The public are to get their first glimpse of how exciting changes at Nottingham Castle could look after £24m of investment, with an open invitation to meet members of the project team and see the plans at close hand at two public events:
- On Saturday 16 April, the Nottingham Castle project team (including architects Lace Market-based Purcell UK) will be in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) ‘Architruck’ in Old Market Square between 10am and 4pm.
- On Sunday 17 April, as part of the BBC Radio Nottingham Big Day Out, entry to Nottingham Castle will be free, and members of the public can meet the project team in the South Hall of the Castle (near the café) between 10am and 4pm.
The project team will be sharing some of the initial concepts for the Nottingham Castle transformation, following several years of planning and consultation. There will be opportunities to discuss the plans, ask questions and give feedback.
The transformation project aims to establish Nottingham Castle as a world-class visitor destination, celebrating its unique and nationally-significant 1,000 year history with tales of power, protest and rebellion across the centuries. It forms a critical part of Nottingham City Council’s plans to develop the city centre.
The proposals for the transformation of Nottingham Castle respond to the public feedback that has been loudest and most passionate – the desire for a memorable Robin Hood experience.
– (Top) Robin Hood Gallery interactive experience
– (Top Left) Interactive archway game – The Golden Arrow, Robin Hood Gallery
– (Top right) New gallery presentation – lace exhibition
– (Bottom left) Robin Hood Gallery interactive experience
– (Bottom right) Visitor centre with views up to the Castle
New features will include:
- The creation of a stunning Robin Hood Gallery, accessed via the existing tunnel leading from the outer bailey, and one of the most exciting changes to the Ducal Palace. Here, visitors will step back in time, entering a medieval experience where they are invited to find the outlaw with the help of interactive audio-visual storytelling, and be part of the legend by enjoying interactive games and experiences.
- A new Rebellion Gallery will also be created within the existing structure of the Palace, made possible by the removal of a mezzanine floor which currently divides the service wing into two small spaces. This gallery will explore four major periods of social unrest and rebellion in Nottingham, from the medieval period onwards. It will be evocative, emotionally charged and enable visitors to see how the themes of power, justice, and democracy repeatedly run through Nottingham’s history.
- The first floor galleries will celebrate the Power of Art and Making in the history of Nottingham. Showcasing the pre-industrial Nottingham art forms of saltglaze stoneware and medieval alabasters, the galleries will evolve to tell the story of Nottingham’s most famous industry – lace, the manufacture of which inspired the foundation of the Nottingham Art School and ultimately the opening of the Castle Museum and Art Gallery in 1878.
- The Castle’s Long Gallery will play host to the star objects from the museum’s treasured art collection, displaying paintings and 3D objects in a thoughtful and evocative way, alongside contemporary works inspired by the treasures themselves.
- Access to the caves within the Castle Rock will be extended and parts of the Castle grounds will be remodelled to reveal more of the medieval site and to re-establish spectacular views of the Castle across the city.
- A new visitor centre will welcome people to the grounds, encouraging them to enter and explore, and helping to guide them around the site. The centre will include a new café.
Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, said:
“We’re excited to release details of these proposals which will make visiting Nottingham Castle a richer experience, bringing Nottingham’s history and legends alive, and so broadening the Castle’s appeal as a visitor destination of national and international significance.
“This in turn will provide a catalyst for wider regeneration across the city centre, significantly increasing visitor footfall, stimulating the local economy and providing job opportunities for local people.”
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Notes for editors
Nottingham Castle transformation project funding and outline timetable:
The required £24 million to complete the transformation will come from the following sources with the majority being from the Heritage Lottery Fund, subject to final approval later this year:
- Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) – £13m
- Nottingham City Council – £5.5m
- Fundraising via Nottingham Castle Trust – £3m
- Regeneration and other public funds – £2.5m
Work on this project has been underway since 2013 when Nottingham City Council submitted a successful bid to the HLF to start work on plans for transforming the site. Since then, a team of professionals has been appointed to develop the plans, as well as to consult with visitors and stakeholders.
- Submission of final round 2 HLF bid for £13m – July 2016
- Funding decision from HLF – by November 2016
- If successful, work on site 2017-2019
- Transformation project complete by 2020.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.