The Island Quarter will create a “new city within a city” and represents an opportunity unlike any other in the UK, according to the developer behind the major scheme.
Robert Ware, chief executive of The Conygar Investment Company, says that work on the 36-acre site is progressing at pace, with the first phase of the development set to open to the public in early next summer.
The developer also confirmed that the scheme has been included in Nottingham City Council’s bid for the Levelling Up Fund, which could potentially provide significant funding for some of the infrastructure works required to unlock areas of the site.
Ware said: “We’re very pleased with the progress of work on the site’s first phase, Canal Turn. There are very few cleared central sites in major European cities with this potential to create and curate an entire community and, when you combine that with the fact that Nottingham has one of the youngest demographics in the UK, you can see why we are so excited by the scale of the opportunity and what it can bring to the city.”
Once complete, Canal Turn will bring a new three-storey restaurant, bar and exhibition space to the city’s waterfront, as well as a canalside plaza and outdoor stage for events.
Planning applications have been submitted for a striking cohesive-use building incorporating hotels, rental apartments and office space, which will sit adjacent to Canal Turn and also a purpose-built 702-bed student accommodation project, situated on the Manvers Street side of the vast site. With designs developing for other projects on site, the overall plan for the entire site are proceeding apace.
Ware said: “The Island Quarter is a massive opportunity for Nottingham – the city has an ambitious regeneration strategy and our site will bring 4,500 jobs to support that, as well as millions of pounds of inward investment into the city.
“The student accommodation aspect of the scheme is particularly important. The city council has recently highlighted the potential 7,000 shortfall in student beds over the coming years, which illustrates both the draw of Nottingham and the scale of the need for purpose-built student spaces, allowing existing student accommodation to revert to family housing.
To help accelerate the development’s progress, The Island Quarter has been included in the city council’s Levelling Up Fund bid, which is designed support ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects that will boost local economies.
Ware said: “While we already have investment in place to support the development of the various phases that make up the site, the Levelling Up Fund allows us to accelerate work on-site so that Nottingham can make the most of the economic benefits of The Island Quarter as quickly as possible.
“There are major infrastructure works that need to take place on-site to enable this, and grant funding will mean that this can take place immediately and, crucially, speed up delivery.
“We are in a prime position for the grant funding because we are already on-site and can guarantee we will use the funds immediately to show real results”
The site will also help support the city’s ambitious climate targets, bringing high-performing, environmentally friendly buildings and improved green-blue infrastructure with a focus on sustainable and recycled building materials.
Ware said: “It’s also important to make clear that this won’t be a concrete jungle. We want to introduce beautiful, open green spaces for people to relax and enjoy, as well as reimagining the waterfront overlooking the canal and bringing to life a neglected part of Nottingham.
“The Island Quarter will be a new city within a city, complementing the best Nottingham already has to offer with its own unique proposition.”