Nottingham residents hoping for Broadmarsh government funding approval

Nottingham shoppers have said that they would welcome government funding for the demolition of the former Broadmarsh shopping centre.

Nottingham City Council are seeking a £20m government cash bid to completely knock down the building.

The demolition of the decaying shopping centre is a key part of the council’s vision to attract development and build ‘a mixed use’ scheme on the site.

The council have so far secured the funds to knock down the western end of the shopping centre but await confirmation on the government grant to go forward with any other plans.

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We spoke to Notts shoppers about whether they thought that a potential grant to dismantle the centre was a good idea.

Andre Topping, 28, has backed the plan and hopes to see more greenery in the area.

He said “I definitely think that it would be a good idea to knock the whole thing down – the area needs to be opened up to more space. Some more greenery would be just what the place needs. I would be surprised if you found anybody that disagrees or doesn’t think that we need more space there and something nicer to look at.”

Alison Donaldson, 48, also thinks that a teardown of the former shopping centre is the right way for the council to go.

She said: “Well we have the Victoria Centre already as a shopping centre so, yes, I think that Broadmarsh just needs to come down now.”

If they cannot secure the £20m by October, they may need to find millions of pounds of extra cash elsewhere.

Another local shopper who asked to remain anonymous said: “You only have to look round here – the amount of shops that are empty – it’s just throwing good money off your back.

“It wants demolishing and being made into an open space – definitely. And it wants more money pumping in to get shops open to get people in to come and enjoy it.

“We’ve already got the Victoria Centre and I have lived here all my life and Broadmarsh never seemed to carry the same aesthetics as what the Vic centre does to be honest.”

Yet, not every shopper is as keen for Broadmarsh to become open space.

Some residents believe that for people visiting Nottingham by train the first thing that they should be seeing is a shopping centre.

Steve Ramsell, 49, of Bhatia Best Solicitors said: “I think that the area is in serious need of development to be honest with you; I think it has been for a lot of years.

“Our main train station into the city is down the road from it and yet the major shopping centre is a 20-minute walk up the road there.

“It’s an absolute eyesore at the moment I have heard people walk past here and say this is awful, where are shops? Where is everything? It’s not exactly a nice welcome to a city to see all this going on.

“It’s really depressing.

“It’s just a complete shambles of a layout of the city to be honest. They seem to keep changing all of the road layouts around this way and pedestrianising all this here now we’re talking about turning it into grassland for no particular use whatsoever for God knows how many years until somebody finally puts some money into it and builds on it again.

“When you come out of the train station if you go one way you end up at a housing estate and if you come the other way you end up on a building site – if it was me, I would get back on the train and go back.”

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