A World Class Nottingham
Nottingham builds on its world class ambition at the One Nottingham World Class Forum
What does it mean to be a 'world class city'? That was the question posed to an audience at a One Nottingham event at Antenna Media Centre on Friday 23 March.
Speakers were Nottingham North MP, Graham Allen; Craig Chettle from Confetti Media; Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club Chief Executive Derek Brewer, and Professor Yvonne Barnett from Nottingham Trent University. Catherine Mulligan from the University of Nottingham spoke on Smart Cities and Dr Glenn Crocker on the achievements of BioCity, outlining Nottingham's current successes. Councillor Graham Chapman and John Yarham from Nottingham City Council outlined the current consultation and ideas behind the Nottingham Growth Plan.
The city has much to be proud of and to build on if it is to compete with the best cities in the world.
"World class" can mean different things to different people and Nottingham can rightly boast some world class offers including its tram system and the iconic Trent Bridge cricket ground. Having secured the next two Ashes series will bring in up to £30m to the local economy, and expose the city to a worldwide TV audience. Nottingham's universities are world class too, attracting students from all over the world to study there.
As Nottingham competes with other world leading cities in the future, the city will focus on three key areas. Much effort is being put into ensuring that Nottingham is:
1. An international city of science, knowledge and creativity - driving enterprise and wealth creation for all.
2.A distinctive European destination which offers residents and visitors alike an attractive city with a friendly face, vibrant culture and leisure opportunities.
3. A world class city of sport hosting a programme of international sporting events, underpinning a thriving local sports scene.
Cllr David Mellen, Chair of One Nottingham, says: "Our determination to be a world class city is driven by our desire to eradicate poverty in Nottingham. The city has much to be proud of and there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that Nottingham is well on its way to being recognised as a world class city. Indeed, some people believe that we already are world class. Nottingham is a top six UK shopping destination; the city boasts a range of national and international sports venues; we are one of only six designated science cities in the country backed up by two leading universities; our iconic tram system is comparable to those in major European cities. These are the facts.
"But much more work is to be done if we are to genuinely compete with the world's top cities which will ultimately lead to higher levels of inward investment, jobs and more prosperity for local people."
The drive to make Nottingham world class is all of our responsibility, One Nottingham, Nottingham City Council, Businesses, the voluntary sector, the universities and sporting organisations alike will play key roles.
In parallel, the City Council is consulting with key stakeholders on an economic growth plan which will help shape the city's economic future. A final version of this is expected to be released in June.
The council is also currently working with partners and central government to secure its City Deal which will give the city new devolved powers.
Cllr Mellen concludes: "Now is the time to sow the seeds of change if Nottingham is to position itself as a world class city in years to come. Changes to the political and economic landscape mean that we need to be on the front foot if we are to compete on a global stage."
The World Class aspirations are part of the Nottingham Plan to 20:20.
Going forward, partners will work together to create opportunities for wealth and jobs for local people. The One Nottingham Forum also successfully connected community agencies with big businesses and will serve to encourage further investment into Nottingham.