By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter
Nottingham City Council is making a massive bid to the Government for £57m which will include transforming the former Broadmarsh shopping centre site.
The Labour-run authority missed out on a Levelling Up bid of £20m last October, which included demolishing some of the Broadmarsh.
Since the failed bid, the council has been working with partners to draw up a new vision for the site, which the authority hopes will secure the cash this time around.
The plan is to divide the site into zones with the potential to create 750 homes with views of Nottingham Castle, an art hotel next to Nottingham Contemporary and 400,000 square feet of business space to create up to 6,000 jobs.
Nottingham Caves would have a completely new entrance to raise its profile as a key tourist destination, and there would be a green space at the heart of the development for people to enjoy.
The former frame of the derelict shopping centre would be kept and could become a place that could house recording studios, a music venue, food outlets, gyms, a skate park, and community garden projects.
The council says the 20-acre Broadmarsh site is one of “the most significant city centre development sites in the UK.”
If the bid is successful, £20m of the bid money will include retaining and reimagining the Frame of the derelict shopping centre to create “a unique space.”
This, in turn, will help provide what the council describes as “the necessary catalyst and confidence for private sector partners to invest”.
It is unclear what will happen to the site if the money is not granted, with opposition leaders raising concerns about its future.
There is also a £20m bid to improve Bulwell town centre, which will include creating a new promenade alongside the River Leen, improvements to the market place and the restoration of heritage buildings.
The last part of the bid is for £17m to improve the 40-acre Island Quarter site, just off London Road, which had planning permission granted this year for a 18-storey hotel with 223 rooms and a roof terrace.
It also achieved planning permission for a further block up to 10 storeys high with 247 build-to-rent apartments.
Planning permission was also granted in November 2020 for “a mixed-use commercial development” that is currently under construction adjacent to the canal, to be named Canal Turn.
It has been described as an “all-day, canal-side destination with restaurants, bars and extensive events space” due to open this year.
The bid to Government will renovate three heritage warehouse buildings to provide a community open theatre and creative and digital studio space.
Access would also be improved for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles with an upgraded junction connecting the site to the Sneinton community.
Cllr David Mellen (Lab), leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “We believe that Broadmarsh is perhaps the most significant development site in the country right now and that our ambitious proposals offer a chance for Nottingham to re-imagine the future of city centres and uplift not just the Broadmarsh, but support jobs and growth for the wider city and region, unlocking benefits for us all and future generations.
“A successful bid for the Frame would help unlock the wider vison for a new ‘green heart’ for the city, rejuvenating the caves and creating new homes, jobs and business opportunities.
“Bulwell town centre has great potential which deserves to be realised and our bid will enhance some of the key elements that make the town special. The market and the riverside area will be given the love and attention they need.
“The Island Quarter is a key site next to the city centre for which ambitious plans are already underway but support from the Levelling Up Fund would help enhance further creating opportunities and improving access for local communities.”
Cllr Andrew Rule, opposition leader of the Conservative Group, says he has concerns about the Frame and green space as part of the Broadmarsh redevelopment.
He says it could become “a hotbed for anti-social behaviour” and wonders if the council can afford to maintain the green space.
He said: “I hope they are successful in securing the money but if the fund is not forthcoming the case for urgent and meaningful discussion with private developers will be the only way to see tangible progress in developing the currently derelict Broadmarsh.”