Robin Hood £13m tourist 'castle' plan unveiled

Designers' impression of Robin Hood attraction Discovery Attractions said Robin Hood was a 'global brand'

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Sherwood Forest could get a £13m Robin Hood-themed attraction under new plans.

The proposal features a new forest visitor centre, a medieval-style castle and areas for events and entertainment.

Nottinghamshire County Council said the privately-funded venture, which could be open by spring 2015, could bring major investment into the area.

At the same time Nottingham City Council said it would be looking to develop its own overhaul of the city's castle site, centred on the outlaw.

The Sherwood project would mean the existing visitor facilities and car park near Edwinstowe closing down, with the new attraction built on nearby open land.

'Robin's heartland'

The council hopes it will create up to 100 jobs.

The real Robin Hood?

  • The Robin Hood legends form part of a body of outlaw tales dating from King John's reign
  • The first literary reference was in the narrative poem Piers Plowman, written by William Langland around 1377
  • But the main legends were told in 15th Century texts such as The Tales of Robin Hood and the Monk (c.1450)
  • The King's Remembrancer's Memoranda Roll of Easter 1262 documents a fugitive called William Robehod - the earliest of several such references to a "real" outlaw
  • Despite the uncertainty over his origins, literature locates the outlaw's activities around Barnsdale in South Yorkshire and Sherwood Forest

Source: BBC History

The chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council's culture committee, John Cottee, said: "The county council is committed to raising the profile of Robin and Sherwood locally, nationally and internationally, whilst at the same time protecting ancient Sherwood Forest for future generations.

"This exciting venture will also create and sustain jobs for Nottinghamshire people."

Discovery Attractions, the firm which has designed the scheme, said Robin Hood was a global brand that "deserved to be celebrated".

The site will also have a maze, 3D films, dungeons and hands-on activities.

A spokesman for the firm confirmed a full price ticket was expected to cost £17.50 but discounts would be available.

Bob White, chairman of the World Wide Robin Hood Society, said: "These are exciting times for everyone who loves Robin Hood.

"It is wonderful to hear of these plans which will bring benefits to all - and in Robin's heartland of Sherwood Forest."

Cash search

In August Nottingham City Council launched a consultation on plans for a new visitor centre, better access to caves and improved galleries at Nottingham Castle.

It has now said more than 1,800 people responded and the vast majority backed the idea of making more of the Robin Hood legend.

Chair of the Castle Working Group, Ted Cantle says: "Our ambition is to seek to transform Nottingham Castle and the surrounding Castle Quarter area into a world-class, internationally recognised tourist attraction.

"These consultation findings will help us drive that ambition with the confidence that we're on the right track and we can now move forward to develop our ideas further".

He added they were considering a number of funding options, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, to meet the multi-million pound cost.

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