Nottingham Castle officially reopens to public after trust’s liquidation forced closure

Nottingham Castle reopens to visitors after shock closure when operating trust went into liquidation
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Nottingham Castle has officially reopened to the public, more than seven months after it closed suddenly.

The historic attraction has been largely shut to the public since November 2022 when Nottingham Castle Trust, which ran the site, went into liquidation just 18 months after a £31m refurbishment.

It opened briefly for Eurovision and Coronation events when control of the castle site, which is owned by Nottingham City Council, was handed back to the Labour-run authority.

Nottingham Castle will reopen later this year with a charge from Robin Hood, it has been announced.Nottingham Castle will reopen later this year with a charge from Robin Hood, it has been announced.
Nottingham Castle will reopen later this year with a charge from Robin Hood, it has been announced.

Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis, Nottingham City Council’s portfolio holder for leisure, culture and planning, said the authority is “thrilled” to reopen the castle to the people of Nottingham and visitors.

Robin Hood led children from a local school in Nottingham through the gates shortly before 10am, with the Sheriff of Nottingham and city representatives in attendance to mark the reopening.

Many visitors had previously criticised the attraction as poor value for money when it reopened after a major redevelopment in 2021 with a new visitor centre, adventure playground and café.

Others expect to discover a medieval-style fortress akin to the fabled outlaw and his merry men, but this was demolished after the English Civil War and a ducal palace now stands on the site.

Robin Hood led a group of schoolchildren through the castle gates to mark the official reopening.Robin Hood led a group of schoolchildren through the castle gates to mark the official reopening.
Robin Hood led a group of schoolchildren through the castle gates to mark the official reopening.

In February, just 12 weeks after the site shut, the closure was estimated to have so far cost the authority almost £600,000.

Annette Thornley, business development manager at Visit Nottinghamshire, said: “Nottingham has an amazing tourism offer for visitors, with Nottingham Castle being one of our flagship attractions standing tall and proud atop the city.

“Its reopening is a great boost for the tourism economy in Notts, supporting businesses and jobs throughout the wider city and county.”

The castle, which will now be run as part of the council’s museums and galleries service, will be open from 10am to 5pm between February and October, and from 11am to 4pm between November and January.

A new £12 annual ticket that allows unlimited admission for a year is now available, which includes free entry for three children aged 15 and under.

Almost 1,000 special £1 tickets were sold to mark the site’s reopening.

A dark and stormy night in Nottingham signalled doom for Charles IA dark and stormy night in Nottingham signalled doom for Charles I
A dark and stormy night in Nottingham signalled doom for Charles I

The new admission scheme will include access to the castle grounds and museum, Brewhouse Yard Cottages, Robin Hood Adventures and the Rebellion Galleries, the council said.

New attractions at the relaunch include temporary galleries, a refurbished Brewhouse Yard that showcases the life of Nottingham from the 1500s to 1900s, and displays to mark the 75th anniversary of Windrush Day.

The new land train will also operate between Brewhouse Yard and the castle entrance at the top of castle rock during weekends and the peak holiday season.

Cllr Kotsonis said the reopening “took a lot of effort,” but, he added: “We are looking forward to seeing people reconnect with a site that is so important to local people and to the city, and to welcoming visitors from further afield who are discovering it for the first time.”

Alex Flint, chief executive at Nottingham Business Improvement District, said: “We are very keen for it to become a successful city centre attraction and will support collaboration amongst partners and business stakeholders in the city to enable this.”

Cave tours of Mortimer’s Hole and King David’s Dungeon will be available at a further £5 per person and the council says it will continue to develop a programme of events and exhibitions throughout the year.