Megan Powerll Vreeswijk headshot graphic.

February Opinion Article Megan Powell Vreeswijk

I hope you’ve been well since the last time I had the opportunity to speak to you. I’d like to start this month’s column by saying a huge thank you for the warm welcome I’ve received during my first few weeks in my new role here at Marketing Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

These first few weeks in the job have felt incredibly positive, and it’s been brilliant to meet so many of our members and partners over the last couple of months. The overwhelming sense I’ve had recently is just how keen everyone is to come together to make the city and county a top destination to visit, invest, live, study and meet, despite some of the challenges we face both locally and nationally. The mood is one of optimism, and there’s a prevailing consensus that through coming together and collaborating, we can make a huge difference.

These aren’t just nice platitudes either. Earlier this month it was announced that Nottingham’s Guildhall was back on track to be sold, with new developers having ambitious plans for the site, including a hotel and student accommodation. Similarly, the Island Quarter has seen renewed activity, with plans being submitted for a 383-bed student housing development, adding to the student accommodation currently in development at the site. Plans have also been submitted by Rainier Developments for their 190-apartment Waterway House development, forming part of the gateway to the city right next door to Nottingham Railway Station. And finally, the University of Nottingham has been given the green light to transform its Castle Meadow Campus into a space that any university in the world would be proud to own!

Similarly, despite a challenging few years for the visitor economy, it continues to show tremendous resilience. Visitor numbers and spend have bounced back strongly since the pandemic, pushing the value of our local visitor economy to be worth over £2bn for the first time ever. The number of visitors into the region continues to grow too, up to nearly 33 million according to the latest tourism data.

Business tourism and events are similarly thriving here in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. With last year’s Meetings Show generating over 150 enquiries for events and conferences business and overnight stay visitors continue to be highly valuable for our local economy. This year’s Touch Rugby World Cup which is set to land in Nottinghamshire in the summer, will bring in an estimated £10 million worth of economic impact to the region, giving our hospitality sector an important boost.

Of course, none of this is possible without the support of our amazing members and partners throughout the city and wider county. They’re the ones who drive our region forward and it’s a pleasure to be working with so many talented and entrepreneurial change-makers. So, to end my first piece as I started it. I want to say thank you to everyone for all their hard work and dedication and I look forward to continuing our work together to ensure Nottingham and Nottinghamshire thrive and prosper.

Best Wishes,

Megan Powell Vreeswijk – Chief Executive of Marketing Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Posted on 19 February 2024

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