Time for a town centre rethink – 4

As an example of perhaps radical thinking elsewhere, we take a look at what’s happening at Nottingham’s  Broad Marsh Shopping Centre in this post.

Perhaps we should actually say the former Broad Marsh shopping centre;  as this mid-1970s shopping beacon has, in reality, had a mixed reception ever since it was opened. Now it lies mostly demolished. The old bus station has gone, as has the rather dank walkway through from the railway station. And you’ll not now find any shops at all in Broad Marsh – they’re all demolished. 

The finger post to the right points to the now former city centre entrance to the mostly demolished Broad Marsh Shopping Centre. Like some other towns and cities; rethinking their centres has involved factoring in a reduction in the retail offering.

A series of refurbishment plans for the centre floundered. It ended up partially demolished – definitely a blot on the landscape. 

After much discussion and intervention by Nottingham City Council there’s now a rather inventive plan to level most of the remaining derelict structure, replacing it with an urban park, housing, some retail and offices. Some of the remaining building’s framework will remain as a sort of reference point in the new landscape proposal. There’s no guarantee that this plan will actually happen, but it’s one example of thinking ‘out of the box’, in the current climate. And one where it’s accepted that retail provision in town and city centres is in decline.

This, perhaps, raises a few talking points for us in Chesterfield. Is there, perhaps, an opportunity for more well-designed public open-space in or near to the town centre? One example might be the site of the old Chesterfield Hotel, whose demolition has opened up a new vista to the parish church. 

We’re not suggesting wholesale demolition here, by the way. 

The former Broad Marsh centre is now largely demolished, but the area is set for a new future with less retail and includes an urban park.

And what other radical solutions might we adopt to secure a new future for empty retail space, other that demolition? We’ll continue looking at this in future posts. 

We’d be very interested to hear your views, particularly at our open meeting at St Thomas Church Centre, Chatsworth Road, Brampton, on  27 February, 7.30pm.

For more information about the Broad Marsh Centre you might want to visit here as a starter.

We hope you’ll join us at our meeting on 27th February at St Thomas Church Centre, Chatsworth Road, Brampton, starting at 7.30 pm to start the debate on a town centre rethink.

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