Image of Broad Street in Hockley

Cool Hockley attracts national attention

Hockley has been named as one of the 12 ‘coolest postcodes to move to in 2022’ by The Sunday Times Style Magazine.

Locals have long known it as an area of the city centre with a cool vibe, with its mixture of independent shops, bars, restaurants and music venues. In the heart of the city’s Creative Quarter, Hockley is home to one of the nation’s leading independent cinemas in Broadway, one of only two Rough Trade record shops outside London and New York, Jamcafe which The Times recommends for the best beers and DJs and award-winning jazz venue Peggy’s Skylight, among many other exciting places to discover.

Now the London-based publication has woken up to the charm of Hockley in ‘one of England’s most underrated cities,’ encouraging ‘hipsters who have moved on from Hackney’ to consider attributes from graffiti murals and warehouse clubs to indie spots, cocktail bars and caves.

The council has played its part in bolstering the cafe culture feel of the area by making it more pedestrian friendly and investing in Sneinton Market and Square to extend the creative buzz and encourage further footfall.

Portfolio Holder for Skills, Growth and Economic Development, Cllr Rebecca Langton, said: “It’s great to see Hockley recognised in a national publication as one of the coolest areas in the country. There have been extensive improvements in Hockley to make it pedestrian friendly and to encourage outside eating and drinking at its many popular bars, cafes and restaurants. Most recently we introduced changes on Broad Street, Heathcoat Street and Carlton Street which removes traffic after 11am and we give traders the freedom to use the space in front of their business which really helps to add an extra buzz. We are also encouraging street performers to further animate the area.

“Hockley has long been popular because of the high number of independent outlets which help to create a particular vibe in this part of the city. We’ve strengthened Hockley’s links with Sneinton Market where this is also the case and there’s no doubt that we expect these sorts of places with a distinct character and a quirky edge to continue to thrive post-pandemic. They are a pointer for what we can aim for elsewhere in the city, including in the Broad Marsh area, where public spaces can become animated with street performers and art, independent traders and pop-up outlets.

“Hockley’s popularity is growing, as it now attracts families and older couples as well as the younger crowd. Footfall across the area certainly looks to be increasing and we are aware of a number of new ventures opening up in Hockley and of existing businesses diversifying to appeal to the clientele in the area during the day and at night-time.

“Different parts of the city hold a different attraction. People still want to come to Nottingham for its shopping but as our high streets change, especially post-Covid, we will need to provide a mixture of things to continue to attract people to the city. The revamped castle experience and other attractions and events are part of that, and building on the success of areas like Hockley will stand the city in good stead for the future.”

Posted on 07 January 2022

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Jack Woolley