport, said: “This is just one of the projects we have set up to promote Nottingham’s vibrant and attractive city centre, improve the visitor experience and encourage more people to come to our city so we can continue to build on Nottingham’s reputation as the key destination for shopping and leisure in the East Midlands.  We should be proud of, and support, our independents as they are one of the main reasons people come to Nottingham to shop.”

Iain Gray, film-maker at Swearboxed, said: “We were asked to pitch to make films about Nottingham’s independent retail sector and we responded with a suitably independent proposal.  These films are as varied and individual as the businesses they depict and reflect the fact that we love this city that we live and work in.  Each film highlights the unique features of that location, picks out things people might miss while walking by and, of course, shows the type of business they will find in that area.  We hope they will capture the attention and imagination of potential visitors, get people talking about shopping in Nottingham and make them keen to stay in the city centre for longer.”

David Wallace, interim Chief Executive at Experience Nottinghamshire, said:

“Nottingham is a great place to explore, with many hidden gems off the beaten track. These videos are a great introduction to Nottingham’s treasures for people planning to come to the city, and we’re keen to use them to attract new visitors, and to inspire people who are already familiar with the city to take a fresh look at the fantastic offer.”

Kathy McArdle, Chief Executive Officer of the Creative Quarter, said: “These imaginatively produced films have been created to highlight the fantastic independent arcades, alleyways and areas that are waiting to be discovered by new visitors and residents alike. The films give extra promotion to these areas and reflect their unique identities and personalities brilliantly. They make you want to visit every one, meet the businesses and most importantly spend money there.”

Nicola Tidy, a director of the Nottingham BID added: “Nottingham has such a high number of fantastic independent shops and it is these shops that help to make the city such a great place to be for people who live, work and study here as well as for visitors.  We need to capitalise on this and encourage even more people to come here by promoting these businesses to support our local economy.”

Paul Turnbull & Sabrina Pegeot from The Coffee House in Hurts Yard, which this week was awarded Highly Commended in Nottingham’s Top Independent Business Competition 2016, said: “We’re really excited to see the final film, having watched the filming take place.  We hope that the micro-films will be a great way to encourage more people to come and discover Hurts Yard and the other alleyways and hidden streets in Nottingham.  Being tucked away means customers have to make an extra effort to come, but they are rewarded with great quality and customer service when they get here.”

Nottingham will become the UK’s Festival City for the second time, this October, with more than 20 festivals and major events, including the first Nottingham Independents Festival, Nottingham International Microfilm Festival, the Hockley Hustle and the Nottingham Caves Festival.