By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter
Nottingham City Council may change the use of a new multi-storey car park if it struggles to pull in customers.
The new Broadmarsh car park will provide more than 1,200 car parking spaces, including 81 charging points for electric cars, when it opens in October.
The city centre multi-storey was built to serve the increased number of visitors it was hoped would be attracted to the new, redeveloped Broadmarsh shopping centre.
But last year the shopping centre plan collapsed when owner Intu plummeted into administration. And since then, commentators have expressed fears the car park will be underused.
The council is still optimistic it can make the car park work, due to its close proximity to the refurbished Nottingham Castle and the new Nottingham College.
It also believes spaces could be taken up by some of the 4,000 staff working at the new HMRC building in Unity Square, which is due to open next year.
However, the leader of the council Cllr David Mellen says his authority will “evaluate” the car park’s success over the next year – and will change use of the land if it doesn’t bring in enough income.
Cllr David Mellen (Lab), leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “We have a car park we can’t go back on because Intu went bust.
“It needs to be marketed well. But how much it will be used is yet to be found out. If it is not used fully then we could use it in different ways.
“None of us know what the post Covid workplace will be. There are some people desperate to get back and others who are frightened to get back and fearful about catching Covid
“We would prefer people to use public transport, but we know for many people a car is the best way of coming into Nottingham.
“At the moment it is a car park – and it is going to be the best car park anywhere for electric cars.”
The city council currently runs more than 1500 parking spaces in the city centre. It has said that ticket prices at its new Broadmarsh car park will be in line with those at its Fletcher Gate multi-storey.
The Broadmarsh car park is part of a wider £50m council project, which also includes a new bus station and central library on the site.
Both car park and bus station will open in October. The library will open at the end of 2022 or 2023.
The bus station will include local services and a new hub for National Express coaches. National Express currently has a bus stop up the road from the council’s Loxley House headquarters, near the Nottingham Railway Station.