Nottingham's Broadmarsh area to be transformed with world famous urban designer

  • Watch the full report by Phil Brewster, ITV News Central

For over a year, the former Broadmarsh Shopping Centre in Nottingham has been a blot on the city centre landscape, as a derelict 20-acre site.

Until last year, there were plans for a new and improved shopping centre, but the developers INTU went bust.

Now, urban designer Thomas Heatherwick has been appointed the task of turning the rubble and concrete into a green, pedestrian-friendly public space suitable for 21st century living.

It will be one of the biggest city-centre redevelopments in Europe.

Urban designer Thomas Heatherwick received a CBE at Buckingham Palace in 2014 Credit: PA

Heatherwick has already been involved in numerous high-profile architectural projects, including the Olympic Cauldron for London 2012, and Little Island in New York, but now he has his sights set out on Nottingham.

Little Island in New York, designed by Thomas Heatherwick. Now his eyes are set on transforming Nottingham's Broadmarsh Credit: PA

In the months since INTU went into administration, unable to complete plans for a new shopping centre, thousands of people gave their views to the city council on what should replace it, including spaces for wildlife.

Several local architects also came up with their own vision. 

The plans now in place involve a new green, pedestrian-friendly public space for the city centre, involving the most significant changes to a city centre road layout for 15 years.

It's being funded through the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund.

The scheme has attracted over £20m of Government funding and work to transform the look and feel of the area began in August 2020.

The redevelopment of the whole Broadmarsh area will drastically improve the city centre once completed, say the City Council. Credit: Nottingham City Council

Some demolition work on the site will resume next month to create an open corridor linking the train station and the city centre.

While the bulk of the old Broadmarsh site remained derelict, construction around it has continued apace. 

The former Broadmarsh centre in Nottingham is set to be transformed Credit: ITV News Central

Thomas Heatherwick is due to reveal his vision for the Broadmarsh site in the autumn.

He says his plan is to create nothing less than a new model for how our high streets and city centre could be. 

"It's kind of unfashionable to say you're designing a place for joy, but that is what we're going to be doing."