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Football pitch-size green space with UK's 'longest bench' set for Broadmarsh area in Nottingham

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Football pitch-size green space with UK's 'longest bench' set for Broadmarsh area in Nottingham

Residential & Regeneration

An area the size of the City Ground pitch will be transformed at Nottingham's Broadmarsh site next year. Nottingham City Council has announced further details of the new ‘Green Heart’ in Nottingham city centre as part of the ongoing regeneration of the former Broadmarsh shopping centre site.

The Green Heart is the centrepiece of Nottingham City Council’s vision for Broad Marsh, created with the Greater Broad Marsh Advisory Group and world renowned designer Thomas Heatherwick, which was unveiled a year ago. The first phase of the Green Heart will see an area the size of the pitch at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground located between Collin Street and Lister Gate, previously part of the old Broad Marsh shopping centre, transformed.

The area will be covered in trees and planting, creating a large green space with pathways between Nottingham Station and Old Market Square. The council has said another feature of the Green Heart will be what is believed to be the longest bench in the UK, which will stretch across the space.

The demolition of the west side of the shopping centre building has made space for the new Green Heart and an already open pedestrian walkway through the site. This has provided uninterrupted open air access between the Southside of the city into the city centre for the first time since the Broadmarsh centre was built nearly half a century ago.

In 2022, work started on the fit-out of the new Central Library, with the landmark building due to open next year. The Bus Station elsewhere in the building opened earlier this year.

Councillor David Mellen, the Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “The ongoing transformation of Broad Marsh and the wider south side of the city over the last year has been a real positive for the city. The new green public spaces around the new Nottingham College building, along with recently opened bus station and new car park, which is proving so popular, have made a huge difference to the area.

“The opening of the new Central Library next year and the first phase of work to create the Green Heart will be further major milestones in the regeneration of what is such an important gateway to the city centre."

“The Green Heart is one of the key elements of the long term vision we unveiled last year and something there was huge support for among the thousands of responses we received as part of the council’s Big Conversation about Broad Marsh. There is more work to be done to move forward with the wider vision but it’s great to see major progress being made on the ground.”

A second bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund was made by Nottingham City Council earlier this year, aiming to secure £20m to fund progress at the Broadmarsh site. They said this money would be used to develop the remaining frame of the derelict shopping centre into a "unique space to bring people together in the city for play, performance and food, providing the necessary catalyst and confidence for private sector partners to invest."

Thomas Heatherwick, Founder and Design Director of Heatherwick Studio, said: “The world has fundamentally changed and city centres can’t just be about retail and shopping any more. They have to become amazing social spaces and bring nature back into, onto and around the buildings. Nottingham is at the forefront of this movement and doing it with a whole lot of bravery and creativity. We are proud to be on the journey with you.”

Written by Joshua Hartley - Nottingham Post.