Friday 19 July 2024
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Nottingham

Nottingham Castle: Price increase expected after visitor target reached

Nottingham Castle has reached its target of 200,000 visitors in its first year under the control of the City Council – but ticket prices will increase.

The council brought the historic site back under its control last year and reopened the gates in June, following the collapse of Nottingham Castle Trust in November 2022.

A “more realistic” annual visitor target of 200,000 was set by the council, one-third lower than the trust’s original hopes of 300,000.

During a Corporate Scrutiny Committee meeting on Wednesday, March 13, the leader of the council, Cllr David Mellen (Lab), said the target had been reached and also confirmed ticket prices would be increasing.

The exact pricing structure is yet to be confirmed. They are currently £12 each for an annual pass. Children under 15 are free.

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“We have this last weekend reached the 200,000 visitors that was required to make a reasonable business case for the castle,” he said.

“That is three months early because it was to be done by the end of June.”

The reopening and stabilisation of the castle was one priority in the authority’s Strategic Council Plan.

A refresh of the plan was approved at Full Council on March 4, with dozens of priorities shelved due to budget constraints.

The plan includes pledges from the Labour Group’s manifesto from the May 2023 local elections, at which Labour was confirmed as the majority party for Nottingham.

While Cllr Mellen says seven pledges have been achieved, including the reopening of Nottingham Castle and keeping open some free public toilets including at the Broad Marsh Bus Station, 99 remain in progress and 12 have been “parked”.

The 12 include investing in Nottingham’s thriving artistic and cultural life, seeking funding for heritage restoration projects in the city centre, including the Council House, protecting the benefits and welfare advice service,  launching an anti-poverty strategy and bidding for UK City of Culture 2030.

“Twelve have been taken and not been put in the council plan because currently they are not affordable,” Cllr Mellen added.

“It does not mean we are forgetting about them, it means we are putting them in a separate document to say, and I think this needs to be reviewed every year, at the moment we haven’t got resources for them.

“But then, sometimes resources become available that we did not think would happen. I give the example of the Streets for People money.”

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