How has the Lace Market area of Nottingham been redeveloped over the last 50 years?
The present day land use of the Lace Market area of Nottingham mainly consists of residential and office use. Many of the old buildings that were once lace factories and warehouses have been recently developed into pubs, clubs and shops. However, on the other hand some of the original structures still remain as they were having just been refurbished. The appearance of the area has been hugely improved after being clean due to the closure of all the factories. The change in appearance was certainly beneficial to Nottingham and attracted many new businesses such as modern clubs and luxury apartments. Most of the buildings have just been renovated and refurbished although a few have been removed completely. The change in Land use has been very successful in reviving the area of Nottingham that had declined drastically since 1950. Old historical buildings such as St. Mary’s Parish Church still remain in the area and have been cleaned up to become a prominent feature of the Lace Market.
The title of my investigation is suitable because I am going to show how the Lace Market area of Nottingham has changed over the last 50 years. I am going to use graphs and maps of which I have completed myself from the data I collected. The graphs I produced are to show the land use and the quality of the environment in the Lace Market. The environmental qualities are ranked on my personal opinion and are not based on published figures. I am also going to use photos to compare the differences in the area from the two different time periods.
The Lace Market is a good area to study changes in land use because it is an area that has had so many dramatic changes in recent years. This area of Nottingham has changed form being a highly industrial place from where lace was manufactured and stored in great quantities to being redeveloped into a clean, modern and prosperous area with luxury apartments in the city centre. In the 1950’s, lace was highly in fashion and there was a big demand for it. More lace needed to be made and so Nottingham built large factories with large machines to produce more lace. Although this was a good production line; it soon became cheaper to produce lace in LEDCs and also lace began to go out of fashion. Industry declined majorly and the factories were shut down and left to become derelict. However, between the 1970’s-1980’s the government’s attitude changed towards the Lace Market and they began plans on how to attract people back to the area. To regenerate the Lace Market, the government had to accept that the Lace Market had outlived its role in manufacturing. There has been a lot of redevelopment in the area and not only have listed buildings been converted but there has also been a fair amount of new buildings within the Lace Market. As a result of the changes in the city centre; there are many pubs, offices, shops and luxury apartments.
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I collected my data by visiting the Lace Market, I chose to study five streets in the area; these being High Pavement, Hollowstone, Broadway, Halifax Place and Carlton Street. I recorded my data in bar graphs and pie charts; the first of these was a land use intensity graph. I collected data on five streets in the Lace market and recorded the number of storeys in buildings on each street and also the width of each building in paces. For each individual building I then had to multiply the number of paces by the storeys and once I had done this I added all of the results for the same street together. When I calculated the answer I divided it by the total number of paces long the street was and the answer I received was the land use intensity for that street. I then recorded this data in a bar chart to make it clearer to compare the differences in land use between the five streets studied. Another set of data I collected was the overall land use in the Lace market, for example, the percentage of buildings that were offices or housing etc. I recorded this data by creating a key to distinguish the different types of land use and I marked the different uses on a map of the Lace Market. I did this on a map of the Lace Market in 1950 and one of the Lace Market today to make it easier to compare the differences in the two different periods of time form before and after the changes that took place. After I completed the maps I used the data from them and converted the land use into percentages to record them in a pie chart. This made it easier to compare the use of land between both the two periods of time and also between each individual type such as the amount of shops or open space. The last graph I produced was to show the environmental quality index of each street studied. I had 15 subheadings for factors that affect the quality of environment and rated each street out of 10 on each factor. There was a total of 150 that was possible for the streets to achieve. The higher the environmental quality, the better quality the area was. Halifax Place had the highest environmental quality with a score of 118 compared to those of 74 and 75 for High Pavement and Carlton Street. I recorded this data in a bar chart for easier comparison. I used the internet to collect any secondary data on the area and for photos of the area. Whilst collecting my data there was very bad rain so that made it more difficult me to judge the environmental quality of the area.
The types of land use found in the Lace Market varied between the different locations I studied. My land use maps show that some streets are made up of mainly housing where as others have a lot of areas of leisure, such as Hollowstone and Broadway. The map makes it easy to compare the types of land use from street to street. It shows that High Pavement has a wide variation of types of land use such as quite a few restaurants and a bit of residential use. High Pavement also has a few small businesses uses too but mainly consists of offices and leisure, such as museums, The Galleries of Justice, and others. Although this is shown to be a busy area, there is quite a bit of open space. As you continue up the street you arrive at Hollowstone and although the studied areas are o close they vary completely. High Pavement has a wide variety of different types of land use whilst Hollowstone has only residential buildings. Most of the old warehouses were redeveloped into luxury apartments; this is made clear by comparing the land use map of 2008 to the one of 1950. Broadway is the only street out of the five I studied that has no residential use. The centre of Broadway is mainly leisure use, such as night clubs and bars; however, the map shows that the edges of the street are made up of offices and businesses. The land use map shows that Halifax Place is also mainly residential as when I collected my data I observed that there were many flats and apartments there too. There are also some offices and a little business on the corner. Also shown on the map is the Lace Market theatre which is located on Halifax Place. The last street I studied was Carlton Street; unlike the other streets Carlton Street is made up of mainly shops. However, similar to other streets it has some residential land use; the George Hotel is in the centre of the area. Carlton Street also has many restaurants and cafes; this is visible on the land use map.
The main overall land use of the Lace Market is offices and residential. This is easier to see by looking at Fig. 2 on page 2; Fig. 2 shows that just office and residential together take up approximately 50% of the land use in the Lace Market. The Lace Market is currently undergoing a renaissance; the main possible reason for these changes in land use is due to the decline of the lace productions. Between the 1950’s and the 1970’s, it became considerably cheaper to produce lace in LEDCs and soon the industry declined. The land use for the Lace Market in the 50’s was mainly businesses such as factories; this is shown in Fig. 1. After the decline, more small businesses were attracted to the area in hope of regenerating the area. Many restaurants, shops and night clubs/ bars were set up in the area and the Lace Market soon became busy and successful again.
The quality of the environment of each five streets varied quite a lot, for example, Halifax Place has the best environmental quality index of 118 whereas Hollowstone has the lowest of 74. Factors that affect the environment are things such as litter, vandalism, lack of open space and trees etc. Hollowstone had a lot of traffic noise and a lack of street parking but also had a high amount of litter and poor building condition in the area. Carlton Street also had approximately the same quality of environment with very poor building condition and evidence of dereliction; it also had a lack of open space. High Pavement and Broadway had similar environments, both with very little amounts of litter and good building condition. Halifax Place showed no sign of pollution of any kind and litter was kept to a very minimum. Halifax Place had a better environment than the other streets possibly because it is the smallest of the five streets I studied and also the quietest however Carlton Street and High Pavement are both very busy areas open to the public. Public areas tend to have a lower quality of environment because it can be hard to maintain the level of litter and vandalism for example.
The main focus for development in the Lace Market are residential and leisure. Approximately 25% of the land use in Nottingham’s Lace Market is residential, mainly luxury apartments that have been converted from old lace mills and factories. Quite a lot of the land has been used for leisure functions such as bars, clubs, museums and theatres. I believe that the redevelopment of the Lace Market area has been very successful. After the decline of the lace industry I believe the planners made the right decision in redeveloping the area in the way they did because it is a much more sustainable development. Lace was an extremely busy industry and much of Nottingham became dependent on the one product. In the 1950’s, it became out of fashion and the industry declined rapidly, leaving the Lace Market area of Nottingham run down and derelict. However, now that the majority of buildings have been renovated and turned into smaller businesses such as restaurants, shops and apartments; there is less chance of the whole area declining in the event of something becoming unpopular. The buildings that were allocated to lace production became useless but planners enabled them to be adapted for today’s fashions.
From comparing modern day photos of the Lace Market to photos of the same areas in 1950; it is easy to see that the historical environment has been preserved however; new land uses have also been found. For example, one of the old churches on High Pavement was converted into a bar that is now called ‘The Pitcher & Piano’. This has been a successful redevelopment in the area because in 1950 once the area had declined there was no need for two churches; and so because St.Mary’s Parish Church was the more popular of the two, this one was converted into a social function. Although there was a big change in the land use type, the appearance has been kept the same in order to preserve the historical environment. Another example of successful changes in land use in the Lace Market area would be Broadway. The old, derelict, multi-storey buildings on Broadway that once used to be lace factories have been redeveloped to become more leisurely venues, such as bars and clubs. By transforming these old buildings into social venues, this has been a great way to attract young people to the Lace Market. However, although there has been a big change on the land use, the façade of the whole street has been preserved from the past, only to be cleaned. The old structure of the buildings has a big impact on the street and keeps the sense of history there. Also, by preserving the cobbled streets, this acts as a big feature to the Lace Market and contrasts well with the modern land uses. Overall, over the past 50 years the appearance of the Lace Market has improved massively and has become a much more clean and profitable area.
Whilst collecting data I had some difficulties due to bad weather, this made it harder for me to judge the quality of environment between the streets and it also made it hard for me to record my data. As a result of the bad rain, some of my data was hard to read from the notes I had written whilst collecting them; I compared my data to that of my friends to get more accurate results.
If I was to carry out this study again; I would take photos on my own at the same time as collecting data. This is because I had to use photos from the school’s geography department which were not very varied and also I found it quite difficult to find suitable photos of the five specific locations on the internet.
My sources are reliable and unbiased because they are from websites such as www.picturethepast.org.uk and www.oldukphotos.com/Nottinghamshire which are about Nottingham’s past and support theories from each other. Another source I used that I believe to be reliable is a website www.nottingham21.co.uk.
To extend my study to increase the accuracy of my conclusions I could have spent more time in the areas of study, perhaps on a few different occasions. This could help me to judge the quality of environment better as I would find a total over the full amount of time I spent there.
There were not many limitations of my study however, I could have used more practical equipment to measure the width of buildings needed to calculate the land use intensity; for this I could have used a tape measure rather than pacing it out. Also, I could have collected my data at a different time of year to prevent being caught in the rain whilst doing so.
Adriana Romano -