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SCIENCE CITY: UNIP is just one of the city’s major technology based developments

ATTENTION TO DETAIL: Good design is at the heart of the city, its architecture, creative community and culture


regeneration and investment magazine

Executive editor: Kirsty MacAulay Features editor: Alex Aspinall Art director: Terry Hawes Advertisement sales: Paul Gussar Office manager: Sue Mapara Managing director: Toby Fox

Images: The University of Nottingham, Nottingham City Council 2005/1990s/2004, Richard Hamblin, Zander Olsen, Make architects Cover shot: Aspire sculpture, supplied courtesy of the University of Nottingham Printed by: Manson Published by: Lower Ground Floor 189 Lavender Hill London SW11 5TB T: 020 7978 6840 F: 020 7978 6837 Subscriptions and feedback: go to Š 3Fox International Limited 2009. All material is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of 3Fox International Limited is strictly forbidden. The greatest care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information in this magazine at time of going to press, but we accept no responsibility for omissions or errors. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of 3Fox International Limited or Nottingham Regeneration Limited or Nottingham City Council.

56;;05./(4March 2009



Far left: BioCity’s new Laurus building. Above: UNIP is home to the UK’s tallest freestanding sculpture. Left: Shopping in the city centre is second to none. Below: Nottingham’s architecture under the design spotlight .



News An update on what is happening in and around Nottingham.


Markets A look at the residential, office and commercial markets.


Projects The major schemes that are shaping the city’s regeneration.


Business skills Why do students flock to Nottingham?


Retail A look at why this is one of the UK’s top destinations for retail therapy.


Design Sights are set high for design in the city.


Public sector A wealth of public sector schemes should ensure Nottingham’s regeneration stays on target.


Key players What is happening across the borough, and who’s involved.


Overseas Nottingham’s international connections.

“Good design creates sustainable communities. It’s important that design in VITAL Nottingham is of a decent quality� STATICS NIGEL TURPIN

Nottingham City Council urban design


â– Rents are ÂŁ20 per square foot for new prime space, expected to rise to ÂŁ28 for future grade A space â–  More than ÂŁ300 million of stock transacted in the past 18 months

■The borough has the country’s lowest death rate from accidents ■ The borough has 23 buildings over 10 storeys high and another 50 more than six storeys

!!03 !!03



Leading the way in scientific excellence A leading UK centre for sciencebased research and business. Nottingham is fast becoming an internationally renowned location for scientific excellence, which is underpinning the economic prosperity of the Nottingham City Region. Science City partners include:

Nottingham Science City aims to: Nurture… Nottingham’s role as an international leader in scientific discovery and teaching excellence Stimulate… community pride and interest in our scientific heritage Convert… science into thriving businesses in Nottingham

Image courtesy of Make Architects





01. BioCity — One of Europe’s largest Bioscience incubation and innovation centres — Laboratories and offices from 150 – 10,000 sq.ft — Award-winning buildings — Leading the way in creating environments that maximise business success

02. University of Nottingham Innovation Park — Iconic Sir Colin Campbell Building providing high quality innovation facilities — Linking industry to world class research — Grow on space and development opportunities — Situated next to the award winning Jubilee Campus

03. Nottingham Science Park — An inspirational environment for forward thinking businesses — At the heart of Nottingham’s science and technology hub — Over 40,000 sq.ft of high tech, sustainable workspace immediately available — Land available for design and build options

Contact: Miranda Knaggs +44 (0) 115 912 4120

Contact: David Southall +44 (0) 115 846 7246

Contact: John Long +44 (0) 7974 710 062

For more information please call +44 (0) 115 934 9587 or visit

04. Medilink East Midlands — Inspiring innovation in Nottingham and the East Midlands through the iNet initiative — Providing bespoke business solutions — Facilitating growth in the Healthcare and Biomed sector — Access to finance for growing businesses

What’s hip and happening on Nottingham’s regeneration scene


Awards aplenty

Some of Nottingham’s high-profile regeneration projects received national recognition at prestigious awards events at the end of last year. The Gustafson Porter-redesigned Old Market Square won the inaugural RIBA CABE Public Space Award, while No.1 Nottingham Science Park scooped the coveted Sustainable Development of the Year prize at the East Midlands Property Dinner, Project of the Year at Constructing Excellence and Design-led Project of the Year at Property Week’s Midlands Property Awards. And it doesn’t stop

there: the River Crescent residential scheme won Best Architecture, Best Development, and Best Apartment at the Daily Mail’s Property Awards. Old Market Square, which reopened in spring 2007, picked up the Public Space Award ahead of projects such as the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Observatory, both in London. Speaking of the development, Sarah Gaventa, director of CABE Space and member of the judging panel said: “The community has clearly given life to the square with the diverse activities and human interaction acting as a

constant cabaret and source of visual excitement. It is a worthy first winner of this important new award.” Meanwhile, No.1 Nottingham Science Park’s awards were a coup for developer Blueprint. Development director John Long said: “As a young company, especially one setting out to break some of the old development rules and focus squarely on design and sustainability, it’s a huge boost to see some of that risk taking being rewarded and recognised by our peers in the property industry”.

Above: The award winning Old Market Square provides first class public space in the heart of the city.

On the house Greater Nottingham will benefit from a share of £34.9 million from the government’s New Growth Point initiative to help plan for essential housing growth. Nottingham, along with Derby and Leicester, under the Three Cities and Three Counties Partnership for Growth title, secured a total of £48 millionworth of funding in 2008. The money will go towards putting facilities in place to support the provision of new housing, as well as adding to the finance of schemes such as bus priority measures, the creation of new cycling and walking routes and the Trent River Park. Ken Rigby, Broxtowe Borough Councillor and chair of the Greater Nottingham Joint Planning Advisory Board said: “It is really good news to have increased government support to enable local authorities in the Three Cities and Three Counties area to plan for the growth that is required. The cash is already helping us to carry out schemes in Greater Nottingham.”

news in brief

Credit Crunch?


Out with the old school

House prices have been plummeting for months but the credit crunch isn’t worrying Trent Park Developments, who were recently celebrating the sale of Nottingham’s first £1 million apartment. The 200sq m flat is one of the penthouse spaces in the River Crescent development, situated on the banks of the River Trent, adjacent to the greenery of Colwick Country Park.

Green Light for joint service centre in Bulwell Bulwell’s new £22 million onestop shop, bringing together council and health services, has been approved by Nottingham’s planners. The state-of-the-art centre, to be developed on a 1.4 hectare site on Main Street and Coventry Road will replace the outmoded Bulwell Health Centre, with old councilrun facilities making way for the development.

The new centre will house Nottingham City Council services such as a new play centre, youth club, library and community centre, as well as providing a base for the council’s Bulwell Neighbourhood Management team. The local Nottingham City Homes housing office will also be located here, as will a range of community health services run by Nottingham City Primary Care Trust plus two GP surgeries.

Nottingham’s £500 million Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme continues apace, with construction under way on the new £13 million Southwark Primary School in Old Basford. The project is expected to reach completion in March 2010.

Designs on Nottingham Nottingham City Council has published a guide to celebrate and embrace the modern city in a way that respects the past through high standards of sustainable urban design and architecture in the city. The Nottingham Urban Design Guide was produced in conjunction with Nottingham Regeneration Limited to regulate the design of buildings and guide developers working on projects in the city.

Science City summit

Market forces The residents of Sneinton have given a resounding thumbs-up to the plans for its regeneration. The Sneinton Market and Eastside Gateway Neighbourhood Development Plan provides a vision for bringing about the physical, social and economic regeneration of the neighbourhood


Food for thought A new feather was added to Nottingham’s retail cap in December 2008, when Waitrose opened its first smaller-sized convenience store in Trinity Square. The upmarket chain took a 600sq m store, joining TK Maxx and Gourmet Burger Kitchen in one of the city centre’s premier mixed-use developments.

over the next 10 to 15 years. Improved local amenities and a new central square were two elements of the plan that proved popular with the respondents, who felt the work would help bridge the gap between the city and St Ann’s. Nottingham Regeneration Limited commissioned the plan,

which was put together by the architecture practice Gehl, in association with Sterling Prize winning architect Maccreanor Lavington. The regeneration plans were exhibited at a series of presentations held at the Victoria Leisure Centre, the Broadway Cinema and Smithy Row.

Nottingham’s status as a Science City was confirmed when it hosted the national Science City conference in October 2008. Representatives from the other UK Science Cities descended on the city for the two-day event.


MediPark masterplan Nottingham’s ambition to create a major medical science park moved one step closer in January 2009 with the completion of the project’s masterplan. Studio Egret West’s distinctive design for the 3.6 hectare site will see the creation of research and work space for organisations operating in the medical science sector.


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A diverse locally based housing association meeting diverse needs.


Head Office: 90 Beech Avenue, New Basford, Nottingham NG7 7LW Tel: 0115 9166 066 Email: visit:

A round-up of Nottingham’s residential, office and commercial markets by David Gray

Vital statistics


Economic background Nottingham contributes £11.2 billion a year to the UK economy and the city has outperformed many other regional centres in both job and wealth creation. It is the UK’s third richest city in terms of GDP with the seventh highest GDP per capita in the country. Its business base is increasingly diverse and includes a growing concentration of medical and scientific organisations, greatly supported by the city’s higher education facilities. Nottingham is also an important centre for financial services, distribution, public administration and health services. Almost 21,000 new professional and managerial jobs were created in the city between 2001 and 2006 and, according to CB Richard Ellis’ “Greater Nottingham Market Report”, commissioned by Nottingham Regeneration Limited in 2008, it is proving to be a more attractive business destination than either Manchester or Leeds. Underpinning this attraction, especially in the current downturn, is the fact that Nottingham offers lower costs than most competing centres. Wage costs in the city are 87% of the average for England, while housing costs are just 70% of the national average.

the fourth largest of the UK core cities

Nottingham has a catchment area of more than 700,000 people, the largest in the East Midlands and the fourth largest of the UK core cities. The city itself has a resident population of 288,700 (2008), of whom 135,700 are economically active. More people continue to be attracted to Nottingham: the number of city centre residents has more than doubled since 2001 and, crucially for the economy, there is a very high (29.9%) retention rate for local graduates. The proportion of workers in professional and managerial posts has been growing significantly and accounts for 31.5% of the workforce (2007), compared to 28.4% for England as a whole. Public sector employment, including education and health, is also high – 32.7% of employees in Nottingham (26.2% across England). As the city’s knowledge-based employment opportunities have risen, there is a lower dependence on unskilled trades as well as a substantial fall (1,600 jobs) in call centres. The level of self-employment does remain relatively low at 6.5% (2008) of the workforce (9.4% nationally). There is also a higher than average claimant count – 4.1% (October 2008) in Nottingham, compared to 2.4% in the East Midlands and 2.9% nationally. For those in work,


Nottingham 11

Prime retail rents

per sq ft in the city centre

Nottingham has a catchment area of more than

700,000 people however, gross weekly pay in the city is slightly higher than in the rest of the region (£447 against £443 in 2008). Nottingham also saw a healthy increase of 660 new business registrations in 2007 and has a total stock of almost 6,500 VAT-registered businesses.

Residential market Nottingham has long been a relatively affordable city in which to live and buy property, with housing costs in total broadly 70% of the national average. This affordability, coupled with demand from a rising population, is helping the city cope with the current national market downturn. Land Registry figures show the average property sold in December 2008 for £93,034, down 11% from £104,535 a year earlier. Comparable figures for detached homes are £164,910 (£185,296 in December 2007), semi-detached £92,369 (£103,787), terraced £65,972 (£74,127) and flats and maisonettes £134,493 (£151,119). As in many other cities, there is an oversupply of apartments both built and also with existing consents. This section of the market may continue to have difficulties in the coming year, but more traditional

housing stock, especially for families and older people, is performing much better. Despite the overhang of one- and two-bedroom properties in the city centre, family houses in new developments such as Southreef are attracting interest. The social housing sector continues to be strong. Council-owned properties make up over 16% of stock and private rentals account for a further 10%. The latter is partly attributed to the city’s 60,000 students, one of the largest concentrations in the country.

Office market The office market in Nottingham is much helped by the city’s relatively low costs. The highest rent level in 2008 was £20 per sq ft in the ng2 Business Park, while good quality space is available in the city centre for £18-19 per sq ft and the average range across Greater Nottingham is £13.50-17.50 per sq ft. The attractiveness of the city as a business location is shown by the take-up of 690,000sq ft of office space in 2007, much higher than the 390,000sq ft let or bought in 2006. The availability of Grade A space will be further improved when the development pipeline of


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shops with ALMOST Three million sq ft almost two million sq ft is delivered as market conditions improve. The current climate has inevitably slowed the pace of activity, but new-build projects are being delayed rather than abandoned and the city continues to attract commercial tenants. Alex Nix, surveyor at Lambert Smith Hampton in Nottingham, says “the current climate means the pipeline is inevitably being extended and enquiries are down on last year, but there are still requirements coming in and deals being done, especially in the city centre”. Incomers are expected to be particularly attracted to the Southside area, already home to Experian, Capital One and the Inland Revenue. Nottingham’s industrial and warehouse performance continues to be strong. The city’s location on the edge of the ‘Golden Triangle’ with excellent motorway and rail links means it is especially attractive as a distribution centre. A recent example from the fashion sector is Sir Paul Smith, the international retailer based in Nottingham, which opened a new £10 million warehouse (110,000sq ft) in November 2008. Around the city, prime shed rents in 2008 were £5.75 per sq ft, while secondary sheds were renting for just under £5 per sq ft. The total operating cost of office floorspace in Nottingham in 2008, according to CBRE, was £28 per sq ft, compared to £38.50 per sq ft in Leeds, £41 per sq ft in Bristol and £47 per sq ft in Birmingham.

Retail and leisure market Nottingham continues to have one of the country’s strongest retail offers, the fifth largest outside London according to Experian’s 2008 rankings, just below Liverpool and above Leeds. The city has more than 1,164 shops with almost three million sq ft of space. Experian

estimates comparison goods spending in Nottingham totalled £1,723 million in 2008 and the city has a strong reputation for fashion shopping. Westfield’s £700 million expansion of the Broadmarsh shopping centre will add 300 new outlets and almost 820,000sq ft of new space. Two other retail schemes in Beeston (The Square) and Arnold town centre will also increase store numbers and space outside the city centre in the next three years. Prime retail rents in Nottingham are bucking the national trend and are as high as £250 per sq ft in the city centre, up from £240 per sq ft in 2006. Secondary space is also available centrally for £160-180 per sq ft; suburban locations such as Long Eaton cost £45-70 per sq ft and space is available at Riverside Retail Park for as little as £30 per sq ft. A boost to the leisure attractions of the city has already arrived with the recent Old Market Square redevelopment, the refurbishment of the Broadway Cinema and Media Centre and the arrival of two casinos and numerous new restaurants and cafes. The city also has the only Michelin-starred restaurant (Sat Bains) in the East Midlands. Nottingham Contemporary, already one of the leading contemporary art galleries in England, will open a major extension in 2009. Lastly, Nottingham already has national centres for both ice and water sports and the Waterside development will become one of the largest concentrations of sporting facilities in the country. Looking past the current downturn, Nottingham’s property market will be strengthened by the ongoing regeneration projects in Eastside, Southside and Waterside. Marc Cole, chief executive of NRL, in December 2008 stated that the city remains “a very attractive investment and development location and better placed to weather the credit crunch than many other UK cities”. ❑ ➔

The highest office rent level in 2008 was £20 per sq ft in NG2

Nottingham 13

Vital statistics


PROJECTS Nottingham’s regeneration continues apace. Projects, at various stages of development, are transforming the city. And, despite the onset of recession, progress is still being made on many of Nottingham’s most important regeneration projects. It is testament to the strength of what has already been achieved in the city that several major projects have recently reached completion. And, with developers reaffirming their intentions to invest in Nottingham and further plans for the city’s vision being published, the future continues to look good for the city centre.

Trinity Square The most meaningful addition to Nottingham’s impressive retail portfolio for more than 30 years has arrived in the guise of the now complete Trinity Square. Located a short distance from the Victoria Centre, and just north of Clumber Street, the £100 million development offers the doubleheight units major retailers covet, and is already hosting leading high street names such as TK Maxx and Waitrose. The mixed-use scheme, which was redeveloped by Helical Bar’s retail arm Overton, sees retailers sharing ground floor space with

restaurants, creating a vibrant atmosphere throughout the day. The upper floors accommodate 700 newly built student flats, popular with those attending the nearby Nottingham Trent University. The scheme also contains 450 car parking spaces – an increase of 120 spaces. Trinity Square’s completion marks a significant milestone in the regeneration of Nottingham city centre. It is an important site, located in the heart of the city, and represents an impressive snapshot of the quality the city can expect from future developments.

Nottingham 15

University of Nottingham Innovation Park The gap between business and research and academia is closing with the creation of the £29 million University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP). Leading architect Make created the stunning Sir Colin Campbell building, which opened last year, on the Jubilee Campus. The research- and technologyfocused park is located close to the university and its medical school at Queen’s Medical Centre, perfect for enabling the transfer of technology and ideas while providing access to the university’s resources. The accommodation for small companies and start-ups provides business units with flexible dimensions to allow for growth. Units range in size from 20sq m to 400sq m, and all have access to a suite of meeting and conference facilities. UNIP covers a site of almost five hectares for serviced land plots and there are plans to develop further buildings on the site in the future. Work on the £4.5 million Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) Research and Applications Centre of Excellence (GRACE) is under way and due for completion by the end of the year. Funded by the university and regional development agency emda, it will provide a new cross-disciplinary research centre capitalising on the existing world-leading research and training at the university.

River Crescent Nottingham’s property portfolio received a considerable boost when residents started moving in to the award-winning River Crescent development just in time for Christmas 2008. The Trent Park Developments scheme offers a wide range of luxury riverside apartments, situated on the banks of the River Trent, a few minutes from the city centre. But River Crescent does not eschew sustainability in the name of luxury. Throughout the planning process the environment and the area’s bio-diversity were given paramount importance. Wind turbines provide energy for common areas, while the heating is provided courtesy of geothermal heat pumps, and solar reflective glazing features throughout. The finishing touches, such as the completion of the swimming pool and other cosmetic considerations, were being put to the scheme as Nottingham went to press. However, the development has already won several awards, including Best Architecture, as well as Best Development and Best Apartment at the Daily Mail’s Property Awards 2008. It has also secured the sale of the city’s first £1 million appartment.

Eastside The regeneration of the Eastside area is one step closer after developer Roxylight Project Services submitted outline planning permission for a seven-storey office. The masterplan and design code for the island site on the edge of the city centre, one of the largest regeneration sites in Nottingham, was also submitted for approval at the end of last year.



The Hub

Trinity Square

Of central importance to the Southside regeneration zone, as well as the Nottingham city region as a whole, is the transformation of Nottinghamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s train station. The project to bring the station into the 21st century is among the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most ambitious, and will create a world-class transport hub named, appropriately, the Hub. The multi-million pound BDP-designed project will see the creation of a fully integrated modern transport hub on the site of the current station. Movement will be made easier thanks to a new travel centre, a concourse directly linking the train station with Nottingham Express Transit Line One, a multi-storey car park and improved bus, cycle, pedestrian and taxi access around the station. The station will also benefit from the creation of significant new commercial developments, offering mixed-use space suitable for additional retail units, and all this is to be achieved while the stationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s striking Edwardian frontage is retained and restored. The redevelopment of the station is a vitally important component of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s continued regeneration, and

is essential if Nottingham is to retain its position as one of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier urban locations. Good transport links help facilitate business growth, push up visitor numbers and allow people to reach employment and retail opportunities with ease. The redevelopment of the station will also aid the regeneration in the surrounding area. The project is a proposed public-private initiative, and development partners, including Nottingham City Council and Network Rail, are working on the business case for the new station, as well as fine-tuning the schemeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s design. The Government Office for the East Midlands was examining the heritage issues raised by the scheme as this magazine went to press. And a planning application is due to be considered by the end of the year.


projects Nottingham 19

Southreef Southreef Developments is hoping to complete the first phase of its scheme on Canal Street this year. The waterside project will offer 5,000sq m of office space and 237 apartments, plus shops, restaurants and bars. The second phase of the development will feature more than 7,500sq m of office space set around a central atrium that will accommodate two winter gardens. A planning application for the project, known as Southreef 2, was submitted last year.

Design According to architect Levitate of London, the inspiration for the project is in response to the context of the site as the first regeneration scheme in the area. Architect Doug Hodgson explains: “It had to be about repairing the street edge. Therefore the concept for the building is a long terrace, as would have been found in grand city plans of the previous century. “Sustainability was a design principle from the earliest concept stage. The scheme is inherently very sustainable due to its location next to the train, tram and bus stations and we designed the scheme around a disused footbridge over the canal to encourage pedestrian movement and we’re also creating a new public square by the canal edge.” Phase two will have exposed concrete soffits that will behave as heat sinks reducing the energy requirements of the offices as well as ground water heating and cooling and a passive ventilation system organised around two winter gardens that will act as primary circulation spaces in the building. The development will be powered and heated by the district heating main. North-facing elevations are highly insulated with smaller openings while full-height glazed facades facing south give apartments good daylight.

Meadows Gateway (Southside) The creation of an improved city gateway for Nottingham moved one step closer in November 2008, when councillors gave the green light to ambitious redevelopment plans for the Meadows Gateway project. The scheme will see the area around the city’s train station regenerated, as part of the work to be carried out in the council’s Southside regeneration zone. The city council and Nottingham Regeneration Limited are encouraging a series of developments designed to improve the area. Phase one of the redevelopment will see Lace Market Properties progress with plans for a mixed-use scheme around Arkwright Street and Sheriffs Way. Designed by Make architects it will offer office, retail and leisure space, a 115-bed hotel and 65 apartments. This development, and the others that will follow in the Meadows Gateway area, will improve the city’s gateway, offering visitors a more positive first impression and expanding the city centre while re-establishing the links between Meadows, one of Nottingham’s most deprived neighbourhoods, with the city.



Nottingham has a growing reputation as a centre of excellence for science and is set to enhance that reputation with the creation of Nottingham MediPark. A 3.5 hectare site next to Nottingham University Hospital is to be transformed into a centre capable of accommodating over 200 medical research companies. The development is to feature a series of self-contained buildings, one of which would be specifically designed for SMEs, and is highlighted as a potential first phase development. MediPark aims to attract leading companies from around the world to Nottingham and will complement BioCity, providing incubator space and support to businesses and clinical research organisations working closely with medical staff and their patients. The planning application was being readied for submission as Nottingham went to press. A series of public consultation events will be held in the spring.

Innovative London-based architect Studio Egret West was selected as masterplanner and architect for the project. Initial designs for the scheme have centred around the idea of stem cells, reflecting the regenerative medical work going on within the buildings. The development will be delivered in three stages, each one including three inter-connected buildings, containing space for a mix of private research, medical and collaborative work and laboratories. Each building is leaf-shaped and forms one section of a cloverleafshaped unit, once again echoing the natural science theme. The design for the project reflects the activities its buildings will be used for, and it is expected to provide an aesthetically remarkable, yet highly functional addition to the area.

ng2 has settled into its role as Nottinghamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier business park. Work on the mixed-use park started in 2000 and phases of the project have been opening since 2003. The latest section to be completed was the Cirrus building last summer. Specsavers moved into the 3,250sq m three-storey building, which is now their international finance and administration centre, in October 2008. Plans for the next phase of the parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s development are well under

way. Contracts have been exchanged with an international hotel chain to establish a five-storey, business class hotel on the site with 184 beds, bar, restaurant, gym and meeting rooms. It is expected that work will start on site this summer with completion due September 2010. Once the hotel is under way there will still be almost three hectares of land to develop on the site. Discussions are taking place to create two new buildings to provide 2,750 and 3,250sq m of extra office space.

Nottingham 21



Thriving communities, affordable homes The Homes and Communities Agency, or HCA, is the single, national housing and regeneration agency for England. We bring together the development and regeneration expertise of English Partnerships, investment functions of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities, with major delivery programmes of Communities and Local Government. Our role is to create opportunity for people to live in high quality, sustainable places. We provide funding for affordable housing, bring land back into productive use and improve quality of life by raising standards for the physical and social environment. Our priorities for the East Midlands are to: � Invest to deliver new and affordable homes in partnership with local authorities, registered social landlords and the private sector. � Work with public sector partners to deliver new infrastructure. � Work with developers, registered social landlords and local authorities to assist in comprehensive estate development and renewal. � Unlock surplus public sector land and brownfield sites for housing developments. This will include former coalfield sites and surplus NHS land. � Maintain a strong investment programme to support quality, design and environmental standards and encourage the development of new schemes for affordable housing. For more information on how we can help you create thriving communities, please visit: call ���� ���� ��� or email

There’s more to regeneration than striking architecture, cutting edge design and loft apartment living: specialist housing also contributes significantly to physical, economic and social regeneration. Created in 2001 from the merger of two local charities, Framework provides housing, support, treatment and training for homeless and vulnerable people. In 2006 we achieved national recognition, winning the Housing Corporation’s Gold Award for Excellence in Tackling Homelessness. The attributes we demonstrated to the judges included a strong commitment to invest in our properties - thus affirming the value of those who live and work in them. This makes a significant contribution to Nottingham’s regeneration. Service users present in many different circumstances. Whatever the immediate requirement - a temporary roof for someone sleeping rough, suitable supported housing for an older person or the halting of an eviction, it is just one step towards sustainable resettlement. By meeting basic housing needs we offer a stable platform for specialist work that helps individuals to manage their present and build their future. Our services in Nottinghamshire range from emergency and supported housing to floating support, homelessness prevention and pre-employment training. Working in partnership with Nottingham City Council,

Nottinghamshire County Council, adjacent local authorities and a range of other statutory and voluntary agencies, we help over 5,000 people each year to rebuild their lives. Many of these have endured the acute risk or ongoing reality of social exclusion. Experience shows that a decent home enhances the confidence and self-esteem of whoever lives in it, and leads to better long-term outcomes from specialist intervention. This is the rationale for Framework’s programme of investment in high-quality specialist housing. Framework is in the middle of a 12-year programme of new-build and refurbishment schemes to create a network of purposebuilt specialist housing services across Nottinghamshire. On completion the total investment will amount to some £35 million, with major capital contributions from the Homes and Communities Agency, the Places of Change Programme, the Housing Corporation, Coalfields Regeneration Trust, European Regional Development Fund and Framework itself. The programme began in 2001 when Nottingham’s derelict Canal Street Nightshelter was replaced on the same site by a refurbished and extended London Road hostel. Later the famous Albion Nightshelter, a Grade II-listed former church in Sneinton, was converted to provide 24 self-contained one-bed flats. These bespoke designs have since been refined in further

work by award-winning architects such as Allan Joyce Associates and Cullen, Carter & Hill. In April 2008 Framework opened Elizabeth House in Daybrook - a purpose-built scheme providing 21 units of supported housing for homeless people referred by Gedling, Broxtowe and Rushcliffe Councils. It is complemented by self-contained moveon units in each of the three Boroughs. January 2009 saw the first residents move into 34 Bentinck Road in Nottingham twelve supported flats for older homeless people. Work will shortly begin next door on a major refurbishment and extension of Framework’s registered care home for older homeless people. In the high-profile regeneration of Nottingham’s neighbourhoods, specialists like Framework have a distinctive role. Investment in the appearance and quality of buildings is crucial to this. So is the less visible work of helping those who use them, some with diverse and complex needs, to build productive and rewarding lives.

For further information about Framework’s regeneration programme, contact Simon Ketteridge, Development Manager, on 0115 841 7711

Framework Housing Association: Reg. Charity No. 1060941. RSL No. LH4 184. Company Limited by Guarantee 3318404

Exterior of 34 Bentinck Road

Andrew Redfern, Chief Executive of Framework, explains how specialist housing provision contributes to Nottingham’s regeneration.

A resident in his new home at 34 Bentinck Road

Rebuilding lives

business skills

High aspirations Nottinghamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s academic sector is aiming high. With a large student population and high graduate retention rates, a comprehensive regeneration programme is set to improve things still further. Lane Palmer reports

Eastsideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Central island on the edge of the city centre will regenerate 13.7 hectares to produce 1,400 residential units. Footpaths will link the site with the city centre and train station.

Nearly three-quarters of recent graduates working in Greater Nottingham are in managerial, professional or associate professional occupations, and more than half of all local employment is in knowledge-intensive sectors, a factor that contributed to the city’s designation as one of six UK science cities. Science has long been a strength at the University of Nottingham. Former professors Sir Peter Mansfield and Clive Granger are Nobel Prize winners for medicine and economic science respectively. By 2020, Nottingham’s Science City aims to create an additional 20,000 sciencerelated jobs and to make the city an internationally renowned location for science. As Councillor Graham Chapman, deputy leader of Nottingham City Council, says: “We are determined to build on Nottingham’s image as a forward-looking city with a dynamic science and technology sector.” Much progress has already been made. The region has a strong track record in winning funding awards for science research, for capital projects and for outreach to raise public awareness of science. One way in which awareness of Science City is being raised at the University of Nottingham is via the website, which shows short films depicting scientists at work, made by Brady Haran, the resident filmmaker at Nottingham Science City. BioCity Nottingham, a collaboration between the city’s universities and emda, provides virtual and actual tenancies, business support and laboratory facilities to scientists and entrepreneurs in the biosciences. BioCity was made possible by a huge donation of laboratory, and office buildings and equipment from BASF to NTU in 2001. A tenant of note is regenerative medicine company RegenTec, a spin-off from research by scientific director Professor Kevin Shakesheff and his team at the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Biomolecular Sciences. RegenTec has won several awards, among them a 2008 Medical Futures Innovation award for its patented injectable polymer scaffolds which, if they pass clinical tests and are brought to market, may provide an alternative to bone transplants. The Hive is another example of the commitment to foster connections between entrepreneurs, innovators and universities. Based at NTU since its inception in 2001, it has achieved well relative to its cost base, to date helping more than 150 business start-ups, 90% of which are still operational. Among them are ethical clothing firm Regenerate and educational software firm Prime Principle, now a double-digit employer. “But we are just part of the overall context,” says Chris Hall, manager of The Hive. “NTU offers more placements than nearly any other British university.” Indeed NTU, named top new university in this year’s Good University Guide, is now the UK’s fourth-largest provider of work- ➔

“The fact that students want to stay in Nottingham reflects well on the city and is extremely important for the local business market”

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The past 15 years have seen a significant rise in the number of students attending the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University (NTU), as well as increasing numbers studying vocational courses at the city’s further education colleges. A youthful and well-educated population is a major driving force in the city’s economy, and Nottingham’s population in the past few years has expanded at rates above the national average. The city now has the UK’s fourth-highest student population. While the presence of 60,000 students per year in part shows the success of government policy to widen access to further and higher education, Nottingham’s reputation as a vibrant and lively city has attracted high numbers of young people from all over the country and abroad. As vice chancellor Neil Gorman confirms: “Applications to Nottingham Trent University’s undergraduate courses have risen by more than any other university in the UK.” The city is certainly a popular student destination, with one in 10 citizens a student. And even after graduation many students stay on. Nottingham has one of the UK’s highest graduate retention rates at 29.9% (in 2006-07) – the importance of higher education to the local economy is clear. Students bring in an estimated £750 million a year to the economy. Their spending power boosts the property rental market and the evening economy, as well as retailing and services for younger consumers. On top of such immediate economic inputs, the city benefits because many students undertake placements and voluntary work during their studies, as well as staying on to work in the region afterwards. Vice chancellor at the University of Nottingham, David Greenaway believes the high retention rates are due to Nottingham’s convenient location, great communications and the affinity students develop for the city during their time there. The fact students want to stay in Nottingham reflects well on the city and is ‘extremely important for the local business market’. Both the universities and colleges deliver graduates who meet employers’ business needs: 98% of NTU graduates are in employment or postgraduate education within six months of completing their studies. Nottingham’s success at retaining graduates is in part down to its physical environment and amenities. The region boasts some of Europe’s best sports facilities, among the high-calibre sports people who train locally is Chris Brabants, a University of Nottingham alumnus and kayaking gold medallist, as well as several fellow Beijing Olympics Team GB medallists. The high retention factor is also testimony to effective work by the East Midlands Development Authority (emda), which has supported initiatives such as BioCity — an incubation service for bioscience companies — and The Hive, a multi-sector business germination project based at NTU.

Left and above: New buildings at the University of Nottingham’s Jubilee campus. Top: Plans for new buildings at Nottingham Trent University.

business skills

“Further education colleges work with businesses to identify skills gaps and ensure future workforce’s skills fit”

Top: The University of Nottingham. Above: Nottingham Trent University. Main: Castle College’s Highfields Automotive and Engineering Training Centre.

based learning opportunities. Other examples of how Nottingham’s academic sector builds connections with commercial sectors are jointly run projects such as Nottingham Creative Network, Nottingham Creative Business Awards, and the Ingenuity programme, a three-year emda-funded project managed by NTU and the universities of Derby and Nottingham, to hold showcasing events, workshops and knowledge transfer programmes with small and medium-sized enterprises in the region. The University of Nottingham, which has 30,000 students across four UK campuses and a further 5,000 at overseas campuses in Malaysia and China, also has a strong reputation for enterprise. Its students have won the Students in Free Enterprise competition four years in succession – from 2005 to 2008 inclusive – and was named entrepreneurial university of the year in the 2008 Times Higher Education awards. Soon to play a key role in the symbiosis between enterprise and the university is the extension to its Jubilee campus expansion project, an 18-acre research and innovation park. While scientific research breakthroughs and innovative start-ups attract attention, of equal importance to a city’s long-term growth and sustainability is a pool of skilled workers. Further education at New College Nottingham (NCN) and Castle College play a crucial role in ensuring this. As part of the Greater Nottingham Partnership, they work with city planners, businesses and employers to identify skills gaps and ensure the future workforce’s skills match the city’s needs. From eight campuses across the city, NCN delivers workplace learning, sandwich degrees, and full-time and part-time courses. Businesses contribute to curriculum design and development to ensure relevance, and provide guest speakers and lecturers. Castle College’s courses are developed to meet employment needs in the East Midlands. Through its consultancy wing, the college develops links and supports businesses with their training and development needs. In today’s economy, universities’ and colleges’ capital programmes are welcomed. The government has asked universities to bring forward capital programmes scheduled for the next three years, where possible. Castle College has an ambitious programme to redevelop its campuses. Highfields Automotive and Engineering Training Centre, a joint venture between Castle College and Toyota, was opened in 2008. Phase II of the £8.7 million redevelopment of the Beeston Campus was recently completed. Future Castle College projects include

rescoping the People’s Campus on Maid Marian Way. The University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus expansion (see panel right) cost £29 million and is anticipated to have long-term benefits for the local economy by encouraging innovators and entrepreneurs to mix with academics. A major capital scheme due to be completed this year will transform NTU’s Newton and Arkwright buildings in a sympathetic refurbishment of the city-centre premises to provide learning areas, with lecture theatres, IT resources and student support facilities. This £70 million scheme to create a new heart for the city campus is the flagship scheme of an ambitious regeneration strategy that will see £130 million invested over a six-year period. Nottingham Regeneration Limited and Blueprint are working towards establishing a medical science park on the 3.5 hectare site next to Queen’s Medical Centre. The proposed MediPark, which will sit beside Nottingham University Hospital, will provide incubator space for SMEs. Such investments in the city’s academic future are a confident report card for Nottingham, which bodes well for its continued future as one of the UK’s major centres of learning. ❑

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Things to make and do The newly unveiled extension to the University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus is a research and innovation park (pictured on previous page). Its signature buildings were designed by Make architects, led by Ken Shuttleworth, who designed the Swiss Re Tower – better know as the Gherkin – in the City of London. The Gateway building’s silver curves will house businesses in a zinc-clad structure that straddles the main campus road, linking the academic with the business and enterprise zones of the campus. In contrast, the bold angular wedges of International House and the Amenities Building are in shades of terracotta. The development has high standards of energy efficiency. Make was briefed to deliver beautiful buildings with a low carbon footprint – the colourful facades work with the buildings’ thermal mass to reduce heating and cooling loads. Recessed windows cut the glare of summer sun while admitting the sun’s rays in winter. Air quality is maintained via a quiet and energy-efficient

displacement system. Heating or cooling employs a natural resource: embodied energy extracted from the campus lakes cools the building in summer or heats it in winter. Run-off rainwater flows down the sloping roofs of International House and the Amenities Building, draining into swales planted with native marsh plants, then flows back into the lake. The Gateway building has now been renamed the Sir Colin Campbell building, after the university’s vice-chancellor Sir Colin Campbell. He says: “Make’s remarkable buildings to house innovation and enterprise are some of the most eye-catching and contemporary campuses in international higher education. The buildings reflect our achievement as an ambitious and truly global university.” Also designed by Make is the Aspire sculpture, at 60 metres Britain’s tallest free-standing artwork. Campbell says: “This unique addition to the city’s skyline celebrates not just the university but also the aspirations of Nottingham itself. It represents the most important statement we make as a university — to aspire.”

Apprentices can develop your workforce and improve the future of your business For advice and information on how Castle College can help with your Apprenticeship needs please call Louise Turton on 0115 884 2009 or email


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Talking shop An improved retail offer is often highlighted as an effective method of stimulating regeneration. Inward investment, job creation and increased footfall are just some of the benefits associated with a competitive retail offer. So despite being top of the shops for many years, Nottingham cannot afford to take its eye off the ball. By Alex Aspinall

➔ ➔


NOTTINGHAM HAS LONG BEEN KNOWN AS THE region’s premier shopping destination, with eager shoppers attracted from Leicester, Derby and even further afield. But, as cities seek to regenerate by addressing their retail leakage, Nottingham finds itself having to work harder than ever before to ensure its status as the regional shopping capital is retained. David Hargreaves, partner at Nottingham-based commercial property agent Fisher Hargreaves Proctor, says: “There are more shops in Nottingham than in any other provincial city in the country. Leicester now has the Highcross Centre, which is very good and has added to their offer, and Derby has the Eagle Centre, which has improved their offer too. “But Nottingham is certainly still ahead of the game in the East Midlands area. There is more competition now than there has been for a long time. But there are

few shops in Derby and Leicester that cannot already be found in Nottingham. “We have to up our game to continue to compete with Leicester and Derby. And this is why competition is good; it makes people think about the offer, rather than just sitting back and resting on their laurels.” It is no surprise that Nottingham’s local competitors are eager to claw back some of the success the city has traditionally enjoyed. A recent report published by the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) emphasised the wide-ranging regenerative benefits of successfully realised retail-led regeneration schemes. It stated: “Retail-led regeneration is an important mechanism to revitalise communities by providing jobs, promoting economic growth and creating attractive places to draw people into an area. It also has an important role to play in placemaking as an element of

wider urban regeneration.â&#x20AC;? A good retail offer creates jobs, promotes economic growth and boosts an areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attractiveness. Therefore, it is just as important to maintain a good offer for cities already fortunate enough to have one as it is for cities lacking a decent retail scene to create one. Once a city attains a reputation as a retail centre much of its economic strength comes from this sector and backwards steps are to be avoided at all costs, as they can be particularly damaging to employment levels and city centre footfall statistics. This is particularly true when nearby competitors seek to stem retail leakage and secure bigger slices of what is essentially one pie. The people charged with ensuring Nottingham stays ahead of the pack understand the value of their cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shopping supremacy. They know what must be done if


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nottingham is still certainly ahead of the game in the East Midlands but there is more competition nowâ&#x20AC;?

Nottingham is to retain its enviable position as regional retail capital. And plans are already in motion to ensure this happens. The start of 2009 finds Nottingham in the second year of its five-year Retail Sector Strategic Plan. The document, detailing how Nottingham plans to improve its retail offer, is the first of its kind and highlights four main areas in which progress can be achieved. By ensuring the best efforts are made to attract further inward investment, strengthen the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s retail offer, improve the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s connectivity and promote relevant training and development, the city expects to be able to retain its status as the East Midlandsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; shopping destination of choice. And progress has already been made. The redesigned Old Market Square provides a fitting centrepiece for the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s retail renaissance. There



“The retail offer is always going to be important regardless of the economic climate. The retail economy is a powerhouse especially in this city” has been a £2 million refurbishment of the Lister Gate approach to the Broadmarsh Centre, with six shops being redesigned in the process. Many retailers are still investing in Nottingham, despite not doing so in comparable cities, including trendy fashion retailer American Apparel. And the coming years show no sign of slowing down, as 2009 and 2010 will see more new retailers arriving in Nottingham, and by 2012 the ongoing extension of the city’s tramlines will be almost complete, further improving the ease with which shoppers can reach central Nottingham. It may seem that in times of economic struggle, when some of the high street’s biggest names are struggling to stay afloat and the public are increasingly reluctant to part with their hard-earned cash, retailfocused concerns are forced to take a back seat. But, in truth, the performance of a city’s retail sector becomes even more important when the chips are down, particularly in a city such as Nottingham, where retail is a major economic driver, as Hargreaves explains: “The retail offer is always going to be very important regardless of the economic climate,” he says. “The good thing about the retail industry is that the jobs it provides cover everything from very basic positions to senior management roles. The retail economy is a powerhouse, and this is especially true in Nottingham. “Some cities have very strong financial services sectors and Nottingham has generally been in the super league with retail but in division one with commerce. Nottingham’s retail offer is going to be even more important in dragging the city out of the recession that we are currently in.” And there are already signs that the strength of Nottingham’s retail sector will be at the centre of the city’s ability to turn the corner when the wider economic considerations become more favourable once again.

The £700 million extension of the Broadmarsh shopping centre, which is to see a huge increase in the number of shops in the centre, a new food hall, rooftop restaurants and a state-of-the-art transport terminal is still to go ahead, despite the financial climate. Westfield, the company that operates Broadmarsh, has stated it is still fully committed to reinvesting in Nottingham, and proceeding with the proposed plans, when the time is right. And further reason to rejoice came with the announcement that upmarket department store Harvey Nichols intends to choose Nottingham as the location of its next UK-based store. The store is not likely to open before the end of the council’s five-year plan but the fact that brands of this pedigree see Nottingham as the kind of place they wish to be trading in speaks volumes for the city’s existing offer. When Nottingham’s Harvey Nichols opens its doors it will be only the seventh to do so in the UK, consolidating Nottingham’s position among the country’s top retail centres alongside London, Birmingham and Manchester. Leading retailers already recognise the value of Nottingham’s present offer, the demographic it attracts and its potential for further growth, and will only add to this rich mix when they open their new stores. Developments like these give heart to those eager to see Nottingham’s retail scene continue to grow when the recession begins to recede. “Things are moving in the right direction at the moment,” says James Linnington, retail project manager at Invest in Nottingham. “We have to avoid being too short sighted during the downturn because it isn’t going to last forever. The worst thing we can do is not continue with our pro-active regeneration and stop looking for new retailers. If we rest on our laurels and assume that Nottingham will survive on its reputation alone we are being naïve.” ❑

The proliferation of top end shops and high street retailers in Nottingham make it a shoppers’ paradise.

Nottingham in numbers: 25 million visitors to the city centre each year 5-year plan to cement the city’s standing £500 million already invested in the city’s retail sector £1.3 billion annual retail spend in Nottingham £700 million to be invested in the extension of Broadmarsh

Proud to be supporting Nottinghamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s regeneration


The design at Number One Nottingham Science Park includes lakes to take run-off water from the buildings and thermal insulation.

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Design for life

Good design is at the heart of Nottingham. From building design to fashion and creative design, this city has a creative pulse that it hopes to show the world. Pamela Buxton reports

Nottingham is rightly proud of its design heritage, from lace-making through to Raleigh and Paul Smith, and also of its attractive and historic city centre. But why stop there? Nottingham is about to publish a guide covering myriad design aspects of building a city – one of a number of initiatives by Nottingham City Council to promote good design and sustainable city development. The City Centre Urban Design Guide, developed by the council in partnership with Nottingham Regeneration Limited, is intended to shape future, sustainable development in the city. The council is also bidding for Nottingham to be 2012 World Design Capital, an accolade that would further promote the city’s design achievements. “Nottingham is an innovative city. We have to innovate to be a leading city,” says Simon Green, director of sustainable development at the council. “Investment will go where the quality is and where the sustainability is.” Sustainability, design excellence and city centre vibrancy are intrinsically linked. Contrary to popular misconceptions, sustainability is not just about wind turbines and solar panels. It’s about ensuring that the city as a whole is attractive to businesses, residents and investors – whether through the standard of public realm, quality of commercial accommodation or lifestyle – and that all this is sustainable. Doing this means considering energy supplies, energy efficiency and public transport, which are all the more important in an economic downturn. Good design, whether urban, building or product, is vital to the attraction and retention of key individuals and the city’s lasting success.

For the council, this includes setting a good example in the way the council commissions and occupies buildings, from ensuring they are as energy efficient as possible to encouraging sharing assets. This could include, for example, using a school for community facilities after hours. “It’s a question of where you want to position your city in years to come. Do you want to be a leader or a laggard? We want to be seen as a leader,” says Green. The new guide will be a crucial tool for enhancing development while protecting the city’s historic character. This has been somewhat eroded since the 1930s, and the council is trying to correct any previous planning mistakes. Aimed at developers, landowners and their advisers, the guide is intended to promote high standards of sustainable urban design and architecture by setting out a series of recommendations to guide development. “It’s a document that will hopefully improve design

“Good design, whether urban, building or product, is vital to the attraction and retention of key individuals and the city’s lasting success”

Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re building on Nottinghamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success...

...with the right foundations for the future For more details of the city's exciting regeneration plans and opportunities, contact Marc Cole or Dawn Alvey at:

Nottingham Regeneration Limited Shire Hall, High Pavement, Nottingham NG1 1HN

T: 0115 915 5166 E:

“Good design creates sustainable communities. It’s really important that design is of a decent quality”

Above: Number One Nottingham Science Park – not your average business park.

further. Developers will be encouraged to pick this up before bringing forward proposals so that they know what’s expected,” says Marc Cole, at Nottingham Regeneration Limited. The guide is not intended to be rigid, he adds. “It’s supposed to be a starting point to guide development. It still offers a lot of opportunity.” As part of the project, the team looked at other city guides and examples of how good urban design has furthered regeneration, such as Sheffield’s Gold Route and Legible City projects. In Nottingham, he says, refurbishment of the Old Market Square has already had a significant impact on inward investment. The guide builds on Nottingham’s city centre masterplan of 2005 and follows analysis of the area and the characteristics that make it special and successful. It also sets out what is expected of developers in different parts of the city over the next 10 years

n Building Schools for the Future programme – the £280 million investment in Nottingham’s schools is set to double in the next few years as the programme expands from secondary schools to junior and primary. All new facilities are built to a BREEAM excellent rating and refurbished buildings to a BREEAM very good rating. n Nottingham City Council has adopted the Merton rule requiring all new developments of 1,000sq m and over to reduce their expected CO2 emissions by 10% by using renewable energy technologies. These include a four-star hotel being built at the ng2 business park, which will use ground sourced heat pumps. n Nottingham has commissioned a study from consultants Arup to inform potential expansion of its waste-to-energy heating system set up in the 1970s. This heats 4,500 homes and is the largest district heating system in the UK.

n Nottingham is looking into the use of anaerobic digesters to generate energy from food waste in a series of decentralised energy production centres throughout the city. n Blueprint Regeneration’s proposed Green Street housing development in The Meadows will be the first housing scheme in Nottingham to attain level four status of the Code for Sustainable Homes. n Sustainable design principles are an intrinsic part of the new City Centre Urban Design Guide.

and indicates what is likely to be acceptable in the planning process. “Good design creates sustainable communities. It’s really important that design is of a decent quality,” says Nigel Turpin, urban design team leader at the council. Three key issues are covered: the development of unsympathetic buildings that do not respect the character of the city streets; the domination of cars in the city centre; and the decline of areas to the east and south of the city. It aims to preserve the dense quality of urban form in the city core (the zone of repair) and reconstruct the damaged urban form of the south and east (the zone of reinvention). Attention is paid to building line. In the repair zone, this means following existing building lines while, in the reinvention zone, the building line has to be established using urban design rules set out in the design guide. The guide also addresses public realm. It sets out ➔

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Sustainable design initiatives


“Sustainable design will become more important, not less, during a recession and is vital for ensuring the future prosperity of Nottingham”

Sustainable design is at the heart of Number One Nottingham Science Park which has a brown roof and biomass heating system.

design guidelines on materials and road design for a variety of street types on the fringes of the city centre. Granite, for example, is recommended for prestigious locations and Yorkstone for where streets are fronted by old and architecturally distinguished buildings. Recommendations also cover elements such as alleyways, trees, arcades and signs. Key views from the castle are set out. Height guidelines have been drawn up for different city areas, ranging from five-storeys in the city core to a tall building zone on the eastern side of the city centre, where buildings of up to 30-storeys are allowed. Guidance on building sustainably includes glazing ratios, overshadowing, renewable energy, materials, drainage and recycling.

Consultation on the guide is now complete and the final version is scheduled to be launched in the spring and subsequently adopted as planning guidance. “It’s been well received. Developers say they want consistency and certainty,” says Turpin. The design guide is a continuation of Nottingham’s commitment to sustainability. “I think Nottingham is quite enlightened. We deal with local authorities all over the region and I’d say Nottingham was quick to grasp the sustainability agenda. We find them to be progressive and free thinking partners, “ says John Long, development director of Blueprint. Blueprint has four projects in various stages of planning and development in Nottingham, including the Green Street housing scheme at The Meadows and a four hectare extension to the Nottingham Science Park. The Meadows project, designed by architects Marsh Grochowski, demonstrates sustainability not only with its energy efficiency but also in its desire to provide accommodation of a high standard to attract people who would not otherwise consider the area or help retain those who might move away to find something of a higher quality. Blueprint hopes to start work on the project this year. Meanwhile, it has completed No 1 Nottingham Science Park, which offers accommodation for technology firms. Designed by Studio Egret West, the building embraces sustainability rather than what Long calls ‘eco-bling’. Instead of the conventional green choice of choosing a timber-framed building, the architects and developer opted for a concrete frame with sufficient thermal mass to reduce heating requirements. This was combined with high levels of insulation, a brown roof and a biomass heating system. Attention to landscaping and the building’s distinctively coloured cladding will, hopes Long, help generate a sense of place at the business park. Sustainable design will become more important, not less, during a recession, and is vital for ensuring the future prosperity of the city. As Green says, “It’s [sustainability] an agenda that can’t be ignored. One way of getting out of the economic downturn is through innovation.” ❑

Nottingham 39

World Design Capital bid World Design Capital status is awarded to cities that use design to improve the social, cultural and economic life of cities. Winning this would lead to a year-long celebration of how design is being used for city renewal. If Nottingham is successful in its bid to be World Design Capital 2012, it will follow Turin (2008) and Seoul (2010) to the biennial title, which is organised by the International Design Alliance. Ann Priest, Nottingham Trent University’s pro-vice chancellor and head of college of art, design and the built environment says: “Nottingham is one of the creative centres within the UK and its community of artists, designers and creative industries are the lifeblood of the city. That is what makes this such an exciting opportunity to build on the city’s culture and heritage and gain recognition for businesses in the city that are involved in design, creativity and innovation.” Nottingham will submit its bid before the 31 March deadline. The bid will draw attention to ways in which parts of the city have been transformed by design such as Old Market Square. It will showcase: responsible and sustainable design initiatives; the city’s achievements in different areas of design; and the creative industries from swimwear designers Speedo to film director Shane Meadows. It will also include Nottingham’s arts venues such as Lakeside Arts

Centre and Nottingham Contemporary, one of the largest contemporary arts spaces in the UK, plus dance event Nottdance Festival and GameCity, an annual festival of interactive entertainment. Nottingham will find out if its bid has been successful in November 2009.

Culture club A diverse community of creative organisations has been based in the city for some time now. Many of them are small organisations, run by relatively young people, and their contribution to the city is growing each year. “Nottingham’s strong creative sector often surprises people outside the city who are not aware that we have such a creative culture,” says Andrew Cooper, chair of the board at the Broadway Cinema and Media Centre, which houses several of the city’s creative companies. “The Nottingham Creative Business awards recognise and reward the sector. The fact the awards exist is an indication of the size of the creative business sector.” But what is it about Nottingham that provides those looking to spread their creative seed with such fertile ground? There are several theories, ranging from the contribution of the city’s universities and Nottingham’s central location, to its design heritage. And they all play

their part. But one of the sector’s main strengths, and a major factor behind its impressive growth, is its community-focussed approach. Fashion designer Suzi Henson says: “What I love about the city is there are a lot of support networks, like the Nottingham Creative Network. People with smaller creative businesses tend to collaborate and pass contacts on to each other. My business [Eternal Spirits] uses a lot of other creative businesses, and they are all Nottingham-based. You can meet the most amazing people, and there is a great collaborative aspect to it.” Among the more established of Nottingham’s creative organisations is design company Studio Output. Having been on the scene since 2002, the company has grown considerably, and is playing its part in helping the sector to flourish. In September 2008 it set up the Glug networking event in a bid to provide informal opportunities for the city’s creative minds

to get together. And, as development manager Gemma Tabb explains, the future could be very bright for Nottingham’s creative community: “It relies on people pioneering initiatives to get Nottingham on the map. If people keep shouting about the good things going on in the city it is only going to help people realise there are options outside of London. Nottingham will have an exciting future if there is continued investment in the city’s creative sector.”

Maintaining momentum

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public sector

In such gloomy economic times it is public sector investment that will keep the economy afloat and, thankfully, Nottingham has a reasonable stock of it. Alison Jones reports

Despite the current economic gloom that is threatening to eclipse many private sector funded regeneration schemes throughout the UK, Nottingham is managing to weather the storm. Thanks in part to the city’s wide spread of industries in different sectors, with particular strengths in science and technology, Nottingham is currently undergoing one of the most far-reaching, substantial and exciting development programmes taking place in any of the UK’s cities. Most importantly, ‘recession proof’ public sector partners are funding much of the current regeneration. While commercial development across the country is suffering from a lack of private investment, public investment is playing a crucial role in bringing forward key regeneration activity. Considering the sheer number of public sector projects across Nottingham – around £1 billion of public sector investment is in the pipeline over the next seven years, which will fund new schools, homes and transport – this will, in turn, attract private sector engagement and stimulate economic growth. The major regeneration projects that have been taking place over the past few years have been transforming the city centre and landscape. Now, the public sector projects are set to make an equal impact. For instance, to ensure all the secondary schools in Nottingham have 21st-century facilities, £300 million will be invested in new schools over the next seven years, with more city academies and Building Schools for the Future investment bringing Nottingham’s schools up to top-class standard. And the next phase of the pioneering NET tram system, backed by £300 million of government funds, dovetails into Nottingham’s ambitious regeneration plans for the railway station.

public sector Key players There are several key players involved in the city’s plans: Nottingham Regeneration Limited (NRL) is a pioneering public-private sector partnership, established in 1998 to tackle physical regeneration in Nottingham. Its partners include Nottingham City Council, East Midlands Development Agency (emda) and Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). NRL is taking the lead in delivering the regeneration of the city’s three regeneration zones – now allocated in the emerging Nottingham Local Plan. Working with partners in the surrounding districts, the company is also identifying opportunities in the wider conurbation. Meanwhile emda is working to bring forward a number of strategic projects of major significance to Nottingham and the wider area, and has been working closely with partners including Greater Nottingham Partnership (GNP) and Nottinghamshire City Council.

The Hub One of the most ambitious and impressive public-private funded proposals is the development of the multi-million pound project that will transform Nottingham’s railway station. “Transport has a key role in helping regional and national economies function,” explains Anthony Payne, emda’s land and development director. “Transport hubs play a catalytic role in regeneration by providing people with access to employment and educational opportunities, and businesses with access to both labour and markets. Nottingham Hub is an exciting project which will transform the Victorian station into a modern international gateway as well as act as a driver to bring forward a major regeneration scheme both in and around the station if it is given the go ahead. At the heart of the Southside regeneration zone, the project will improve links between the station and the city’s retail centre. The Hub also has regional significance. It will contribute to our overall vision of a flourishing region.” The Hub, which received a development grant of over £1.5 million in 2007, will inject new life into the surrounding area and place Nottingham firmly on the map as a key European business destination. Partners, including the city council and Network Rail, are now progressing the business case for the new station and to further develop the scheme’s design. The proposed changes to the station include: Significant new commercial development for mixed-use in and around the station including retail opportunities, restoring the Edwardian frontage into an attractive space where passengers will be able to wait in comfort, creating a new travel centre, toilets and passenger information points, building a new concourse directly connecting the station with Nottingham Express Transit Line One and constructing a new multi-storey car park. This is in addition to improving bus, cycle, pedestrian and taxi access around the station and upgrading the area’s environment. Moving the project forward is one of emda’s key priorities for Nottingham. The Hub masterplan will widen public transport choice, provide an attractive gateway to the city, conurbation and region to encourage inward investment and support Nottingham as a ‘core city’.

BDP COMMENT ON THE HUB Peter Jenkins, architect director at BDP, explains how the scheme will work: “The primary purpose of our scheme is to improve the function and perception of the station for users and operators alike, creating a world-class station facility which meets the needs and aspirations of current and future activities. “There will also be the addition of a new interchange aspect when the NET extends to the south, with a new station stop above Queens Road. Refurbishing and extending the station gives a sustainable long-term future for the complex, supported by the choice of materials and energy sources. “The new buildings are designed to complement, enhance and expand the current station complex. The aim is to preserve its special character while making improvements and careful changes that will ensure its future functionality.” The working relationship between all the various parties involved – including Nottingham City Council, Network Rail and East Midlands Trains – with the development of the station proposals has been ‘excellent’, according to Jenkins: “This team has given the project a forward momentum that keeps pushing the scheme towards completion,” he concludes.

Tram line extension Following the huge success of the Nottingham Express Transit, there are currently two planned extensions to the network. NET Phase Two is managed jointly by both the city and county council. There are two extensions currently in development – Chilwell via Queens Medical Centre (QMC) and Beeston, and Clifton via Wilford. The extension to NET will do more than just improve local transport; it will also create local employment opportunities and enhance the value of the surrounding land and property. Modern tram systems throughout the UK and Europe have consistently proven to encourage more investment and regeneration to the area. Councillor Jane Urquhart, portfolio holder for transport and area working, at Nottingham City Council says phase two will have a “significant impact on job creation, better transport links and the wider economy.” “The success of the existing tram infrastructure has demonstrated that investment in fixed transport links provides a focus for development and the regeneration and renewal of surrounding areas. NET Phase Two will provide access to over 1,800 workplaces in the area to which about 55,000 employees commute,” she explains. “At a time when the economy looks bleak and people are worried about job security, we need to do everything we can to encourage investment and job creation in the region. Not to build on the success of the existing NET Line One, which carries over 12 million passengers a year, would be incredibly short-sighted of us.”

Education led regeneration The city’s universities are also contributing to business activity in Nottingham. “Work started in November 2008 on the £4.5 million Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) Research and Applications Centre of Excellence (GRACE), which is due for completion by the end of 2009,” explains Professor Alan Dodson, pro-vice chancellor for environment, infrastructure and information services at the University of Nottingham. “Jointly funded by emda

A pioneering Science city The £12.5 million No.1 Nottingham Science Park building is the biggest development of its kind in Nottingham at over 4,000 sq m. The almost five hectare site is an

Nottingham 43

and the university, this will house the university’s Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy (IESSG), as well as providing facilities for interaction with industry to develop GNSS business activity in the region,” he says. “Also due for completion by spring 2010, is a new £4.5 million Institute of Population Health at Nottingham City Hospital, which is adjacent to the university’s existing clinical sciences building. This will bring together all the university’s public health work, co-located with the regional office of the Health Protection Agency.” Dodson outlines the university’s capital plans for the next three years, which include a new £5 million energy technologies building on the University of Nottingham Innovation Park; £17 million earmarked for two new buildings on University Park to support teaching and learning in arts and science and engineering plus a new £1.5 million sports pavilion at the university’s Highfields sports ground. This year will also mark the completion of the third of a cluster of low energy/carbon houses on University Park’s Green Close. Furthermore, as part of the creative energy homes project in the school of the built environment, two further experimental houses are due for completion in 2010. The University of Nottingham also recently completed an ambitious £30 million phase on its Jubilee Campus, which features three spectacular new buildings on a landscaped seven hectare site. Rising from the heart of these three new landmark buildings is Aspire, the tallest free standing piece of public art in the UK. Meanwhile, at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), £130 million is being invested into an estates regeneration programme that will make a powerful statement about the university’s role as a leading 21st century university. The centrepiece is a striking architectural scheme that will transform its historic Newton and Arkwright buildings and develop NTU into what it believes will be one of the finest city-centre campuses in the UK. “The Newton and Arkwright redevelopment is a prime example of how we are playing a key role in the drive to position Nottingham as one of Europe’s great cities,” explains Stephen Jackson, NTU’s chief financial and operations officer. “We are not only investing in the future of our staff and students, but we also make important contributions to the economic, cultural and social life of Nottinghamshire – the two are very much intertwined.” NTU’s two other campuses have also significantly benefited from an ambitious regeneration programme; projects include a £7 million state-of-the-art computing and informatics building at Clifton and the first East Midland’s veterinary nursing centre and animal unit opened last year at its Brackenhurst Campus. 

“Public sector investment is playing a crucial role in bringing forward key regeneration activity. Nottingham has £1 billion of public sector investment in the pipeline”

extension to the city’s existing science park, situated opposite the University of Nottingham. It was the first venture by Blueprint, a regional public-private partnership formed by emda, English Partnerships and Morley Fund Management’s Igloo Regeneration Fund. (Blueprint was created in May 2005 with a remit to focus on social and economic regeneration). It is a unique partnership – the investment, control, risk and profit are shared equally between the public and private sector. Designed for occupiers wanting suites of approximately 90sq m or more, it is ideal for firms who have gone through startup and are ready to grow, or inward investors. Analysts predict that businesses on the Nottingham Science Park will generate up to 1,000 jobs when at full capacity.


Opposite page top: Nottingham’s tram system. Opposite page bottom: The Hub. This page, from top: GRACE, University of Nottingham Innovation Park, No. 1 Nottingham Science Park.

BioCity, the UK’s largest bioscience incubation and innovation centre, is a good example of the way that emda works in partnership with Nottingham’s universities to encourage skills development and innovation. The result of collaboration between Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham and emda, BioCity has also received funding support from the DTI, ERDF and Greater Nottingham Partnership. With 51 companies housed to date, BioCity Nottingham recently opened its new Laurus Building, an awardwinning addition to the iconic bioscience campus. Laurus provides approximately 4,500sq m of grow-on office and laboratory facilities for companies seeking to expand and take advantage of Nottingham’s pre-eminent status as a Science City. At the official opening of the Laurus building, Steve Brown, deputy chairman of emda, which funded the development of the new building, said: “BioCity is an invaluable asset for the healthcare and bioscience sector in our region. The East Midlands and Nottingham in particular, is building an outstanding international reputation as a centre of excellence in this field and BioCity is at the very heart of this.”

public sector


Other key PUBLIC SECTOR projects Other key projects in Nottingham include the £13 million Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery, which includes funding of £2.8 million from emda and £5 million from Arts Council England. This will be the largest single gallery space in the East Midlands. The centre will promote excellence and innovation, developing a worldwide reputation. Designed by international architects Caruso St John, this iconic landmark is located at the entrance to Nottingham’s famous Lace Market. It will provide a number of large galleries, education and social spaces, a café bar and a performance area. Nottingham’s thriving cultural scene will also benefit from the £5.7 million refurbishment of Broadway Media Centre, which incorporates funding of £800,000 from emda and £2.2 million from Arts Council England; and the £5.8 million New Art Exchange, Nottingham’s first dedicated cultural facility for black contemporary arts which has benefited from £2.9 million Arts Council funding and £830,000 from emda. “Regeneration is the key to unlocking the potential of the region’s towns and cities. emda and its partners continue to support economic growth in Nottingham,” concludes Anthony Payne, emda’s land and development director. “We are committed to working on projects that build on the success of the city centre and the county and improve the city’s overall offer and competitiveness. emda will continue to support the city of Nottingham in its aspirations to attract further enterprise and investment, acknowledging its contribution to the wider region.” ❑

Above: Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery is one of the key projects currently under construction in the city.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the new national agency leading the delivery of homes and regeneration in England. HCA works locally, combining national targets and local ambitions, bringing together the public, private and voluntary sectors. It unites English Partnerships, the investment functions of the Housing Corporation, some delivery activities of Communities and Local Government (CLG) and incorporates the Academy for Sustainable Communities. Here we speak to Margaret Allen, HCA East Midlands regional director to find out what the HCA plans for Nottingham; “Our role is to create thriving places and affordable homes - to create opportunities for people to live, work and enjoy life in affordable and desirable places.   “In Nottingham our work is diverse, ranging from providing funding for affordable housing, and bringing brownfield land back into use, working with partners to develop their skills in community engagement. “Seven Nottingham schemes were recently announced in the Homebuy Direct initiative, making it easier for first-time buyers to secure borrowing. It will also help developers to weather the market

downturn – keeping business going and therefore protecting jobs. Nottingham will also share in £35 million through Growth Points – delivering long-term plans to increase house building to meet the growth needs of local communities. “Working with Derwent Living at the Embankment, £1.4 million HCA funding was secured to deliver an affordable housing scheme worth over £6 million. The 48 homes, from one-bedroom apartments to fourbedroom houses, are all available through part-buy, part-rent options.   “On the outskirts of the city, we are supporting innovation and revitalising a disused brownfield site, as a joint venture partner in the award winning Nottingham Science Park, instrumental in achieving Science City status for Nottingham. “With the assurance of previous investment practices, national support and local knowledge, the team at HCA are well placed to support sustainable regeneration in Nottingham, bringing together the right people at the right time to create a truly great place to live and work.”

“Regeneration is the key to unlocking the potential of the region’s towns and cities. These projects will build on the success of the city centre”

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City limits

Nottingham 47


Much of Nottingham’s regeneration is focused in the city centre but that isn’t all that is going on. There are plenty of projects to be found across the county, transforming the borough through improved transport networks, job creation and increased levels of housing. Alison Jones reports

Sutton in Ashfield





Newark & Sherwood


NOTTINGHAMSHIRE’S REGENERATION PROJECTS… The county’s newest business park, Markham Vale, has welcomed its first occupier. Industrial Ancillaries has moved into a 3,000sq m unit on the 80-hectare park, which offers industrial, office and warehouse space ranging in size from 279sq m to 92,900sq m. The developer, Henry Boot Developments, is committed to gaining a BREEAM Excellent rating and the buildings will have ‘green’ features such as solar panels and rainwater harvesting. The site is located beside the M1 and has a dedicated motorway junction, 29A, which opened in June 2008. Transport is set for a boost after government funding of £300 million has been secured for the extension to the south and west of the Nottingham Express Transit. Work on phase two will start in 2010 with trams running by 2013. The route will cover major business parks and residential areas, it is estimated it will create 11,800 new jobs. Several of Nottinghamshire’s former colliery sites are being regenerated including Bevercotes, where an 80hectare site is set to become a large scale distribution zone. A mixed-use




M Carlton




British Waterways Nottingham Waterside Ltd is a joint venture between British Waterways and Nottingham Regeneration Limited, set up to develop the Nottingham Waterside area over the next 20 years. General manager Caroline Killeavy Email: caroline.killeavy@britishwater Tel: 01636 704481


Coalfield Regeneration Trust An independent grant making organisation, established in 1999 to improve the quality of life in Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coalfield communities. East Midlands Region: Regional programme manager Peter Meadows Email: Tel: 01246 820 970


Radcliffe On Trent

Ruddington Keyworth


NOTTINGHAMSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL Corporate director of communities Steven Calvert Email: Tel: 0115 977 4513

emda East Midlands Development Agency Executive director of regeneration Diana Gilhespy Email: Tel: 0115 988 8300

WHOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S INVOLVEDâ&#x20AC;Ś


West Bridgford







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project for commercial use is planned for the 45-hectare site at Castlewood. And at Worksop a concrete beam manufacturing facility is being developed for Laing Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Rourke. A shining example of how to develop a former colliery site is Sherwood Energy Village, Ollerton. The village, which has succeeded in making sustainable development more acceptable, has recently become the relocation destination for over 500 Nottingham County Council employees. The site offers offices, commercial space and 200 new energy efficient homes. Sherwood Business Park at Annesley is soon to become home to a government agency, which has let 4,000sq m of office space. The park is located close to the M1 (junction 27) and already has several big-name occupiers including, Boots, Eon, RollsRoyce and White Young Green. Newarkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent, and successful, bid for Housing Growth Point status has resulted in a series of proposed commercial and residential projects. The recently completed Mansfield Ashfield Regeneration Route (MARR) has led to the creation of a number of employment sites such as Prologis Mansfieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s distribution park, further development of Ransomwood and the expansion of Sherwood Oaks and also the rebuild and expansion of West Notts College. The countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s already excellent tourist offer will be boosted by the proposed new Robin Hood visitor centre at Sherwood Park to replace the current centre, which welcomes 400,000 visitors a year.

• • •

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It is important for a city to have aspirations. Few are more aspiring than Nottingham, which is setting its sights on the world’s stage. Charlotte Goodworth investigates

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Nottingham 51

overseas links

World domination might be taking it a bit far but in the past three years Nottingham has opened a business development office in China, began forging economic links with a city in the US and attracted investment and interest from across the globe. Nottingham City Council and its inward investment team, Invest in Nottingham, decided in 2006 to review their approach to sustainable development to attract more investment from overseas and to boost trading opportunities for local businesses. They focused on the city’s strengths, aiming to

promote these nationally and internationally and, to maximise efficiency, align their activities abroad with local organisations carrying out similar work. Simon Green, director of sustainable development at Nottingham City Council, explains: “Nottingham is already the capital of the East Midlands and a core city. We’re trying to go one step further to be recognised as a European city of distinction. We have the ability to put in place quality infrastructure, attract key institutions and develop business opportunities.” Rather than deploying expensive, ➔ elaborate and


“The levels of investment in new infrastrucure in China are staggering and we’ve got access to that”

When the University of Nottingham first opened its Chinese campus in Ningbo it had just 256 students; now more than 4,000 students have enrolled.

Invest in Nottingham Day on 19 March will highlight opportunities for potential investors in the city.

“Nottingham was keen to learn from Karlsruhe, where a tram system has been running since 1992”


broad marketing campaigns, Nottingham builds on existing international relations and puts a strong economic slant on them. The first of its three alliances was with Karlsruhe in Germany, a city with which Nottingham had previous links. Both cities have a tram system (Nottingham was keen to learn from Karlsruhe where a tram system has been running since 1992) and have shared knowledge on cluster developments, especially of high-tech industries. The second major international relationship to blossom recently is that with Ningbo in China. When the University of Nottingham opened a campus in Ningbo in 2006 it was the first of its kind. The first intake was just 256 students but now more than 4,000 students have enrolled. Vice chancellor David Greenaway says: “International links are absolutely fundamental. Particularly our links with China which, encouragingly, will be greater than it is now after the current economic crisis when growth

resumes. It’s a gigantic country and not many UK cities are really known there. Because of what we’re doing there Nottingham is really well known and we need to take advantage of that to promote more business partnerships. There are significant opportunities for locally based businesses to use our presence there to attract inward investment.” To that end Nottingham City Council opened up a business development office on the Ningbo campus in 2007, which is being used as a point of entry for Nottingham and East Midlands businesses into the Chinese market. As Green explains, this office is also a way of bringing investment into Nottingham. “We’re seeking Chinese investment back into England and in particular Nottingham, especially around property and financial services,” he says. “You might think the bubble has burst but there is still long-term investment to be made by Chinese companies abroad. China is very cash rich, even now.



â&#x153;&#x2C6; KARLSRUHE



â&#x20AC;&#x153;The alliance allows us to share information and best practice to start-up companiesâ&#x20AC;? Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still going to be seeing a 5% growth next year so they want somewhere to invest all this cash â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and investing it in Nottingham to me makes complete sense. So the relationship with Ningbo is seen as a twoway flow.â&#x20AC;? The link is not intended to bring cheap Chinese goods into the UK, which would threaten UK jobs. Instead, local firms are picking up orders as a result of the business development office and trade missions. Nottingham was also eager to organise knowledge transfer with China, and the University of Nottingham has become involved with Innovation China UK, a research partnership between 20 academic institutions in China and five British universities. Chris Rudd, pro-vice chancellor at the University of Nottingham, explains: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re one of five partner universities from a consortium on the UK side, the China side is completely open. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got ÂŁ5 million of funding for work between the UK and Chinese

partners. The project is fairly unique. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not doing necessarily original research but weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re taking something from the lab and moving it on to the stage where itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commercially viable. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re opening up a massive market and largely untapped base of skill and infrastructure which is not easily accessible if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in the West. The levels of investment in building new infrastructure in China is staggering and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got access to that. This is hugely valuable, not just to the university but commercial and industrial partners.â&#x20AC;? One country with which Nottingham previously had no strong formal links is the US and this was where the council set its sights for its third international alliance. Richmond in Virginia has a similar heritage to Nottingham, having a strong industrial history, evolving more recently into a centre for biotechnology and financial services. Richmond is home to the headquarters for financial services company Capital One, whose UK base is Nottingham. It seemed the ideal

The councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s review of its transport offer has been wholesale. The need to upgrade the train station and improve rail services are the only sticking points.

Nottinghamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ambitions to become World Design Capital 2012 will showcase the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strong creative sector.

â&#x17E;&#x201D; â&#x17E;&#x201D;


place to which Nottingham might align itself. “The alliance allows us to share information and best practices to start-up companies and incubator sites,” says Glenn Crocker, CEO at BioCity Nottingham. “Also establishing collaborations between the businesses at BioCity and the Biotechnology Centre in Virginia will aid closer working relationships. A lot of the companies at BioCity are looking to do business in America and it helps to have someone to guide you through the process and make introductions. We are also able to provide a base for the Americans when meeting clients, it is definitely a two way thing.” Indeed, last year, the authorities of both cities signed a memorandum of understanding to encourage mutually beneficial business relationships between companies in the two countries. Both cities agreed to carry out joint marketing in Europe and the US. Already, the visit is bearing fruit. Nottingham’s BioCity and the Biotechnology Centre in Virginia have agreed to co-locate firms in each other’s incubators, offering a means of expansion in and entry to new markets, which could start within the next 12 months. Another relationship that was struck up as a direct result of the Richmond visit is that between Nottingham Trent University and the Virginia Commonwealth University. Both institutions have been developing a similar course offer, in which students can combine business, design and engineering, and tackle a vocational problem in their fourth year that is relevant to the marketplace. This means that students will graduate with a single degree giving them an understanding of several disciplines. Before Nottingham sets its sights on yet another country alliance, the city is keen to increase its profile and to start shouting about its selling points: two highly regarded universities; science city status; being a core city; a top-10 retail centre; an international centre for financial services; fast transport links to London and Europe; a local economy employing more than 300,000 people; and three million people living within an hour’s drive of the city. Hosting international events such as the Science City Summit, GameCity and UKSPA Conference in 2008 have put Nottingham under the international spotlight. The city’s billion pound development opportunities are intended to turn Nottingham into one of Britain’s most attractive cities to its residents, visitors and

potential investors. Ambitions for the city are now focused on the creative side, as Green explains: “We’ve got a goal to become World Design Capital in 2012. It is another of our global ambitions highlighting what we have on offer here. The strength of Nottingham’s design fraternity is so broad it covers film, fashion, built environment and computerised games. In terms of the city’s ability to raise its profile, we do have a lot, from Speedo to Paul Smith. Not a lot of people know that and that’s the point – we’re building on these internationally renowned brands.” Nottingham has set out its comprehensive plans for overseas development in its 2008-2011 International Strategy. The document states: “Our shared vision is for a Nottingham as an international city of distinction; highly respected as a centre for culture, education and enterprise, whose citizens not only have global ambitions but also have the opportunities to realise them”. This vision was well publicised and supported at last year’s MIPIM property trade event in France, where Nottingham made crucial links with potential developers and investors from home and abroad. An innovative means of stimulating interest in the city’s development is Invest in Nottingham Day, on 19 March 2009. The event, co-ordinated by Invest in Nottingham, will showcase the opportunities that potential investors, developers and decision-makers can find in the city. Invest in Nottingham Day is intended to highlight the city’s ambition to become a global economic power, capable of competing with cities not just within the UK but globally. As George Cowcher, chief executive at Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce puts it: “Nottingham has worked hard on its overseas links. This is an outward looking city of great significance to the UK, as a core city it is vital to establish relationships with overseas countries.” ❑

“Our vision is for Nottingham as an international city of distinction; highly respected as a centre for culture, education and enterprise”

Nottingham #2  

Investment and regeneration in Nottingham, issue 2, published February 2009