Wednesday, 26 October 2011

News - Still years to wait for new Robin attraction (Nottingham)

A NEW Robin Hood attraction for Nottingham is still years away and will not open by next June as previously hoped.

The Post can reveal that new plans for the attraction at the castle will be unveiled in "a couple of months" but will still take several years to put in place.

This is despite the city council having set up a Sheriff's Commission in 2009 and spent £10,000 of taxpayers' money on sending a delegation to America to research tourist attractions there.

The commission – which was established to decide how the city could best maximise the tourism potential of Robin Hood – agreed that a new Robin Hood attraction was needed at the castle by June 2012, as well as a new Sherwood Forest visitors' centre.

But there are currently no concrete plans or funds in place for either.

Conservative councillor Roger Steel said: "I'm really disappointed. The Sheriff's Commission seems to be a damp squib. Joe Public hasn't seen anything from it."

However, Hugh White, the city council's director for sport, culture and parks, said the delay was due to the state of the economy.

"Where we were 18 months ago to where we are now is very different economically," he said. "The scale of ambition doesn't reduce, but the timescale of delivery needs to adjust."

A working group is expected to unveil new plans for the castle attraction before the end of the year. Ted Cantle, former city council chief executive, who is chairing the group, said it hoped in a couple of months' time to present an idea that had a "reasonable chance" of attracting funding.

"I think it will capture people's imagination," he added.

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