Shops to open more hours?
NOTTINGHAM'S political masters want to broaden the evening economy so that it is not just bars and restaurants that want our money but shops too.
In cosmopolitan cities shops stay open late – people can shop, take in a film and go on for a meal. Nottingham has some a way to go. Marks & Spencer in the city centre has taken to closing its food hall half an hour earlier.
Mr Allen says: "There has been a mixed response generally due to demand. In a way, the Bid boundary is what we now think of as the city centre. Retailers who are finding times tough have to think carefully about increasing their overheads.
"Having said that, we are trying for a more joined up economy where Nottingham doesn't close down at six and re-opens for partying at eight or nine. We need a more gradual transition.
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"Currently, people tend to go home after work, probably something to do with Nottingham's topography making it easy."
The issue of shopping hours is not easy. Longer hours add costs not only in staff but security, heating, electricity.
But why shops close when a substantial section of the working population is coming out of work looks like a missed opportunity.
"We might get a couple of major retailers saying they will open but we have to encourage the smaller ones whose economic model is different," says Mr Allen.
"There is a balance and the thing that will cause shops to stay open is demand. At the moment there isn't the demand."
One can walk only 20 minutes from the Old Market Square to Castle Meadow where shops do stay open later and parking is free.
Mr Allen frankly admits he does not have the answer to the dynamics.
"But over the next five to ten years there will be a shift. We cannot continue as we are," he says.