Nottingham | United Kingdom

Nottingham (/ˈnɒtɪŋəm/ (About this sound listen) NOT-ing-əm) is a city and unitary authority area in Nottinghamshire, England, 128 miles (206 km) north of London, in the East Midlands.

Nottingham has links to the legend of Robin Hood and to the lace-making, bicycle (notably Raleigh bikes), and tobacco industries. It was granted its city charter in 1897 as part of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Nottingham is a tourist destination; in 2011, visitors spent over £1.5 billion—the thirteenth-highest amount in England's 111 statistical territories.

In 2015, Nottingham had an estimated population of 321,550 with the wider urban area, which includes many of the city's suburbs, having a population of 915,977. Its urban area is the largest in the east Midlands and the second-largest in the Midlands. The population of the Nottingham/Derby metropolitan area is estimated to be 1,610,000. Its metropolitan economy is the seventh largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $50.9bn (2014). The city is also ranked as a sufficiency-level world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.

Nottingham has an award-winning public transport system, including the largest publicly owned bus network in England and is also served by Nottingham railway station and the modern Nottingham Express Transit tram system.

It is also a major sporting centre, and in October 2015 was named 'Home of English Sport'. The National Ice Centre, Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre, and Trent Bridge international cricket ground are all based in or around the city, which is also the home of two professional league football teams; the world's oldest professional league club Notts County, and Nottingham Forest, famously two-time winners of the UEFA European Cup under Brian Clough in 1979 and 1980. The city also has professional rugby, ice hockey and cricket teams, and the Aegon Nottingham Open, an international tennis tournament on the ATP and WTA tours. This accolade came just over a year after Nottingham was named as the UK's first City of Football.

By the 15th century Nottingham had established itself as a centre of a thriving export trade in religious sculpture made from Nottingham Alabaster. The town became a county corporate in 1449 giving it effective self-government, in the words of the charter, "for eternity". The Castle and Shire Hall were expressly excluded and remained as detached Parishes of Nottinghamshire.

One of those highly impressed by Nottingham in the late 18th century was the German traveller C. P. Moritz, who wrote in 1782, "Of all the towns I have seen outside London, Nottingham is the loveliest and neatest. Everything had a modern look, and a large space in the centre was hardly less handsome than a London square. A charming footpath leads over the fields to the highway, where a bridge spans the Trent. … Nottingham … with its high houses, red roofs and church steeples, looks excellent from a distance."

During the Industrial Revolution, much of Nottingham's prosperity was founded on the textile industry; in particular, the city became an internationally important centre of lace manufacture. In 1831 citizens rioted in protest against the Duke of Newcastle's opposition to the Reform Act 1832, setting fire to his residence, Nottingham Castle.

Nottingham City Council is a unitary authority based at Nottingham Council House in Old Market Square. It consists of 55 councillors, representing 20 wards, who are elected every four years; the last elections being held on 7 May 2015.

The city also has a Lord Mayor who is selected by city councillors from among themselves. The position is ceremonial and has no formal power or authority.

The City of Nottingham's boundaries are tightly drawn and exclude several suburbs and satellite towns that are usually considered part of Greater Nottingham. The western suburbs of Beeston, Stapleford and Eastwood are administered by Broxtowe borough council. Further west still, the Nottingham urban district extends into Derbyshire where Ilkeston and Long Eaton are administered by Erewash borough council, and Ripley by Amber Valley. To the north, Hucknall is controlled by Ashfield district council, while in the east Arnold and Carlton form part of the borough of Gedling. South of the river, the suburb of West Bridgford lies in Rushcliffe, as do the outlying villages of Ruddington and Tollerton and the town of Bingham.

The geographical centre of Nottingham is usually defined as the Old Market Square. The square is dominated by the Council House, which replaced the Nottingham Exchange Building, built in 1726. The Council House was built in the 1920s to display civic pride, ostentatiously using baroque columns and placing stone statues of two lions at the front to stand watch over the square. The Exchange Arcade, on the ground floor, is an upmarket shopping centre containing boutiques.

Tall office buildings line Maid Marian Way. The Georgian area around Oxford and Regent Streets is dominated by small professional firms. The Albert Hall faces the Gothic revival St Barnabas' Roman Catholic Cathedral by Pugin. Nottingham Castle and its grounds are located further south in the western third of the city. The central third descends from the University district in the north, past Nottingham Trent University's Gothic revival Arkwright Building. The university also owns many other buildings in this area. The Theatre Royal on Theatre Square, with its pillared façade, was built in 1865. King and Queen Streets are home to striking Victorian buildings designed by such architects as Alfred Waterhouse and Watson Fothergill.

To the south, is Broadmarsh Shopping Centre. The Canal-side further south of this is adjacent to Nottingham railway station and home to numerous redeveloped 19th-century industrial buildings, reused as bars and restaurants.

Nottingham City Council, then owners of the Broadmarsh Centre, had been trying to redevelop it for "almost two decades". Work on redeveloping Broadmarsh, at a cost of £400 million (creating 400 stores, 136,000 m2 of shopping space), was due to start in 2008. However, the economic downturn meant that redevelopment was delayed throughout from 2008 to 2010. In the light of the Victoria Centre's redevelopment plans, Westfield announced in 2011 that it was once again planning a £500 million development of Broadmarsh, which would start in 2012. This, however, did not happen either. Broadmarsh was finally sold to Capital Shopping Centres, the owners of the Victoria Centre. The purchase prompted an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission, who were concerned that the company's monopoly over the city's shopping centres could have a negative impact on competition. CSC subsequently rebranded itself and the centres use the "Intu" name. Although the new owners wished to start the planned development of the Victoria Centre, Nottingham City Council insisted that Broadmarsh must have priority, with the Council offering £50 million towards its redevelopment. The deputy leader of Nottingham City Council said the Council would withhold planning permission for the development of the Victoria Centre until they saw "bulldozers going into the Broadmarsh Centre."

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