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Nottingham Castle reopening to be confirmed later this month

A date for the reopening of Nottingham Castle will be revealed later this month after the trust running it went into liquidation.

The Nottingham Castle Trust, which operated the historic site on behalf of the council, announced it was going into liquidation on Monday, November 21.

The news meant the castle and all its grounds closed with immediate effect just 18 months after it reopened following a multi-million-pound renovation that took three years to complete.

But a new reopening date will be confirmed later this month, it was revealed at a Nottingham City Council meeting on January 9.

Members of all three political groups, Labour, the Conservatives and the Independents asked questions about the castle during the meeting on January 9.

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The trust put its liquidation down to lower-than-expected visitor numbers, the lasting impact of Covid, the ongoing cost of living crisis and a “threefold increase” in its own bills.

The castle was intended to be a ‘world-class’ heritage site rivalling York and Warick’s offerings.

During the meeting, Councillor Kirsty Jones (Ind) asked when the castle would reopen to the public, “after another council failure and further losses of public funds”.

Councillor Pavlos Kotsonis (Lab), the council’s portfolio holder for leisure, culture and planning, replied: “Whilst I cannot give you a definite date today as to when the site will reopen, I can assure you that work is taking place at pace and I will be in a position to make further public announcements, including on when the castle will reopen its doors, later this month.

“We all recognise the fundamental importance of this fantastic place, not just as a cultural asset but as an integral part of conveying the story of Nottingham.

“The council led the project to successfully deliver £31m redevelopment of the site and that money hasn’t been lost.

“It is vitally important to challenge the assertion that this is a council failure. It is deeply regrettable the independent castle trust has to contend with difficult operating conditions.

“There were also issues with the way the trust operated Nottingham Castle which contributed to them going into liquidation.

“The trust was an independent company, we did what we could to help them operate.”

Cllr David Mellen (Lab) added that the castle’s closure was “a matter of enormous disappointment”.

He said he was aware that the trust was in difficulty but allowed other options to be “exhausted” after deliberations with all parties.

He said: “It is of course a major setback to the city and a significant blow to businesses.

“I am confident this is only a temporary course.

“We want to reopen the castle as soon as possible and we want to learn lessons from this experience for future developments.”

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