Behind the scenes at intu Broadmarsh
As pre-construction works are fully underway, we reveal the vision behind the retail and leisure destination set to elevate Nottingham to a top 10 retail destination
Nottingham city centre has a rich history and heritage within the retail sector. It’s the birthplace of one of the UK’s most successful retailers, and a leader in fashion with Nottingham born Sir Paul Smith flying the flag for UK designers
Nottingham’s thriving retail and leisure offer is now set to get even better. As part of a £250 million programme of works to transform the south of the city centre, intu is gearing up for an exciting redevelopment of intu Broadmarsh, that will transform the centre to deliver a compelling retail and leisure destination, that complements the rest of Nottingham.
Working with development partner Nottingham City Council, intu plans to deliver a contemporary design, improved pedestrian routes and connections to the wider city and significantly enhance the public realm. intu Broadmarsh will be reinvigorated with new places to shop, eat, relax and play, from daytime through to evening.
This is a large-scale project and it’s just getting started. We sat down with Oliver Hunt, development manager at intu, to find out more.
What was the motivation behind the development at intu Broadmarsh?"
Nottingham has one of the UK’s most popular city centres and generates £13 billion of local retail expenditure, it has two world class universities with over 60,000 students, and post-development will rise from a top 30 to the sixth highest retail destination in the UK, ahead of Liverpool, Edinburgh and Newcastle. intu’s vision for Nottingham is to provide two complementary retail and leisure destinations which anchor either end of the city centre. It’s the most exciting development in the city’s southern area for more than 40 years. We’ve been working closely with Nottingham City Council on our proposals to ensure that connectivity is improved to and from the city centre, with clearly defined routes for visitors arriving from the city’s major transport links.
What inspired the proposed design for intu Broadmarsh?"
Benoy has designed our proposals, which reflect Nottingham’s industrial heritage and its vision for the future. intu Broadmarsh will have a unique look and feel, combining a materials palette that reflects the intu brand and delivers a contemporary urban look and feel. A key priority is to enhance the provision of public space around the centre to accommodate customer lounge areas and a rolling events programme. An enhanced Lister Gate Square with exposed concrete columns and striking glazed ceiling is a prime example of one of these spaces and we envisage that it will become a key focal point in the city.
What will make this centre stand out compared to other retail and leisure destinations?"
We’ve already spent £42 million remodelling intu Victoria Centre and the new experience at intu Broadmarsh will complement that of its sister centre, both in its look and feel and the type of experiences on offer. intu is bringing more brands to Nottingham and creating an all-day shopping and leisure destination unlike any other in the city.
We’ve had more than 1,000 pieces of guest feedback and some great ideas as part of our 2015 consultation, and these have been used to develop our plans for more open spaces, independent retail, premium brands and a diverse leisure offering. intu Broadmarsh will be a standout location to visit, offering a new mix of shops, restaurants and leisure including premium British cinema operator The Light, who have signed up to the scheme to add to their growing portfolio in the UK.
Enlivening Lister Gate Square will create a modern and airy event space enabling an extensive events programme throughout the year. At Drury Walk, we’re also creating a new open street reflecting historic Bridlesmith Gate opposite.
What is the project timeline?"
Preparatory works are already underway to relocate tenants and management offices in order to free up space for the main construction works.
We anticipate appointing the main contractor towards the end of 2017, and completing all works by spring 2020. This coincides with the Council’s plans for a brand new bus station and car park adjoining intu Broadmarsh.
What does The Light Cinema signing mean for the development?"
The Light is a unique, premium cinema experience offering exciting, highly inclusive, social venues at the heart of the UK’s towns and cities. They have committed to a 32,000 sq ft 9-screen cinema and are the first leisure anchor for the redevelopment of intu Broadmarsh. The Light share our vision for the centre and getting them on board is a significant milestone which will act as a catalyst for the transformation of the centre.
What will the development and proposed scheme contribute to the local economy?"
Redevelopment projects of this scale have a significant positive impact on the local economy. Our independent research estimates the redevelopment of intu Broadmarsh will result in over 1,800 direct and indirect jobs across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, generating £55.4 million in Gross Value Added each year for the local economy. The wider regeneration of the area surrounding intu Broadmarsh is expected to boost the local economy by over £1.1 billion per decade and attract an extra three million people a year to the city.
This is a project full of ambition and aspiration and as we come closer to the end of the pre-construction phase we can’t help but feel huge excitement as our plans edge closer to becoming a reality.
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