MPN AND THE VISION FOR NOTTINGHAM CITY CENTRE
Masterplanner BDP has recently been appointed to work together with MPN to translate the vision for BroadMarsh development in Nottingham City Centre. MPN is currently delivering the “Green Heart” public realm transformation, and the two businesses will work with the council to focus on the commercial returns needed to make the development profitable without compromising on the environmental targets that have been set.
MPN specialise in working with public and private stakeholders and delivery teams to achieve commercial viability for town and city centre schemes. The Broadmarsh provides plenty of engineering challenges.
The centre was partially demolished by the previous owner, Intu when the council took over design responsibility. The structure needed to be made safe to maintain third-party access rights and to trade where possible in order for the council to continue to receive an income. Part of the structural frame of the original shopping centre will now be retained to create an innovative new space. This, along with complex interfaces with existing highways, Nottingham Tram viaduct, and the city’s unique listed cave network, are just some of the challenges MPN enjoys.
MPN has been involved with the Broadmarsh Centre since 2001, Westfield’s first major redevelopment scheme in the UK. With the change of ownership in 2014, MPN then worked with the new owners, Intu, on the proposed leisure and cinema development. Twenty years on, when Intu went into receivership, MPN was appointed by Nottingham City Council to help them realise their wider vision and regeneration, while in the meantime ensuring the structure remained in a safe condition.
World-renowned urban designer Thomas Heatherwick unveiled proposals for the transformation in 2021; importantly, this included a “Green Heart” the size of a football pitch on the area of the former shopping centre, which will be covered with trees, plants, and a new water feature, re-establishing the “marsh”.
MPN will now work with BDP on the next stage, creating a deliverable plan and strategy. The “Green Heart” and frame retention concepts will need to be financially supported by the commercial elements of the regeneration. The vision includes 1,000 new homes, 500,000 square feet of commercial and office space, and other ancillary uses.
While the first phase of the Broadmarsh was funded by grants, Nottingham City Council has been unsuccessful to date in securing Levelling Up Funding for the scheme; hence, the next stage will be a new application to attract interest from developers to partner with the council to deliver the scheme. MPN has been preparing plans for the alternative schemes to support their commercial viability.