“ Collin Street, Nottingham, NG1 7EQ. „
I have lived in Nottinghamshire all my life so the Broad Marsh Shopping Centre has been there and I have seen so many changes throughout the years and unfortunately not for the best.
Nottingham has two indoor shopping centres in the city centre, the Broad Marsh and the Victoria Centre, I would say the Victoria Centre is the more popular of the two, bigger and generally busier. However, it too does have it's faults and I shall probably tie in some of these with my Broad Marsh review.
The Broad Marsh is situated right next to Nottingham Bus Station and is two storeys tall with a car park. Car Parking prices are reasonable. Upon entering from the Bus Station end you are greeted with a Arcade store and a Budgens cheap frozen food shop. Not really ideal for first time visitors is it? There are several well known High Street shops in the shopping centre, Wilkinsons, Argos, Boots (although this is a mini store), B.H.S and also a lot of basic 'cheap' stores. The lighting also doesn't do the Broad Marsh any favours, it just gives off a 'mucky' vibe.
The Broad Marsh was once a hive of activity with plenty of shoppers but these days you can totally feel the lack of trade/customers. There used to be stalls (Smoothie Carts, Donut Makers etc) but these have gone too. Nowadays all you see in LoveFilm, Gold Sellers and Anti-Smoking gadgets.
I also think both The Broad Marsh and Victoria Centre are so outdated and dirty. I often visit other City Indoor Centres (Trafford, Meadowhall, Bullring) and notice that although these are probably more busier than the Nottingham Centres, they are also much more modern and and cleaner. It's a shame because I love Nottingham but it is so far behind the other cities that it makes me want to move away from here and do my shopping somewhere else.
Nottingham city centre has two shopping centres the Victoria Centre at the North of the city and the Broadmarsh centre to the South. The Broadmash centre was opened in 1972 and underwent its last refurbishment in 1988. The centre has been earmarked for modernisation for the last few years but with the economic downturn and problems with planning permission this work has barley started which means that the centre has become quite tired looking and many of the shops inside have closed or have been taken over by temporary or less favourable stores.
The shopping centre currently has spaces for 55 stores of various sizes. Currently as I stated some of the stores have closed about the best stores that the centre has to offer is Argos, Boots, BHS, Wilkinson's, Ernest Jones and Dorothy Perkins. At the present time the only part of the centre which has been modernised is some of the stores leading down to one of the main entrances to the centre.
The centre is spread over two floors with lift or escalator access, the centre has four different entrances and a large car pack attached to side of the centre. It also has great transport links by bus and train. Inside the centre you can find a customer service desk where you can ask for information about the centre and also hire children's cars which kids can sit in to allow there parents to push them around the centre which is a bit more fun for them than there pushchair which can be left at the info point until you return the push car. You can also find toilets and baby changing facilities located on the upper floor of the centre which are fairly basic but generally kept clean and tidy.
Personally I think it is a shame that the shopping centre has been left for so long without modernisation. The Broadmarsh is on a large prime retail site with great transport links within a short walk of the centre. The train station is located only two minutes away and the bus station attached to the shopping centre can bring locals straight to the centre and is also the bus station for the National Express services serving Nottingham.
The centre is also located close the main tourist attractions including Nottingham Castle and the historic lace market area which not only has some independent shops but also some nice bars and restaurants. One of the things that the Broadmarsh centre has always lacked is a food hall section. I have noticed that many other cities shopping centres that I have visited have a section with different eateries and refreshment outlets which allows you stay in the same centre to shop and eat which is very convenient. There is a couple of cafes in the centre and a gregg's bakery but it is not very inspirational when it comes to food and drink.
Overall the Broadmarsh shopping centre is very dated and in desperate need of modernisation not only to improve the centre but also the pull of outside shoppers to the city. I really hope that the work does get carried out soon as I think the site has great potential to become a large modern shopping centre to give locals and visitors a great shopping experience and to put Nottingham back on the map as great shopping location.
Therea are two major shopping malls in Nottingham, Victoria Centre, and the Broadmarsh Centre .
Located in the south of the city, close to tram and train stations, the Broadmarsh Centre was originally built on an area of boggy ground in the city, which explains the name . During construction, several cave networks were unearthed, and due to campaigning from local residents, were preseverved under the centre, rather than destroyed. In recent years, these have been opened up as a cave tour (more about that later).
The Broadmarsh centre has taxi ranks, bus stops, and tram routes right outside, with the train station a mere 5 minutes walk away . Housed within the centre is Nottingham Coach station - where most Coach services to Nottingham terminate . Disabled access to the centre is good, with all entrances being easily wheelchair accessible, and lifts throughout the centre make getting around easily .
Before I get onto the shops, theres a couple of other things about the centre that make it one of my favourite places to shop . As many of you know, I have a 5 year old daughter, and any one of you with kids will have had them wailing about how bored they are at some point or other on a shopping trip . The Broadmarsh Centre has a couple of cool things to combat this- firstly, a large FREE soft play area on the ground floor . Children do need to be supervised here, but if you're shopping with a partner, its always handy to drop them and the sprogs off, and take yourself off for a bit of peace and quiet .
Another nifty kiddy friendly feature is the kiddy cars - big red plastic cars with shopping baskets attached that can be hired (for free, but requiring proof of ID) and can be taken anywhere in the shopping centre, and anywhere in Nottingham . Great for tired little feet, and they even have some double seaters . They don't, however, have any facility for storing pushchairs, so if you drive in, perhaps a good idea to leave the buggy in the boot.
Many of the shops in the Broadmarsh centre are really nothing out of the ordinary - you'll see them in shopping centres up and down the country - Argos, Greggs, Bhs, Boots, H&M, a JD Sports, Wilkinson, and Ethel Austin etc . However, there are a few stores that stand out as worth a particular visit, and there are also several 'market style' stalls throughout the centre, a couple of these, particularly the two selling unusual chinese and japanese gifts, being well worth a look .
A couple of my favourite stores within the centre :
Revolution - a shop described by my parents as a 'hippy shop', it sells a wide range of candles, incense, brightly coloured cushions, unusual asian ornaments, crystals, and much more .
Also worth visiting is the Model Zone - especially for those into racing cars, train sets, and such things . I love looking in here , I buy a lot of kits for my dad!
One of the best things to do in the Broadmarsh Centre though, is to take a tour of the caves preserved beneath the centre . Don your walkman style tour guide, and explore air raid shelters, slum buildings, and medieval tanneries (complete with foul smell!) and perhaps buy a souvenir or two . Its a short tour, taking less than an hour, but its fun .
If you need something to eat in the centre, there are several cafes, but sadly nothing too unique . Wimpys, Delice de France, BB's coffee and muffins. However, a few minutes away from the centre towards the train station are some excellent family friendly pubs serving good food .
Toilet facilities are good - spacious and clean, with a great Family room, which contains child sized toilets, comfy chairs for breastfeeding, a microwave, magazines, and a playpen.
There are plans to extensively redevelop the centre - demolishing the ugly old grey 70's building, and making it more of a street based shopping area, with glass roofs and an open feel . There are plans for rooftop cafes overlooking the city, and the plans all do seem pretty good .
Overall, although the centre does lack original shops somewhat, it's an excellent place to start a shopping trip with the kids - park nearby, hire a kiddie car, and then head of into the much wider and much more varied areas of Nottingham .
Overall, I give the Broadmarsh Centre 4 stars, mainly for is great services for families, its great transport links, and the fact that theres so many shops all in one place . One star off for the lack of 'one off' type stores, but hopefully after the redevelopment we can look forward to much more variety inside the centre .
The Broadmarsh shopping centre has always been thought of as the little brother in Nottingham as the Victoria Centre has tended to dominate shopping in the City. However this is now all going to change. The Broadmarsh centre has been bought by the international retail developers Westfield Shoppingtowns. Westfield are an Australian company and this is their first venture into Europe and it looks like it is going to be a big one. The Broadmarsh centre is already big, but it is now planned to double the size of the centre within the next five years. Currently the two level centre has over 90 shops including a very large Alders departmental store. There is a large variety of shops which include all the normal types of shops that you would expect in such a mall. Some time ago there was a Sainburys supermarket in the centre, but now there is no supermarket which is probably the biggest omission in the centre. There is no specific food court area, but around the centre there are a number of food outlets and in a sunken area at one end of the mall is the large Delifrance Café. Built into the centre is Nottingham’s largest bus station, but this is to be relocated when the centre is redeveloped. Adjacent to the centre is a very large multi-storey car park, but at £1 per hour it is certainly not the cheapest place to park. At one end of the centre is the entrance to the very popular tourist attraction “The Caves of Nottingham”. I have never been in these caves, but perhaps that may be the subject of a future opinion. For such a large centre there is a distinct lack of toilets. There are some hidden away up a staircase from the upper level and some at the bus station, apart from that there are no others. I hope this is something that will be rectified in the redevelopment. Since Westfield has taken over the centre there have already been a number of changes to liven up the shopping experience. The
walkways in the malls used to be very open and bland, but now they have a collection of very interesting up-market stalls selling unusual gifts and craft products. Seating has been introduced into the centre for the first time and these are like garden benches that give a very relaxed feel for the weary shopper. The influence of Westfield has already started to improve the centre and I think the next few years will be really interesting to see how the mall is developed. Watch this space!