Wednesday 22 May 2024
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Nottingham

Council losing over £50,000 a week on Nottingham Castle since the trust collapsed

Documents show Nottingham City Council has been losing roughly £49,400 per week on Nottingham Castle since it was inherited following the collapse of the Trust in November.

 

Nottingham City Council has lost £593,000 because of Nottingham Castle in the 12 weeks since it closed.

On November 21 last year, the Nottingham Castle Trust announced it was going into liquidation, 18 months after a £33m revamp project.

At the time, the trust said it was “saddened and hugely disappointed” it would be closing and all staff were made redundant.

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The site is now back under the control of the Labour-run council, which says it does not expect a return on its loans which total £2.68m, including a £1.8m start-up loan.

Council budget documents, which will be presented to during an Executive Board meeting on February 21, show an additional £593,000 has been lost in the 12 weeks since the castle’s closure.

Of this, the council was hit with costs of £293,000 through lost income from a concession agreement.

The agreement was made when the site was handed over to the Nottingham Castle Trust, with a concession paid to the council to cover borrowing costs afterwards.

A further £300,000 is down to holding costs “pending a decision on future operations”.

The council says the total cost of the castle, at £593,000, to the museums department, has been somewhat offset by better-than-expected performance at Wollaton Hall and Newstead Abbey.

This means the council has deducted £85,000 in unexpected income off the sum, meaning the total adverse cost is £508,000.

In January, the city council was due to announce a reopening date.

However it later stated it was “not yet in a position” to announce it.

Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Planning, Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis (Lab), told the Local Democracy Reporting Service at the time: “We have also been reviewing options of how best to reopen the site to the public.

“We are looking at how this can be done in a way which ensures the future of the Castle will be viable without creating additional risk to the council and the taxpayer.

“We also need to ensure that any proposals meet with the agreement of our funding partners and we continue to have positive meetings with them.

“We are making good progress on this work but are not yet in a position to announce an opening date.

“We know the significance of the Castle for our city so this is a top priority and something we have a skilled and senior team working on, tackling it with pace and rigour – but it is vitally important that we get it right for Nottingham.”

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