Council looks to Texas and Berlin for ideas as visitors to Nottingham drop due to work from home

Fears that residents will continue to work from home in the future due to Covid-19 and spend less time in the city center must be dispelled.

Nottingham City Council is to launch an economic recovery and renewal plan on how the city prepares to operate in a post-Covid world.

One of the main aims of the plan is to focus on “creativity and culture” to attract people to the city, as more and more people work from home and not in office buildings.

The council says it wants to learn from global cities such as Austin, Texas, United States and Berlin, Germany, which have successfully created a “strong creative economy”.

The local authority wants to deliver “an ambitious ten-year development plan” to make the city “a national and international center for creative industries”.

The Labour-led authority said work had already been carried out, including a £30million transformation plan for Nottingham Castle to make it a “major tourist attraction”.

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Other plans include the opening of a new central library in the Broadmarsh car park and the development of the bus station which has already been built but still needs around £10million to fit out.

It also plans to make the library a creative hub offering events, gallery and exhibition space as well as a workspace for creative businesses by 2023.

Street art will also be at the forefront of his plans, celebrating “local rebels and pioneers”.

The council says: “We will create a powerful new identity for the city and a new narrative of Nottingham’s history highlighting the city as a hotbed of innovators and pioneers.

“Nottingham has its history and knows its history well but has never fully embraced it. We will present that history in a way that is compelling and truly rooted in Nottingham, building on the past but also projecting it forward as a tool for the future.

Other plans include continuing to transform the former Broadmarsh shopping center into a mixed-use facility featuring new homes and green space, with better access to the Nottingham Caves.

The council also aims to become the UK’s first carbon neutral city by 2028 and provide community employment support to help 1,000 disadvantaged unemployed people each year.

This plan has been developed by the Nottingham Growth Board – a partnership of some of Nottingham’s leading businesses, educational establishments and public sector organisations.

Board Chair Nick Ebbs, Board Leader Cllr David Mellen and Cllr Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Skills, Growth and Economic Development wrote the plan.

They say: “Before the first Covid lockdown in March 2020, there was a growing sense that Nottingham was a city whose time had come.

“The South of the City was buzzing with a major £2billion development and investment pipeline alongside the untapped potential of the Island district.

“We had set our sights on Nottingham being the most livable city center in the UK and we set out plans to become the UK’s first carbon neutral city by 2028.

“The Covid pandemic has accelerated existing trends and presented us with new challenges that have forced us to pause and rethink our plans.

“We don’t yet know how permanent the ‘work from home revolution’ will be. The transition to online retailing has accelerated and the face of the high street is likely to be changed forever.

“With the shift to working from home, we have seen a resurgence of local neighborhoods as people have avoided going to city centers.

“We’re starting to see the emergence of a new hybrid of remote working mixed with less frequent visits to downtown workplaces, and so we need to rethink the relationship between where people live, work and have fun in the city – not just in the city center, but in our neighborhoods too.

The council’s board will meet on Tuesday January 18 to formally adopt Nottingham’s economic recovery and renewal plan.

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