With the lockdown confirmed to last for at least another 3 weeks, NPS is still fully committed to championing our great city and bringing you the stories of our leaders in our hugely popular “Why Nottingham” series.
1. What first attracted you to Nottingham?
The simple answer is I am Nottingham born and bred. I moved away but was drawn back by family and friends and came to appreciate the town more. Working in the town for me was great as I could quickly nip out on lunch and get things from the shops and the everyday throng of a large town was always exciting when I first started out.
2. When did you first start to work in the City?
My first work in the City was for the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust in the Shenton Office back in 2006. I spent 5 happy years there, despite a lot of this being troubled by construction related traffic jams during the Tram Construction as my main route was out via the Tennis Centre. I opted to cycle as much as I could and enjoyed the canal towpath from Beeston but the nature of my job meant I couldn’t always do this and a car was an unfortunate necessity.
3. How has it changed during your time here?
I’ve noticed over time the mergence of far more bars and restaurants and it has become more of a place for food and entertainment like with many cities. The Broadmarsh centre is in desperate need of its revival and I look forward to seeing that complete, as prior to its redevelopment that part of town had lost a lot of its character. Nottingham normally stood out against our local rivals for shopping but in recent years I’ve found myself going elsewhere and resorting more and more to online.
4. What is/are the biggest challenges we face as city compared to our rivals?
Simply put, for the workers, its Transport and commuter links. Whilst I appreciate a great deal of money was spent on the tram, this service limited areas. I used to get the train in but the infrequency of the local commuter lines is appalling. Other towns with a local metro system are far better at getting commuters in and out. The train service from Long Eaton – Attenborough and Beeston, for me, was poor. Limited trains, no dedicated train and over-crowded. When you come from the west you have three options, A52, A453 and A610. There are some smaller routes but these soon clog up and the traffic on the main roads at times is unbearable at rush hour.
5. How long is your commute into the city and what is your method of transport?
The simple truth is that I no longer work in the City Centre because of its accessibility. I appreciate fully that the move to greener society means we need to have greater emphasis on people in our cities and not the car. In many ways I think this is great but the simple fact is, many industries, including my own, need the car to get to client sites. The current inner city road network does not facilitate that and as it stands we cannot place ourselves in a city centre which is a real shame. My commute is now 15 minutes on smaller roads outside the town and it’s a dream. Sometimes it could take me 45 minutes to an hour in the car to do a 3-4 mile journey at rush hour in Nottingham.
6. Where are your favourite places to eat and drink for business and leisure time?
I’d struggle to pin point precise locations as the city benefits from a vast array of different options depending on your mood. With friends there are great options in places like Olde Trip or more lively places like Penny Lane and then with the family or more serious clients we’re really lucky as there are so many places to suit all tastes and dietary requirements.
7. Finally, if you had a blank canvas, what would you like to see happen in the next 12 months?
I’ve personally been really lucky to work on the Nottingham Castle regeneration scheme and more recently the NFFC new stand developments and I cannot wait to see both projects when they’re up and running as I think both will be a real boost for the city. For me, it would have to be improved transport links but utilising the existing infrastructure we have in place by increasing train capacity and frequency to the city from its suburbs to reduce congestion and pollution. I think more could be done to exploit the water front areas and make them more of a focal attraction with better placement of restaurants and bars and in the city centre I firmly believe we need to be planting more trees and green walls. The benefits on pollution and peoples mental health is proven so why aren’t we doing more of this.