Friday 14 June 2024
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Nottingham

Bulwell: Town centre regeneration plan details confirmed

Improvements to Bulwell town centre using Government Levelling Up money have been scaled back slightly due to rising inflation during the cost of living crisis.

Nottingham City Council was awarded around £20m by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DHLUC) to regenerate the town centre, its market place and green space next to the River Leen.

A bid was initially submitted by the council in June 2022, seeking funding under round two of the Levelling Up Fund, but it was rejected.

In December 2023 the department awarded the funding under its third round.

Councillors agreed to accept the funding during an Executive Board meeting on Tuesday, May 21.

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Because of the extended period of time since the bid was submitted, they were informed the scheme has been scaled back due to increased costs amid high inflation seen during the cost of living pressures.

Inflation hit 11.1 % in October 2022, the highest rate for 40 years, and today it is 2.3 %.

This means prices will continue to increase, just less quickly than at its peak.

Cllr Linda Woodings (Lab), executive member for finance, said: “One of the things councils have said is that since they submitted their bids, and decisions took so long, that construction costs and costs have increased since they put their actual bids in because we’ve had pretty rampant levels of inflation.

“Obviously we have developed this plan in consultation with local retail owners, businesses and so on, will that inflation have an effect on how far the money can go?”

Responding Paul Seddon, the director of planning, said:

“The intention with the project from the outset was that it could always be scaled, so that always enables us to flex if we need to.

“Inevitably the increases in costs have impacted the scheme.”

“We have gone through with the early feasibility work with the contractor to better understand the fuller costs and the current costs.

“So whilst there will be some scaling back, I couldn’t tell you exactly where it is, but we now have a more accurate picture.

“The fundamental elements of it are still affordable within that budget that we have got. If we see future changes then we can scale the scheme.”

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The council says Bulwell has historically received “limited investment and
reduced economic activity and is under performing in comparison to the rest of the city.”
It also sits “significantly below national averages” in terms of deprivation.

Under the scheme the market stalls will be improved and the market place resurfaced.

Bulwell Bogs, a leisure area, will be refurbished with new wet and dry activity areas, better landscaping and improvements to the accessibility and connectivity to the area.

Historical shop building frontages will also be restored and their heritage
features enhanced, with inspiration being taken from recent improvements to Carrington Street in the city centre.

The scheme will make the town centre “more attractive and a better connected place” as a result.

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