A new walkway through the former Broad Marsh shopping centre has opened keeping an important pedestrian link open between the city centre and Nottingham Station – and allowing the first stage of demolition of part of the shopping centre to get fully underway.
The new walkway, which replaces the existing one, has been moved to the east, meaning people arriving from Carrington Street now turn slightly to the right to enter it and emerge onto Listergate where Ernest Jones the jewellers used to be. The new wider route has been upgraded with bespoke flooring, lighting and CCTV and is intended to be open 24/7. The existing walkway has now closed.
The Listergate and Collin Street entrances to the walkway feature new artwork by local artists, as a co-ordinated part of the Nottingham Street Art project.
The opening of the new walkway signals the latest progress on the Broad Marsh site – with demolition now able to get properly underway on the western section of the old shopping centre through to Maid Marian Way, which includes the old Argos, BHS and Boots stores as well as the previous walkway. When complete, this will create a new space which will be developed as new public realm linking the city centre and the area to the south which the council is currently redeveloping. Further public realm improvements are also planned to start on Collin Street, following the closure of the old six lane road that split the city in this area, in early 2022. Further funding is being sought from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
The current phase of public realm improvements in the streets around the new Broad Marsh car park, bus station and new library building have been progressing well. Works near the new college have already started to transform this area, with extensive areas of new paving and soft landscaping now underway in the large new planting areas. Works will continue to progress up Middle Hill in the coming months and will include installing new amphitheatre seating and steps to link the new area at a lower level outside the college with Middle Hill. This part of the work is expected to be completed next spring.
New public realm around the perimeter of the new bus station and car park has also progressed well, including new granite paving, seated steps and tiered planting on Carrington Street, with more planting taking place through September. A resurfacing programme is also underway on Canal Street, including a new section of dedicated cycle lane which will ultimately connect the existing facility on Castle Boulevard with the new Island Quarter off London Road. The resurfacing works will be completed through September ahead of the anticipated opening of the new Bus Station and Car Park Facility later this year.
City Council Leader, Cllr David Mellen, said: “Since taking over responsibility of the site after intu’s collapse, we have moved quickly to gather views about how the area could be developed, and have recruited an advisory group who are all giving their time for free and an acclaimed designer to come forward with a masterplan. We have also secured funding to demolish the western end of the centre – and moving and improving the walkway is a key milestone as it enables that demolition to get properly underway. I’m pleased that as part of opening this upgraded route, we have worked with The Nottingham Project to introduce more local artwork to brighten up the area while works continue.
“We’ve been making great progress transforming the streets around our new Broadmarsh car park, bus station and central library building and I think that people returning to the city centre will be really impressed with the way this changes the look and feel of the area. Traffic used to dominate the area but successfully bidding for Government funding has meant the council has been able to reimagine it as a new pedestrian-friendly gateway to the city where people will be inclined to linger and enjoy their surroundings.
“The street improvements include better cycling facilities through this part of the city, linking to existing cycle routes, and give buses and taxis priority through the area. Motorists including electric vehicle drivers will soon be able to make use of the new car park and bus passengers will soon benefit from much better facilities at the new bus station. We are expecting announcements shortly on tenants for retail spaces on the ground floor level of the building, which along with the new college and new library will help to breathe new life into the area.”
Lee Walker, Director of The Nottingham Project, said: “We are delighted that Nottingham City Council asked us to work with them on a creative solution for the entrances to the new Broad Marsh walkway, providing another area for our city’s incredible artists to create more excellent designs.
“As part of the wider Street Art project, celebrating Nottingham’s rebels and pioneers, this is now another area that has been brought to life in an exciting way. There is more to come in this space, so people should stay tuned for further details in the coming days.”