By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter
The leader of Nottingham City Council said he is “bitterly disappointed” after the authority missed out on £20m of Government money to demolish the former Broadmarsh shopping centre.
The council is hoping to make another bid to government but this could mean the half-demolished Broadmarsh will be part of Nottingham’s landscape until at least Spring next year.
The demolition is a key part of the council’s vision to attract developers and build ‘a mixed use’ scheme on the site.
Ongoing financial problems at the authority, which includes nearly £1bn of debt, combined with the sudden collapse into administration of the site’s former operator, Intu, means it is not in a position to pay for the work itself.
This led to the council deciding to submit the Levelling Up funding bid to Government.
It has already secured funding to demolish the western end of the shopping centre near to Maid Marian Way.
But it needed a £20m Government bid to demolish the rest of the site, and to help fit out the new Central Library. It’s bid for this was rejected on Wednesday as part of the Budget announcement.
However, Nottingham City Council has been successful in one of its bids – an £18 million grant to renew roads and pavements, street lights, and roll out more electric charging points across the city.
Cllr David Mellen (Lab) said: “We welcome of course the £18m that Nottingham will receive thanks to our successful bid for this amount to carry out a range of transport improvements around the city.
“However, we are bitterly disappointed that our bids for the Broadmarsh and Island Quarter sites were not successful.
“These are two of the UK’s largest regeneration sites and can play a hugely significant role in Nottingham’s post-pandemic growth. They would seem to be obvious candidates for Government funding that aims to help level up areas which have too often been overlooked for financial support.
“We will look towards submitting fresh bids for these sites for the next round of Levelling Up funding next spring, as we firmly believe they are too important for Government to ignore.
“I would like to thank council officers who successfully secured the transport funding investment in this competitive process.
“This will make a big difference in our neighbourhoods by improving roads and pavements, rolling out more electric vehicle charging points, turning our streetlights to energy-saving LED bulbs and improving active travel options around schools.”
Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood (Lab) has also described the news as a “huge disappointment.”
She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “There is massive public support for transforming the Broadmarsh. Backing the city’s ambitious plans would have been a huge opportunity to boost investment, create new jobs and help our city and the wider region to flourish.
“These are precisely what the Government says it wants to achieve so it’s a huge disappointment that they are doing nothing to support the city’s most high profile regeneration project.”