Social distancing policies might be curtailing face to face meetings and networking events, but that hasn’t stopped NPS from championing this great City and sharing the stories of its leaders.
Q1: When did you first start to work in Nottingham?
I’m a Nottingham girl through and through. It’s where my heart is. My first job in the city goes back to 1997 when I was a Deputy Operations Managers at the Rutland Square Hotel, now the St James Hotel.
Apart from a few years working in both regional and national roles, I’ve always worked here as I think it is a great City. My previous roles have been at Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, Nottingham Racecourse, Notts County FC and now at The Nottinghamshire Golf & Country Club.
Q2: What first attracted you to the city?
I’m a passionate sports fan, so this has underpinned my drive and ambition within the sports and leisure sector. We are very fortunate in Nottingham to have such a booming sports and leisure industry thanks to the professional teams and calibre of venue that we have here.
When you consider aside from the stunning venue in which I spend my current working life, we have both football teams, a world class cricket venue, a watersports centre, a national ice arena, horse racing venue, a dog track, a tennis centre and Sherwood Forest, I think sometimes we take it for granted, the calibre of venue we have, all within close proximity of each other. And that’s without mentioning the championship golf courses in the County that also attract major qualifying events and championships.
Q3: How has it changed during your time here?
I remember a time when Nottingham was known for its retail offering. You could walk from Victoria Centre all the way to Broadmarsh and enjoy a great selection of shopping outlets. Sadly though, this has all too quickly disappeared for my liking and I no longer enjoy walking along the High Street to see all the empty shops.
I’m really intrigued to see what impact the new development of Broadmarsh has on the retail market in Nottingham. Fingers crossed we will start to see footfall improve, and Nottingham can become the great retail city it once was.
The rise in the status and reputation of our two now world class Universities has also been great to witness, especially Trent Polytechnic, which is now obviously Nottingham Trent University. They are both great ambassadors for attracting students to the city and long may that continue. We now need to make a better job of keeping them in the area.
Q4: What is/are the biggest challenges we face as a city compared with our regional “rivals” and nationally
For a long time, I’ve always thought Nottingham has been misunderstood. Too long has our association with gun and knife crime overshadowed some of the other great things that are renowned for in the city.
On a regional level, I really don’t see either Derby or Leicester as rivals. Instead I view them as partners that we should be collaborating alongside in order to bring inward investment to the East Midlands as a whole.
Schemes like the Midlands Engine Investment Fund are doing a great job in providing local businesses with much needed finance to help drive growth within the region. To have prominent figures like Sir John Peace championing its cause can only been seen as a good thing too.
In terms of Sir John I had the absolute pleasure on being on a project with him in 2018, to have such an inspirational leader as our Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire championing Nottingham as a city most definitely heightened my appreciation for not only our great city however the diversity within it.
The contrast between our two main councils at times for me causes blurred lines in terms of the ability to support innovation and cultural projects across the city aligned to budget restrictions. Engagement at times can appear at different levels.
I am, however, a firm believer in the amalgamation of our councils on key projects, as I see huge benefits in streamlining our approach to marketing Nottingham, which would operate under one budget.
Nottingham has something for everyone, and I think that is something that we should be shouting from the rooftops to the outside world. There needs to be a cohesive strategy and pot of money to promote our county as a whole!
Q5: How long is your daily commute and how do you get into the city?
I currently live in Kegworth, so it currently takes me 35 minutes to travel into the city. The A453 was the best infrastructure change ever!
Q6: What are your favourite places to eat and drink for business and pleasure?
Apart from The Nottinghamshire which has a fantastic food offering (trying not to show bias), My first choice without a doubt is Piccolinos, lunch or dinner. I’ve always been a huge fan of the concept of the Cosy Club having eaten in the Bristol and Stamford restaurants, so I was very excited when the Cosy Club recently arrived and opened in Nottingham. It’s also great to see that magnificent building back in action.
Q7: Finally, if you had a blank canvas, what would you like to see happen in the next 12 months?
Firstly, that the UK makes a swift recovery from the Coronavirus outbreak which has affected so many businesses, and that we can resume business as usual within as short a time frame as possible.
Then I’d love to see Broadmarsh finally finished, so that as mentioned previously we start to see a buzzing high street again. Although I’m unsure as to how the dynamics of two shopping centres in close proximity of each other is going to work.
From a sporting standpoint, I would love to see the Ashes back at Trent Bridge. I was lucky enough to be involved in the Ashes match at Trent Bridge back in 2005 and I would love to see a sporting event of that magnitude return toNottingham.
I would also love to see the reopening of Clifton Bridge in a timely manner. Prior to the Corona outbreak, the closure caused chaos for Nottingham’s road users travelling to and from work. I for one would be very interested in exploring plans to build another bridge over the River Trent, so that we aren’t crippled, should anything like this happen again. Possible sites could include linking Radcliffe On Trent to the Colwick Loop Road, or potentially a new bridge linking Barton in Fabis to Long Eaton.