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Sussex Street, Broad Marsh, Nottingham

Sussex Street is part of a wider Master Plan for Broad Marsh, a new public realm development in the heart of the city, which sees Nottingham leading the way on a new approach to city centre regeneration. Nottingham City Council appointed Michael Grubb Studio to deliver a Lighting Strategy and detailed design for various areas of this wider public realm project, including underpass tramline lighting on Sussex Street.

The Lighting Strategy creates a dynamic and exciting scheme which injects drama and life into the space while connecting the different routes and spaces within. This cohesive lit environment unites the various developments of Carrington and Collin Street to create attractive, high quality public spaces with appealing aesthetics.

While lighting the underpass of Sussex Street, the studio was keen to take an effectively unused space, which is dark and dreary, and turn it on its head into a safe and appealing urban realm environment to attract the college generations.

Completed in late 2022, the under-tram lighting features an updated and dynamic scheme. A white light scheme below creates an evenness, while the colours above which uplight the structure are dynamic and playful, subtly chasing the tram. Different lighting scenes are programmed for each day of the week, while also offering the ability to set custom displays for special occasions.

To respect regulations by the Nottingham Express Transit, the studio was unable to drill into the existing structure of the trams to install the fixtures. The studio instead designed a bespoke clamping system, clamping the fixtures to the structure and suspending the luminaires.

The success of the scheme can be attributed to Michael Grubb Studio’s response to the challenges of delivering a creative lighting scheme within a city centre whilst still meeting the requirements of the local authority. The team have injected a source of creativity and inspiration into this uniform lighting, to provide both a safe and exciting environment in harmony. All lighting scenes were controlled via a timeclock and activated between dusk and midnight, with scenes set to each specific day of the week. Lighting is dimmed after midnight to reduce energy usage and light pollution, resonating with the studio’s ethos to create more sustainable lighting schemes.


Nottingham City Council




Public Realm Lighting

Scope of Works

Public Realm Lighting



Project Budget



Alex Bland

Design Team

Townshend Landscape Architects, Pick Everard, Michael Grubb Studio