Our Easter edition of our Why Nottingham series, features Jude Weston, Associate Director at commercial property experts, NG Chartered Surveyors.
When did you first start to work in Nottingham?
I have always worked in and around the city and county but back in December 2018 when I joined NG was when I started to call Nottingham home, at least from a work perspective.
Since moving to work here I’ve been working in areas of the city I haven’t ventured into before, appreciating the mix and layout and how things are fitting together. In fact you’ll often catch me wandering around in my lunch hour seeing what’s going on – and looking up!
There are so many beautiful properties, often not noticed from the ground. The construction and conservation of buildings has always fascinated me. Areas like the Lace Market and the quirky buildings accessed via narrow entrances in Hockley (often leading to a fantastic eatery) are my favourites to explore.
What first attracted you to the city?
As a Derby born and bred gal (not sure I can get away with that post-35 anymore), Nottingham has quite often been referred to as the ‘dark side’, but it has always had a special place for me. I attended Nottingham Trent University and completed my Real Estate Management course in the early noughties, and have managed commercial properties for a number of years in the ‘Shire, since this time.
NTU’s reputation and facilities spoke for themselves, when it comes to property it is a national leading university, even at that time (not divulging exactly when it was that I left!) the city had great resources and opportunities for moving into the property world and forging new contacts.
How has it changed during your time here?
Since being based back in the city there have been some big announcements for ambitious projects in terms of office development which is always welcome, whilst the Broadmarsh saga never seems to have been out of the headlines over the years.
It doesn’t feel like much has changed yet but there is hopefully some momentum building now which is great because we cannot afford to get too far rival cities.
What is/are the biggest challenges we face as a city compared with our regional “rivals” and nationally?
Speaking from the other side of the A52, Derby is a very different city. It is smaller scale but holds its own on the regional platform, particularly as an employer for all things transport related – the heritage of the railway in particular is something Derbieans are very proud of.
Its development over the past 10 years have brought a fresh perspective on the city, there is still lots of work to be done and challenges to overcome but as a home city the future is exciting. Nottingham is in my view ahead of its neighbour, but there are still challenges and opportunities to be had, travel and transport into the city continue to be a challenge.
How long is your daily commute and how do you get into the city?
30/40 mins by car as I need the flexibility to visit the various sites and properties in our management portfolio. Public transport is getting better for sure but for me it isn’t viable just yet.
What are your favourite places to eat and drink for business and pleasure?
Mowgli is just fantastic, the food at Ottar at Nottingham Contemporary is delicious and any independent coffee houses for business and pleasure – I really like The Speciality Coffee Shop.
Finally, if you had a blank canvas, what would you like to see happen in the next 12 months?
A dynamic heads together brainstorming session with both the public and private sectors to see how transport into Nottingham can be improved. With HS2 on its way, other major cities in the UK will become more and more accessible. We need to ensure we retain talent in the city, as well as continuing to encourage students, workers and visitors to live, work and play here.