Broad Marsh is one of the most significant city centre development sites in the UK.

It has been described as “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 – and Stories, a leading socially responsible development company, were commissioned last year by Nottingham City Council and the Greater Broad Marsh Advisory Group to create a new vision for the 20-acre site.

The new vision was launched in December and offers social and economic opportunity to Nottingham on an unprecedented and historic scale, 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.

Significant development has already taken place around Broad Marsh over the last two years including the new Nottingham College City Hub and a state-of-the-art car park, bus station and central library building. Work is also well underway on major improvements to the public space around Broad Marsh through the Transforming Cities Fund, including new pedestrianised streets and planting to create a more pleasant, people-friendly, and greener environment.

Watch the Vision for the Broad Marsh here:

Key elements of the new vision

  • Reinstating Nottingham’s lost street connections and rebuilding them for the future of the city, reconnecting the whole of the centre, both physically and with its history.
  • A New Green Heart for the city centre, a wildlife-rich green space, which will permeate the whole site and weave in and out of the Frame, aiming to create a beautiful, tranquil core to the city. It will be set within 3.5 hectares of common ground – high quality public realm that permeates the zones across the 20-acre site.
  • Over 750 new homes in the heart of the city looking up at Nottingham Castle.
  • Over 3,000 jobs from new commercial and mixed use buildings, creating high-end business and office space, including conference space, and high quality ground floor retail.
  • The retention of the ‘structural frame’ of the Broadmarsh shopping centre and give it new life and meaning. Inside the Frame, the Vision creates a space like no other, totally unique to the city. Under the key themes of play, performance and food, it could provide a place with a diverse range of uses that brings people together.
  • The rejuvenation of Nottingham’s unique cave network creating a new entrance and transforming the existing Severns House into a hotel, providing the opportunity for tourists to sleep right above the caves and forming part of a new heritage and culture trail through the city centre.

The background

  • The lease for the shopping centre was handed over to the council in July 2020 after intu went into administration.
  • The council launched the Big Conversation on Broad Marsh in Autumn 2020 which attracted over 3,000 individual responses and 11,000 comments from local residents, businesses and business groups, charities, campaign groups, schools, colleges and national architects.
  • One of the key themes that emerged from the Big Conversation was a call for green, natural and open spaces. There was also a large swell of support for a reflection of Nottingham’s history and heritage, including the city’s caves, and mixed developments, including retail, hospitality, leisure and offices.

Big ideas for the Broadmarsh Centre site following Big Conversation

  • The Greater Broad Marsh Advisory Group was set up in early 2021, an independent panel of local and national advisors established to help the council shape a new vision for the Broadmarsh area chaired by former director of the London 2012 Olympics Greg Nugent with members including Sir Tim Smit of the Eden Project, Jerome Frost of ARUP UK and urban designer Kathryn Frith.

Advisory panel set up to recommend the future of Broadmarsh site

  • In March 2021, the council secured £12 million in external funding for the first phase of work to transform the Broadmarsh Centre site. A total of £7.99 million funding was approved by D2N2, the Local Enterprise Partnership, from the Government’s Getting Building Fund to begin demolition of the North West part of the former shopping centre building and support production of a new masterplan vision to start to transform the whole of the former Broadmarsh Centre. A further £4 million came from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund to create a new safe and attractive open street between Lister Gate and Collin Street.

£12 million of funding kick starts the reimagining of the Broadmarsh Centre

  • In July 2021, the council and Greater Broad Marsh Advisory Group announced that Heatherwick Studio, led by the renowned and highly acclaimed British designer Thomas Heatherwickand Stories, a leading socially responsible development company, had been commissioned to create a new vision for Broad Marsh.

World-class team appointed to the revisioning of one of the most significant development spaces in the UK 

  • The new vision for Broad Marsh was published in December 2021 as 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 vision to reimagine City Centre and old shopping centre backed by Nottingham City Council

City Council Leader, Cllr David Mellen, said: “We are now carrying out the important work necessary to test the new Vision and our ability to realise it. We have said all along that this isn’t something the council can or would want to do on its own. We will continue to work with colleagues on the Advisory Group to develop a Masterplan for the space and secure the investment needed from public and private sector partners. This will take time to get right but people will see major changes soon”