Nottingham’s ‘Green Heart’ has been put on hold following the governments recent Levelling Up announcement.
It was announced in December 2021 the shopping centre would undergo a complete renovation and turned into a welcoming public space for residents and people visiting Nottingham.
The announcement that the council will not be receiving a £20 million injection from the government has stopped the project in its tracks.
‘We need something to bring people down to this side of the city centre, and Broad Marsh does the opposite of that when it looks like this’
Alison Beck, works on Albert Street
35 year-old Alison Beck, an assistant manager at Hotel Chocolat on Albert Street, said: “It’s something we really notice, It’s a bit of a boring eyesore and something we get a lot of comments on.
“We need something to bring people down to this side of the city centre, and Broad Marsh does the opposite of that when it looks like this, it definitely affects the foot traffic we get here.”
The Broad Marsh shopping centre was opened in 1975 by the Duke of Gloucester, with shops such as British Home Stores being one of the main attractions.
The west side of the centre has already been demolished in preparation for the building of the new area but, as the funding bid was lost, there is now a monetary impact on what happens to the derelict site.
The Levelling Up scheme was a vital part of Boris Johnson’s 2019 manifesto as he had hopes to drive growth in local areas and create jobs while ensuring the nation’s needs are fulfilled.
However, many local councillors from areas which did not receive funding are arguing that the majority of the Levelling Up funds have been given to areas in the south and London.
The Nottingham City Council has said the regeneration of Nottingham will continue despite the big disappointment of failed bids.
The proposed development of Broadmarsh promised to create 6000 jobs with over 400,000 square foot of commercial and business space.
Work was expected to start on the new ‘Green Heart’ this year but the council has been open in saying it doesn’t have the cash to complete the demolition work and redevelop the whole site itself.
Council Leader David Mellen said: “Work on the Green Heart, which was a key element of the vision and something many people wanted to see, will still get underway this year using national funding we have already secured. We will continue our public realm improvements in the area, which are also funded from a different Government pot, as well as completing the fit-out of the new Central Library later this year.
“The Levelling Up bid was for work to retain and re-use the Frame of the old shopping centre which is just one aspect of a wider vision for the whole site. It is still an element we want to include and we will explore alternative public and private funding options so that the whole vision can be realised.”