City Centre Profile


Located in the centre of England, Nottingham is a highly accessible City with an excellent communications network.

A Department of the Environment survey recently put Nottingham as the top UK City Centre for Vibrancy and Vitality. The city continues to feature high in the top ten shopping centres in the national Management Horizons ranking. It is the home to many growing businesses such as CCN, Diamond Cable and, of course, the world famous Boots Company. There are two highly respected Universities bringing an influx of 33,500 new students per year.

The city has a clear vision for the future which will firmly establish Nottingham as a European Regional Capital and maintain the City Centre as the engine of the local@economy. This is set out in the City 2000 Strategy, which aims to keep the City Centre attractive, accessible and competitive into the next Millennium.


Just over 70% of jobs in Nottingham are in the service sector. This large sector requires office floorspace which dominates the City Centre. The current stock of 5.5m sq.ft represents a 19% increase from 1990. Planning permission has been granted for further 1.75m sq.ft. New readily developable sites at Royal Standard Place, Castle Wharf, The Island Business District and elsewhere give developers and tenants the opportunity for attractive high quality offices of which there has previously been a shortage. These City Centre office opportunities coupled with the presence of Highfields Science Park, Riverside and Phoenix Park on the edges of the conurbation offer prospective tenants a wide choice of accommodation.


Within an hour's drive there is a potential labour supply of 2.5m people. The 1993 Census of Employment identified 152,500 people working in the city, with almost 55OOO in the City Centre.

This number is made up as follows:

Government, Healh & Education etc.


Banking, Finance & Insurance




Wholesale Distribution, Hotels & Catering


Manufacturing & Construction etc.


Transport & Communications



Nottingham is amongst the biggest and most successful shopping cenires in the country. There are over 1,300 shops in the City Centre providing over 5 million sq.ft of gross retail floorspace. This includes over 200 restaurants, pubs and cafes. The City has an extensive network of high quality pedestrian streets which are amongst the busiest in Europe with flows of up to l00,000 people on Saturdays whilst Sundays are increasingly popular.

The Vital and Viable Town Centres Study by The Department of the Environment held Nottingham up as an example of how to make more visitors welcome. Nottingham's City Centre Management initiatives have been highly successful and are seen as examples of good practice. The combination of retail and leisure attractions and extensive pedestrianisation has helped convey an image of a continental City.

New developments underway include a 172,0OO sq.ft extension to the Victoria Centre incorporating a lOO,OOO sq.ft House of Fraser department store and major refurbishment at the Broad Marsh Centre and Debenhams. A major expansion of Marks and Spencer is planned. The increase in retail activity has been reflected in the shop vacancy rate which fell to around 4% in 1995.


Nottingham, placed at the heart of the UK, has a well developed communications network with the City Centre at the hub. Junctions 24,25 and 26 of the M1 run through thewestern fringes of the City whilst the A1 is only 30 minutes away to the East.

Fast road and rail links provide easy access to the City Centre from any part of the UK. The domestic network is supported by the East Midlands Airport only 12 miles away with links to Europe and North America whilst Birmingham International Airport is within an hour's drive.

Improvements have been made to the Midland Station at a cost of 750,OOO. There is an hourly service to London by lntercity 125 (fastest trains take only 1 hour 35 mins) with more services promised. Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool are also served by hourly trains. The new Robin Hood line which links the City with Mansfield has resulted in up to l0,000 more people coming through the station per week. Efficient public transport is being promoted as part of the City's Sustainable Transport Strategy. With more than 300 buses on hour serving the City Centre Nottingham has one of the most comprehensive networks in the country. Bus lanes and cycle routes are being provided and Green Commuter plans adopted by major employers. Line One of the Nottingham Express Transit (NET), a high tech Rapid Transit System, has been approved with the first services possibly starting in 2001 dependent on Government finance.


The City Centre has an unrivalled array of entertainment facilities from the Royol Centre and the Nottingham Playhouse to cinemas and night-clubs.

Nottingham now boasts the residency of The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Tourist Trail between the Lace Market and the Castle has been completed at a cost of ’1m. The Castle which has an impressive 650,000 visitors a year, has recently secured ’1.7m from the Arts and Lottery Board and Sports and Arts Foundation to improve the main gallery.

Wollaton Hall has also succesfully competed the first hurdle in obtaining lottery money to undergo an ’11m, five phase, improvement scheme.

The Galleries of Justice is one of the region's top tourist attractions which aims to become the National Museum of Law.

The historic Lace Market is also an important tourist attraction. The Lace Hall provides a visitor centre and exhibition of Nottinghams world famous lace industry.

Nottingham's National Ice Centre bid has been given the "in principle" agreement by the Sports Council for the ’30m scheme to go ahead. Plans include an 8,000 seater stadium with two indoor ice rinks, one outdoor rink and a toboggan run.

The City is home to two league football clubs, a Test Match Cricket Ground and a Tennis Centre with eight indoor, nineteen outdoor and eight grass courts.


Car parking is vital to a successful city. There is now a total of around 19,000 car parking spaces in the City which are geared at short stays and shoppers. This is an adequate provision for the City's retail offer. New car parks have opened at the Belgrave Centre and the former Pearsons Building. A new 1,100 space car park opened at the Victoria Centre in November 1996.

Two of Nottingham's car parks have been upgraded to the Gold Award standard and incorporate cycle lockers and/or stands.

Nottingham has the most comprehensive bus-based Park and Ride system in the country for the commuter market, with five sites in operation and three more planned.


There is an immense amount of construction activity either on site or in the pipeline in the City Centre proving that Nottingham is growing from strength to strength. City 2000 has been launched to guide development into the new Millennium. It identifies 49 Proposals to improve the City Centre which could lead to ’30m being spent on regeneration projects.

’5.2m has been secured from the Capital Challenge Fund for a programme of environmental improvements, traffic and transport infrastructure projects, and pedestrian schemes in the area to the south of the city centre around Broad Marsh, Midland Station and the Nottingham Canal. The Southside Investment Plan will facilitate development opportunities and should attract a further ’9m of investment and create more than 500 jobs.


Adrian JONES

City Centre and Transportation Service Manager
Development Department
Nottingham City Council
Exchange Buildings North
Smithy Row Nottingham
NG1 2BS.

Tracy Croft

Inward Investment Service Manager
Development Department
Nottingham City Council
Exchange Buildings North
Smithy Row Nottingham
NG1 2BS.

Jane Ellis

City Centre Manager
Nottingham City Council
Exchange Buildings North
Smithy Row
NG1 2BS.