New vision set to reimagine and transform Broadmarsh and City Centre

The Greater Broad Marsh Advisory Group, an independent board set up by Nottingham City Council, has released their vision and thoughts on one of the city's most significant development and project for a while.

Nottingham's new development will be situated and build upon a a unique 20-acre site that includes the former, partly demolished, Broadmarsh Shopping Center, areas near Castle Rock and surrounding areas.

Heatherwick Studio, led by the world-renowned and highly-acclaimed British designer Thomas Heatherwick, and Stories, a leading socially responsible development company, were commissioned to work with the Advisory Group on the creative Vision for the city centre site and advise on how Nottingham can deliver the project.

A new animated video by Deyan Design shows the new design work and ideas from Heatherwick Studios.

The advisory group expect it'd take ten years to complete the development, which would generate 6,000 new jobs, more than 750 new homes and over 400,000 sq ft of business and office space.

The key elements of the Vision:

Rebuilding The Lost Connections

The vision aims to reinstate many of Nottingham’s lost street connections and rebuild them for the future of the city, reconnecting the whole of the centre, both physically and with its history.

A New Green Heart

Living by Nottingham Castle

Work by the New Green Heart

The retention of ‘The Frame’

Sleep Above The Caves in a new Art Hotel

And other recommendations from the board can be found at MyNottingham


Heatherwick Studios along with the design have stated:

Nottingham has a rich cultural history and heritage as well as diversity, which we see as a blue-print for future cities and a good example of what a post Covid-19 city in a digital revolution will look like. This is a big moment for Nottingham to lead the way in the planning of future city layouts around the UK and globally.

Green spaces will also take centre stage in the heart of this vision, from the focal point of ‘ Baby Oak Square’, to surrounding green landscaped areas for the people of Nottingham to enjoy walking in, sitting on benches and taking in the nature around them. The vision for the city centre is flexible and will retain elements that will be able to support the vision of bringing people together from all walks of life.

We have been listening to the people of Nottingham and collaborating with them to bring the most vibrant and community-spirited place for all generations of people to enjoy. We are humbled to be working with Nottingham City Council to design and provide space for new homes, new workspace, along with high quality hotel accommodation and a tourist trail from castle to caves with a dramatic new entrance to the city’s cave network.


World renounced Designer, Thomas Heatherwick, who has been commissioned for the project has said:

“The challenge of what to do with the former Broadmarsh shopping centre has been a chance to think about the failure of our city centres. They should be about bringing people together, not just about retail. Rather than demolish the structure, we are proposing to keep the frame and breathe new life into it, creating a place that can hold the diversity and vibrancy that is so lacking from many city centres. The aim is to bridge between generations, communities, and cultures so that the new Broad Marsh can reflect the true diversity of the city."

“In the fog of Covid-19, Nottingham has seized the opportunity to create a new blueprint for the future of City centres.”


Independent Chair of the Greater Broad Marsh Advisory Group, Greg Nugent, said: “Out of the adversity of the collapse of Intu comes a chance for Nottingham to build a new kind of city centre. Thomas Heatherwick’s vision creates a blueprint for a city that wants to reinvent itself, ready for life beyond Covid-19.”


Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “I would like to thank the Advisory Board, Heatherwick Studio and the team at Stories for their creativity, hard work and ambition. When Heatherwick Studio was commissioned to create a new vision for Broad Marsh, there were some key things I was keen for it to include. I think Thomas and his team have delivered on all of them.

“They have clearly listened to the feedback from the Big Conversation and captured the wide range of views and ideas put forward in what was the council’s biggest engagement exercise to date. They have used the extensive footprint of Broad Marsh to ensure the Vision provides something for everyone.

“It includes a substantial green space via a ‘green heart’ at the centre of the vision. It will lead to over 750 homes and 6,000 jobs for local people. By proposing to make some use of the existing frame, reducing the waste and carbon emissions from new construction, it is sustainable, something which is very important for the city’s ambition to be the UK’s first carbon neutral city by 2028. And it respects and promotes the city’s rich heritage by opening up views to the Castle, enhancing the caves, one of the city’s hidden gems, and re-establishing old street patterns.

“Now we will begin the important work necessary to test the new Vision and our ability to realise it. We have said all along that this isn’t something the council can or would want to do on its own. We will continue to work with colleagues on the Advisory Group to develop a Masterplan for the space and secure the investment needed from public and private sector partners. This will take time to get right but people will see major changes soon with the opening up of the area between Collin Street through to Lister Gate as part of the creation of the ‘Green Heart’.”


Lilian Greenwood, MP for Nottingham South, said: “Nottingham has a fantastic opportunity to lead the way in rethinking who and what our city centres are for. This plan draws on the area’s heritage and historic street layout but reimagines the space for a green and sustainable future. I hope my constituents are as excited as I am about this vision for the Broad Marsh.”

The ‘Green Heart’ at the centre of the site could create one hectare of new green space, set within a 3.4 hectares of common ground across the whole site.


Paul Wilkinson, Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust commented: “Almost exactly a year ago, the Wildlife Trust put forward a bold idea of the Broadmarsh reimagined as wildlife-rich green space to support nature’s recovery and enable people living and working in the city centre to connect with nature on their doorstep. Given the public support for our ideas we’re pleased to have had the opportunity to feed into the creative process to illustrate how a nature first approach could underpin the City’s carbon neutral ambitions and address social inclusion.

“We are delighted that wildlife-rich green space is integral to the Advisory Group’s vision for transforming the site and as a catalyst for a more sustainable approach for regenerating our city. As we face up to the ecological and climate crises the prospect of wildlife habitat and green spaces being woven across a much wider footprint than the former shopping centre itself is particularly exciting and we would welcome the opportunity to work with Nottingham City Council on the next phase to ensure the green vision is delivered.”


The Vision has also been welcomed by key groups and individuals from around the City. Vicky McClure, Nottingham-based actor and founder of BYO Films, and a member of the Advisory Group, said: “This is a visionary and beautiful solution for our city. Nottingham leading the way once again and showing how cities can grow and adapt sustainably and creatively. I have been lucky to speak to Thomas Heatherwick and the teams involved through the design process and have been blown away by their ideas and depth of thinking. Huge credit to Heatherwick Studios, Stories, Greg Nugent and the rest of the Advisory Group for their dedication to our City.”


Further images above, acquired via BBC Radio Nottingham, show how the project will transform Nottingham into a modern and greener city.

Let us know your opinion and views of the newly released plans and proposals for the city.



Main Image: Heatherwick Studios via My Nottingham News

Embedded Video: Deyan Design for Heatherwick Studios

Additional Images: Heatherwick Studios via BBC Radio Nottingham

Article Quotes: By whom stated via My Nottingham News