Milestone moment for Nottingham’s £2bn regeneration scheme

Milestone moment for Nottingham’s £2bn regeneration scheme

Nottingham’s £2bn regeneration scheme has completed its next project phase with the opening of a new urban play space for families and children. Completely transforming a four-lane road into a fully pedestrianised area, the work marks a significant milestone for the largest development space in any core city in Europe.

The Collin Street play zone, which is in the Broad Marsh area to the south of the city, features specially designed swings, a play trail with timber stepping blocks, balancing walkways, a seesaw and green planting. It connects to a new green public space next to Nottingham College, which features a mini amphitheatre, a skateable space and a multi-use games area.

The improvements form part of the Playable Cities Initiative to create child-friendly spaces in the city centre, which supports Nottingham’s journey to become a UNICEF Child Friendly City. Local school children were consulted on the design, creating the swings and seating so the space can be somewhere families can gather and spend time together.

It is the latest piece of the Broad Marsh public realm redevelopment, following the opening of its £10.5m Central Library in November. The city’s plans include a ‘green heart‘ and a green infrastructure network connecting Nottingham Castle to the city’s £1.4bn Island Quarter project. Leading multi-disciplinary consultancy Pick Everard collaborated on the project, working alongside project partners including Willmott Dixon and Townshend Landscape Architects.

Oliver Hatton, Director at Pick Everard said: “Our involvement in the Broad Marsh regeneration has been a collaborative effort that is breathing new life into a central part of Nottingham, as well as reshaping the way we view our towns and cities.

“Combined with our work to deliver the new Central Library, we’re proud to be helping shape the area into a destination offering, with a vision that blends Nottingham’s iconic heritage with modern design. We’re looking forward to continuing our work and the momentum it brings in building a key part of East Midland’s economy.”

Gary Alden, senior associate at Townshend Landscape Architects, said: “Putting playable spaces into a city centre location was a key consideration for the design of this space. It was important that the space felt inclusive, and for children’s needs to be considered as part of a city’s landscape. Urban swings are a great way in engaging all ages, creating a place that is ‘playable’ for all.”

Nick Heath, Director at Willmott Dixon, commented: “The pedestrianisation of Collin Street is an important step in creating a safe space for people of all ages to enjoy, and will also help to improve connectivity between Nottingham’s different quarters.

“With an office located in Nottingham city centre, we’re pleased to be part of this exciting regeneration scheme, helping to revitalise the area and give it back to local people for their enjoyment.”

The new play zone was created with Pick Everard delivering project management, quantity surveying, principal design and NEC supervisor services. The project was commissioned via Perfect Circle and procured through SCAPE — one of the UK’s leading public sector procurement authorities.

Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “I am pleased we have finished work on the play area outside of the new Central Library, creating a child-friendly destination that families will want to come and spend time in.

“Collin Street used to be four lanes of busy traffic and now it’s completely shut to cars, giving people a safe way to walk from Middle Hill to what will be the new Broad Marsh Green Heart.

“The idea is that families can come and enjoy themselves in our fantastic new Central Library, a centre that puts children and young people at the heart of its design. It is a destination venue for families, who will now be able to head outside the front doors to a safe Collin Street, where children can play and enjoy themselves.”

A new Community Diagnostic Centre was also recently announced for the Broad Marsh site, providing direct access to diagnostics services such as MRI, CT, x-ray, ultrasound, echocardiography, ECG, and lung function testing.

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