A new pedestrian route is to be opened up across the demolished section of the former Broadmarsh shopping centre, showing fresh progress for an area of the city that’s undergoing huge change.
The route will provide uninterrupted open air access between the Southside of the city into the city centre for the first time since the Broadmarsh centre was built in the early 1970s.
The building created a huge barrier, requiring visitors to be funnelled through part of the shopping mall to get into the heart of the city. More recently, a covered walkway has been in place to maintain pedestrian access during demolition.
City Council Leader, Cllr David Mellen, said: “There are huge changes underway in the Broad Marsh area, with vastly improved streets creating pleasant areas to walk and relax, along with the new car park that’s already open, bus station that has started running coach services and the Central Library where fit-out is underway.
“Of course, one of the major changes is the demolition of the former shopping centre, which makes way for a fantastic vision of what could replace it, with a bid for £20m of Levelling Up Funding submitted to Government last week. We’re pleased that this phase of demolition is now nearing completion, allowing us to open up a new open air pedestrian route between the Southside and city centre for the first time in almost fifty years.
“This is a small but significant step towards creating a reimagined gateway to the city that will play an important role in Nottingham’s future, making it a more attractive and accessible part of the city.”
Once contractors Willmott Dixon acting on behalf of the City Council have completed demolition and clearance of a substantial section of the shopping centre, including areas most recently occupied by Argos, BHS, Boots and TK Maxx among others, it will be possible to provide a pedestrian link between Collin Street and Listergate.
Subject to completion of site clearance, it’s hoped the new route will open next month with the previous covered walkway being closed.
The move comes as work progresses on extensive improvements to the streets around the new Broad Marsh Car Park, Bus Station and Central Library building – with work to fit out the library underway, the car park open and National Express now operating from the new bus station.
The section of Carrington Street alongside the new building is now completely pedestrianised and features planting and benches, with the area alongside Middle Hill near the new Nottingham College building given similar treatment.
The section of Canal Street alongside the new building is now only accessible for buses, taxis and cycles – reducing another barrier in the city.
The work – funded through a successful bid for the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund – will also see Collin Street transformed from four lanes of heavy traffic to a public space between the new library and what will become the reimagined Broad Marsh area, linked to the Sussex Street area near the college via amphitheatre steps.
The walkway will be four metres wide, with lighting and CCTV and bollards at either end, fenced off from the demolition site either side. The new pedestrian route across the site will eventually be fully developed to tie in with the Collin Street improvements and become part of the ‘green heart’ space that’s been set out in the vision for the Broad Marsh site.