Broadmarsh ‘wildscape’ could lead to similar schemes across city

Sarah Boland

A vision to replace the “bleak” Broadmarsh shopping centre in Nottingham city centre with a “post-Covid “wildscape” could lead to similar schemes across the city, according to one of the architects of the plans.

Sara Boland, managing director of Influence Landscape Architects, said the idea to reimagine the failed retail site into a 100% natural greenspace is part of an “obligation” by town planners and development professionals to provide city dwellers with some much-needed green spaces in the centre of Nottingham.

Boland told “Why shouldn’t people who live in city centres have these spaces? There’s diminished demand for office or retail space, but there is a need to provide open space for city dwellers.”

How the new Broadmarsh area could look

Boland has worked up the plans for the new green space on the site of the semi-demolished shopping centre in conjunction with the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust as part of Nottingham City Council’s Big Conversation aboth the what the space should be used for.

She added: “We’ve not spoken to the council about our plans yet, but we’re hoping to sit down with them after Christmas.

“We’ve estimated the project will cost between £3m-£4m and we envisage the management of the site could funded through grants and philanthropy It’ll be a long-term vision and because our plans have different zones, these can be added to or changed with very limited cost and disruption. There is definitely ebb and flow built in to the masteerplan.”

“We see the space as a wheel, whereby people can enter from any direction and use the space either to get to the Market Square, Nottingham Castle, the railway station or the forthcomig Island Quarter – as well as use it a place to meet and relax,” added Boland.

Since the site was handed back to the Council in the summer following the demise of intu, there has been much talk locally over the site’s future. A petition calling for the area to be transformed into public greenspace secured almost 11,000 signatures and other polls have also supported the calls.

Boland said: “We want to create a pivotal green space in the centre of Nottingham and that, in turn, could make it easier for other areas of the city to go down the same route.

“We see it as our obligation to provide this space for people who live in the city.”