It has been announced that major work will begin in autumn 2023 on the transformation of part of the old Broad Marsh shopping centre site into a green heart for the city. Back in December 2021, Nottingham City Council under Nottingham Labour announced the ambitious and forward-thinking plans to transform a derelict area of the city, into a vibrant heart for the city. In our manifesto we pledged to deliver a high biodiversity ‘Green Heart’ at the centre of the Broadmarsh redevelopment, in line with the results of the consultation and Broadmarsh Vision.
We are proud that the recent announcement sets out how we will work toward achieving this goal, while setting out the key aims for the project, and the impact it will have on the city. Images have been released showing what the results of the work will be. They showcase a green natural landscape, an area of urban wetland, returning the Broad Marsh back to its historical ecosystem, and a place that will provide a quiet haven for residents in the very heart of our city.
A unique design has been developed by Townshend Landscape Architects working with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. On Collins Street work has already begun on a public space outside the library, with a focus on ensuring it is a child friendly space. Local children were consulted on the design so that it will fulfil their needs and be a space for all families to relax and play in our city centre.
The Green Heart will be connected to Lister Gate via a people-friendly green space, that will be closed to traffic. Alongside Nottingham College there is a miniature amphitheatre, skate area and multi-use games. This will encourage young people to make use of the Green Heart and is already providing college students a green clean area to relax and unwind in free time and after classes. This is not part of the Green Heart itself but compliments the prospective development of the Green Heart.
The Green Heart area will be full of seating, pocket spaces and paths, so people can enjoy and experience the nature surrounding them, boosted by ecologically rich planting. By re-introducing urban wetlands, not only are we returning it to its historical ecosystem, but it will also fulfil a use in potentially preventing flooding by capturing and holding rainwater.
Considering the likelihood of increased storms, unpredictable and more extreme weather due to climate change, such wetland will hopefully play a role in protecting the city centre, as well as really serving to boost and creating biodiversity in the city.
Finally, sandstone, which is what Nottingham’s famous caves were cut from, will be used for all the paving and seating. This really help to stamp the uniqueness of Nottingham on the development and make sure that it reflects the history and location of the city.
This project shows the ambition and commitment of Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Labour, Despite difficult times and despite the government refusing our levelling-up bid to fund this project, we are still moving forward with work that is unique, forward-thinking and that will truly benefit Nottingham residents, while being environmentally conscious.
Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “Anyone who has visited the area recently will see how much it has changed with lots of greenery, pedestrianised areas and seating. The creation of the Green Heart will take the transformation of Broad Marsh a major step further and be a beautiful addition to the city centre which is unique to Nottingham. I’m particularly pleased that Collin Street will be a family friendly space that people can enjoy right outside the new Central Library.”