City makes £40m bid to fund pair of major development schemes

The new masterplan for the Island Quarter site
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A bid for over £40m of Government funding towards further redevelopment of the Broadmarsh and The Island Quarter sites have received backing from a range of politicians and local business leaders.

The city has put forward a bid for the Levelling Up Fund set up by the Government to fund major regional infrastructure projects.

Nottingham has submitted a bid for two major projects – asking for £20m towards the next phase of preparing the Broadmarsh shopping centre site for complete redevelopment, along with £20m towards the ongoing development of The Island Quarter.

The City Council has also submitted a bid for a further £18m from the fund for citywide transport improvements.

The city’s three MPs, along with the leaders of Nottinghamshire and Broxtowe councils, and senior bosses at Experian, Boots, BioCity, East Midlands Chamber, the Local Enterprise Partnership, both universities and Nottingham College, among others, have joined the City Council’s leader and chief cxecutive, councillor David Mellen and Mel Barrett, in signing a letter to Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing, Michael Gove, and his ministers, urging them to support the bid.

On Broadmarsh, they outline how the site presents a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to reinvent and reimagine the city post-pandemic” and the widespread support for its redevelopment, with input from designer Thomas Heatherwick and the Broadmarsh advisory group.

Additional public funding such as the Levelling Up money would help to complete the work already underway on site and act as catalyst to secure private investment to help fully realise the “huge potential and opportunity of Broadmarsh”, the letter says.

It points out that The Island Quarter is another major Nottingham development, with over 2m sq ft of mixed use development planned on the edge of the city centre, set to extend the central business district and create up to 4,000 jobs, which deserves the Government’s financial support.

Mellen, said: “The signatories of this letter, and many more people in our city, can clearly see that both Broad Marsh and The Island Quarter represent opportunities to deliver what the Levelling Up Fund sets out to achieve – supporting investment in infrastructure that can make a real difference to local communities.

“Our region has seen the lowest level of public investment of any region in the UK and so we hope the Government agrees that our ambitions for Broad Marsh and The Island Quarter embody what Levelling Up is all about. The scale and significance of the Broad Marsh project alongside the Island Quarter can help to significantly raise the profile of Nottingham as a Core City nationally and internationally and be a catalyst to generate and increase investment and prosperity across the whole city, the county and wider region, spreading the benefits to more of our people.”

Robert Ware, CEO of Conygar Investment Company, which is currently progressing on phase 1A Canal Turn at The Island Quarter, said: “We are not just supporting, but partnering, Nottingham City Council in this bid for the Levelling Up Fund. The fund will mean a great deal to The Island Quarter, allowing us to accelerate our building programme and will ensure the city can rise from the pandemic, proud and successful – bringing jobs, homes and opportunities, and boosting the local economy.

“Our 36-acre £1 billion development is vital for Nottingham, and alongside the Broad Marsh development will bring tremendous opportunity to the city. We are urging everyone to back the Nottingham bid and we are, with the City Council, campaigning for support.

“Government should not forget mid-sized cities like Nottingham – they are central to realising the aspirations of the Levelling Up agenda. With the backing of ambitious private sector developers like ourselves, this core city can and will make the most of itself – and won’t be overlooked again.”