Thursday 26 January 2023
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‘Open Nottingham Castle gates’ demands campaign group

Campaigners have demanded that local residents be allowed to access the grounds of Nottingham Castle which closed last week after the trust running it went into liquidation.

At 2 pm on Saturday 3 December campaigners will post their demands on the castle gates watched by supporters.

Nottingham Castle re-opened in June last year after a three-year £33 million renovation.

Since re-opening the castle has been dogged by controversy. The Chief Executive left and took the Nottingham Castle Trust to employment tribunal, there was a letter of no confidence sent to the Trust board and complaints about the handling of a racist incident within the castle grounds.

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On Monday 21 November it was announced that the Nottingham Castle Trust was going into liquidation. Since then the castle has been closed with no indication of if or when it will open again.

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While the full details of what happened are not yet known, it is likely that the cost of entry put off many people, especially in the midst of the cost of living crisis.

Local residents were entitled to a small discount on entry, but tickets still cost £10 for adults and £7.50 for children.

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Campaigners believe that local residents should be given access to the castle grounds while other issues about the site’s future are resolved.

Campaigner Tom Unterrainer said:

“There are many questions which need to be resolved about what happened at the castle: What went wrong? What happened to the money? What will happen to the staff? Will anybody be held accountable?

“Those questions will inevitably take time to work out. While that’s happening why should local residents be prevented from accessing this iconic piece of green space in the city centre?”

Retired library worker Chris Cook Cann said: “Clearly privatising the space and trying to run it for profit hasn’t worked. Instead it seems to have lost the city millions of pounds.

“The council should open the gates and let the public back into this public space”

Campaigners say they will continue to press the City Council on this issue.

•  Nottingham Castle liquidation is a ‘blow to city economy’

•  Victoria Embankment paddling pool to be restored – with water play if funding successful

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