Nottinghamshire needs to create a Robin Hood attraction to ensure more tourists visit the city, says the deputy leader of the county council.
Cllr Bruce Laughton said Nottinghamshire has never been very good at “selling itself” and has failed to promote its “jewel in the crown” – Robin Hood.
He said that the county council was working at securing a private investor that could set up a tourist attraction around the legendary outlaw.
The plans were revealed at the first ever Nottinghamshire Day held at County Hall next to the River Trent on Wednesday, August 25.
Nottinghamshire Day is about promoting everything about the county, with plans to stage street parties, events, and activities next year.
Nottingham did have a Tales of Robin Hood attraction in Maid Marian Way, before it closed in 2009 due to falling visitor numbers.
Visitors were taken on a chair-lift ride through medieval Nottingham and into Robin Hood’s hideaway in Sherwood Forest.
There were also archery classes and a banquet to enjoy.
Cllr Laughton told LDRS: “Nottinghamshire has never been very good at selling itself. We have always had the jewel in the crown, which is Robin Hood, which is internationally known.
“What have we done to sell it? The amount of complaints we get that we are not taking advantage. We are now starting to look into this area.
“We have got to start to sell Nottinghamshire and Nottinghamshire Day is just the vehicle to do that.”
Asked whether the council would run the Robin Hood attraction, he added: “You have got to be careful it is not a lead weight around your neck.
“When councils start to run non-essential services, they have not got a good history. We have got to encourage the private sector. It on our radar.”
He said Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest was a good example, as the council worked with the sports and leisure holiday provider.
On Wednesday, August 25, dignitaries, including local MPs, gathered at County Hall to celebrate the area’s first ever Nottinghamshire Day. It was organised by Nottinghamshire County Council.
The Nottinghamshire flag, which sports a prominent picture of Robin Hood, was also raised.
Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire Sir John Peace said: “Nottinghamshire Day represents a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our great county and all it has to offer, to deliver our understanding of the history and traditions, and the place we live and work and enjoy our leisure time.
“It is also an opportunity to promote Nottinghamshire and its historic attractions.
“This is very carefully timed because next year is the platinum jubilee to celebrate the 70 years of our Majesty the Queen’s reign and we have an opportunity over the next 12 months to really plan and start making people very aware of all the things we want to focus on here in Nottinghamshire. It is an opportunity to celebrate our history.
“More importantly, looking forward, let’s drive the economy, let’s drive economic prosperity and let’s have fun.”