Tuesday 23 July 2024
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Pictures: Nottingham Castle reopens to the public

Nottingham Castle officially reopened to the public today.

A three-year restoration project of the historic site, costing more than £30m, was completed in 2021.

But in November last year, Nottingham Castle Trust announced it would be going into administration and the castle doors were closed.

Control of the site was handed back to Nottingham City Council, which organised its re-opening on Monday, June 26.

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After criticism over previous entry prices, visitors can now purchase a “pay once, visit all year” ticket for £12 per adult,  along with free entry for up to three children aged 15 and under.

Hundreds of people turned up for the re-opening, including schoolchildren from Edna G Olds Academy in Lenton, who ‘stormed the gates’ along with Robin Hood to reopen the castle to the public.

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Tim Pollard, who plays the famous outlaw said being back at the castle was “like being home again”.

He said: “It’s absolutely joyous, the enthusiasm of everybody waiting outside was just fabulous.

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“The school children who helped me open the place up were just fabulous, they were bouncing off the walls.

“It’s what the city needs to have the castle back as part of the beating heart of Nottingham.”

He said he was “gutted” when the castle closed but added that the new team behind the castle have “so many good ideas”.

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He said: “The new pricing policy is brilliant, £12 a year works out at around 3p a day if you come every day and frankly that’s as cheap as you’re ever going to get.”

The castle will now be run as part of the council’s museums service.

It includes the newly reinvigorated Brewhouse Yard, showcasing life in Nottingham through the ages from the 1500s to 1900s, and a display as part of the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush generation.

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Doug Hill-Harriss, of Cincinnati, Ohio was visiting the castle with family who live in Nottingham.

He said: “It’s fantastic to be here, this is my fourth time in Nottingham and I like it very much. I am a big Forest fan as well.

“It feels very family-oriented here at the castle and it’s great that it’s so close to the city centre.

“I visited the castle as a teenager in the 80s and but I don’t remember it all that well. But when we planned a trip to Nottingham, we knew we had to come here.”

Paul Ellis, who was visiting the castle along with Doug, added: “It’s great having the family here and a good coincidence that the opening is happening today.

“Being Nottingham born and bred, the castle is a place I’ve been to many times.

“It was very sad to hear when it closed, I feel we should be making more of the castle. It might take another decade or so for people to come here as a real tourist destination like other places.”

Pavlos Kotsonis, portfolio holder for leisure, culture and planning at the city council, said it was a “great day”.

He said: “We are proud to be opening the castle again and we are proud to be delivering on a promise we made to the Nottingham public.

“I am proud of the staff because this is the outcome that we really wanted for residents.

“We have done so many things differently this time around.

“It’s not just the £12 tickets which is a great offer, it’s the fact that kids under 15 can go free.

“We want to address issues related to the cost of living crisis.

“We have a much bigger offer than before, apart from the galleries we have a richer exhibitions and access to the Museum of Nottingham Life at Brewhouse Yard.

“There are so many different aspects now compared to what we did before.”

The castle will be open from 10am to 5pm from February to October and from 11am to 4pm from November to January.

•  Today’s the day Nottingham Castle reopens its gates

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