People will get a chance to visit Nottingham Castle one last time for free before its gates close ahead of its £30m transformation.

Nottingham Castle panel

Entry to the city’s most famous heritage site will be free all next week (Monday 25 June 2018 to 5pm Sunday 1 July), with an exciting programme of free events and activities throughout the week to mark this significant milestone in the site’s history.

The site will be closed for the next two years to become a world-class visitor destination, with improvements funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, D2N2, Nottingham Castle Trust and the City Council including a new visitors centre, remodelling of the grounds, new Robin Hood and Rebellion galleries to tell the stories of the city’s legendary outlaw and history of rebellion, access to more of the caves beneath the castle, as well as improved art displays and events programmes.

The special final week to say farewell to the current attraction will culminate in a weekend full of family fun. Activities throughout the week will include:

  • Meet the site’s historical characters including Robin Hood
  • Help build the time capsule to celebrate the new development
  • View archaeology in the Courtyard
  • Archery
  • Special exhibitions
  • Build the Castle – a LEGO™ Big Build. Help re-create the Castle at its height of power in 1485
  • Storytelling
  • Discover the changes planned for the site
  • Last look at the Mercian Regimental Museum.

A new website will also be launched for people to find out about the redevelopment work on the site and keep up to date on the progress taking place. In the meantime, full details of the closure events can be found at

Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio for Leisure and Localities, Cllr Dave Trimble, said: “Now the Castle site closure is agreed, the project will really start to take shape. I hope the people of Nottingham will accept our invitation to come and give the site a proper goodbye then look forward to the re-opening in 2020 as we work to become a world class heritage site.  We are thankful for the funding contributions being made by The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), D2N2 and the Nottingham Castle Trust. A great mix of funding has come together to support the Nottingham Castle development.”

Jonathan Platt, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, said: “It’s great to see the pace of change on this exciting and important project picking up.  We look forward to working closely with Nottingham City Council as they deliver dramatic changes to the visitor experience at the Castle before it re-opens in a couple of years’ time.”

Matthew Wheatley, D2N2 LEP Chief Executive, said: “Nottingham has a varied and rich history.  Nottingham Castle is a striking part of Nottingham’s skyline and this new and improved Castle experience will help bring Nottingham’s history and heritage to life, attract even more visitors to the site, created jobs and improve the overall offer across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.”

Ted Cantle, Chair of the Nottingham Castle Trust said: “The Castle closure marks the real start of transforming the Castle into a world class heritage destination. After more than five years of working with the council and having played a crucial role in the conception and design of the scheme, the Trust is pleased to be moving towards operating the site.  We will now begin the process of commissioning the set up arrangements, getting the new team and facilities in place in readiness for opening day.”

Brendan Moffett, Chief Executive Marketing NG, said: “We can all agree the transformed Castle will become a world-class tourist destination and over the next two years we will be working closely with our other attractions across the city to ensure we can still provide a compelling and varied offer for visitors while the Castle is closed.”


Notes to editors

Nottingham Castle Transformation

Nottingham Castle’s Mission Statement: ‘We will inspire and challenge the way people experience, explore and develop their ideas about Nottingham Castle and the world through the creative use of our museum sites, collections and cultural resources.’

Project Vision: ‘This project will deliver the step change required to establish Nottingham Castle as a world class heritage site. We will celebrate Nottingham Castle’s unique and diverse 1,000 year heritage, encompassing the group of heritage assets around the Castle including the caves within the Castle Rock and Brewhouse Yard in a seamless, combined and cohesive visitor offer.’

Project Aims:

  • To reveal the diverse heritage of the last 1,000 years in a compelling and engaging way that does justice to its national and global significance
  • For Nottingham Castle to once again be the pride of the City and to meet the expectations of its visitors, and to fully meet its potential as a flagship for the City and a catalyst for its regeneration.
  • To bring alive the story of Nottingham caves
  • To provide an immersive story based on tales of Robin Hood to cement the story of the legend linked within  Nottingham Castle
  • To use the events at the Castle and Nottingham to interpret the birth of social and democratic ideas to include the Reform Act Riots, Luddites, the Chartists, and the Civil War
  • To contribute to a stronger visitor economy
  • To enhance the environment within the site and to bring together and conserve the collections
  • To once again, reopen Brewhouse Yard Cottages full time to the public
  • To increase accessibility around the whole site with a land train

About the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

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. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.

HLF awarded £13.9million to Nottingham City Council for a project to reimagine Nottingham Castle, including plans to increase access to the city’s caves.


D2N2 is the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Its purpose is to support and encourage economic growth in the D2N2 region and has awarded £7.0m from a number of D2N2 funding streams, including £2m from business rates raised by the D2N2 Enterprise Zone and £5m from D2N2’s Local Growth Fund.

Local Enterprise Partnerships are private sector-led, locally-owned partnerships between business, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community and voluntary organisations. There are 38 LEPs in England.

They play a central role in deciding local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and create local jobs.

D2N2, established in 2010, is one of the largest LEPs in England, covering an area with a population of more than two million people and with an economic output of over £42.9billion GVA (Gross Value Added) (source ONS report, February 2016). Its Interim Chief Executive is Matthew Wheatley and its Chairman Peter Richardson.

D2N2’s target is to support the creation of 55,000 new jobs in D2N2 by 2023. The majority of these jobs will be in the private sector.

Its vision is of a more prosperous, better connected, and increasingly resilient and competitive economy.

See website or

Local Growth Fund

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Some additional key facts:

  • There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England
  • The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.
  • LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.

Midlands Engine

Some Midlands Engine key facts:

  • The government is committed to making the Midlands an Engine for Growth in the UK, increasing economic growth and improving the quality of life for everyone. The Midlands is home to over 10 million people and over 780,000 businesses. Its economy is worth £217.7 billion.
  • So far the government has awarded £1.9 billion in three rounds of Growth Deals across the Midlands.

Nottingham Castle Trust

Nottingham Castle Trust exists to support the re-development and future use of the Castle site – from the Caves to the Castle.

The Trust is seeking to raise a minimum of £3.0m towards the scheme needed to complete the project to transform the site and make it an international visitor destination.

The Trust is led by Chair, Ted Cantle with Heather Mayfield as CEO.  The Trustees all have close links with Nottingham and are passionate about the Castle and the potential of the renovation project to transform the whole Castle Quarter.  Trustees meet monthly and they are supported by a growing group of Patrons, who are high-profile ambassadors for the Castle and Nottingham.