Nottingham is ready to give a warm and safe welcome to visitors as lockdown restrictions ease further from Monday (May 17th).
A Let’s Go Nottingham campaign kicks off next week to encourage people to return to enjoying everything the city has to offer and to give local businesses the boost they need after a turbulent year of closures and restrictions.
Changes that come into effect as part of reaching Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap on Monday will allow people to return to indoor eating and drinking, attend live gigs, theatre shows and sports matches, visit museums and cinemas and head back to the shops.
People are urged to continue following Covid measures including Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air, taking a Covid test twice a week and getting vaccinated when eligible – as well as taking a cautious approach to Step 3 of the roadmap, by keeping windows open indoors, wearing a mask in cars when travelling with others, and staying outdoors if the weather allows.
The City Council has been working with key partners including Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) and Visit Nottinghamshire to launch the Let’s Go Nottingham campaign and prepare for opening the city back up to visitors. Businesses in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors, as well as public transport operators, have all worked tirelessly to ensure they have appropriate measures in place to ensure a trip to Nottingham is Covid safe. The council has provided support, including allowing venues to open up outdoor seating areas to encourage custom and maintain Covid safety.
After over a year of restrictions, there is great hope and expectation for the summer ahead and beyond, with plenty of reasons for people to come to Nottingham to reconnect with family and friends. A range of exciting events will help promote the city as a top destination.
The landmark re-opening of Nottingham Castle following its £30m redevelopment as a world-class heritage attraction coincides with the end of the Government’s roadmap on June 21st. This historical moment symbolises the reopening of the city post-Covid and will present many people from near and far with a fresh reason to come to Nottingham.
And it’s not the only show in town. An incredible chance to see the only real T Rex skeleton in Britain is coming to Wollaton Hall this summer as the centrepiece of an exciting exhibition remaining at the site for over a year.
Some of the most popular events in Nottingham’s social calendar are back on the agenda too, with the Riverside Festival resuming its place on the banks of the River Trent and Splendour returning to Wollaton Park with an impressive line-up of top acts for Nottingham’s number one music festival.
People are sure to be eager to return to, bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants and non-essential shops in the city centre and neighbourhood centres that bring so much life to the city but had to close during lockdown. Sports fans will also be able to return to the hallowed ground of Trent Bridge for top-flight cricket, while tennis stars including Venus Williams are sure to pull in the crowds at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
People’s return to Nottingham will reveal dramatic changes that have been continuing throughout the pandemic, with £2bn of developments recently completed, underway or in the pipeline. This includes the new car park, bus station and central library building, the new College City Hub, the transformation of public space around Broadmarsh ahead of a new vision being developed for the former shopping centre site, the Island Quarter development and the new HMRC building.
City Council Leader, Cllr David Mellen, said: “Like everyone we are looking forward to getting back to enjoying more of what the city has to offer as Covid restrictions are lifted, and have been planning towards this with our partners.
“It’s really important that the guidance we have come used to – hands, face, space, fresh air – is followed to continue to prevent the spread of Covid. We have seen cases increasing slightly in the city recently and we cannot afford to be complacent and put the hard-fought freedoms or our health at risk.
“Nottingham city centre and neighbourhood shopping centres are back open for business and after an incredibly tough year, deserve our support and custom. We have an amazing array of reasons to come to Nottingham once we reach the end of the roadmap, perhaps the most exciting of which is the reinvigorated visitor experience that’s been developed at Nottingham Castle which reopens on June 21st. People will also be struck by some of the physical improvements underway or completed in the city which give extra reasons for optimism. I’m confident that the city is well placed to emerge successfully from the pandemic.”
Kinga Kapias, Marketing and Communications Manager at Visit Nottinghamshire, said: “We are proud to be supporting the Let’s Go Nottingham campaign, ensuring that both visitors and locals can get back to doing the things they love in Nottingham safely. After more than a year of lockdowns and restrictions which have devastated the global tourism sector, hope is finally on the horizon. With a number of fantastic events taking place – not least the reopening of Nottingham Castle or the brand-new Titus: T-rex is king exhibition – we’re gearing up for an absolutely unforgettable summer in Nottingham.”
“We urge everyone to continue to follow the guidelines during this critical step – remember: hands, face, space and fresh air – because as long as we all follow the rules then we can continue on the roadmap out of lockdown and look forward to enjoying everything that our green, creative and legendary city has to offer.”
Lucy Stanford, Director of Operations at Nottingham BID commented: “This year sees the Nottingham BID team working hard to support businesses across all sectors as restrictions are eased to enable a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. As well as practical support such as providing business reopening packs, we have an ambitious programme of projects and events that will get people back into the city centre and enjoy the range of shops, bars, restaurants, arts and leisure attractions that Nottingham has to offer.
“So whether you have a favourite shop, restaurant or bar, now is the time to pay them a visit and support them through what will hopefully be one of the final chapters in an extremely challenging period.”