Nottingham Castle's Robin Hood revamp on hold

Artist's impression of redeveloped Nottingham Castle The plans included creating a visitor centre and improving access to the castle's caves
Nottingham Castle The original castle was flattened after the English Civil War and a stately home built on the site was burnt down during a 19th Century riot

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A bid for funding to redevelop Nottingham Castle and make more of its connection with Robin Hood has been rejected.

Nottingham City Council applied for £14.9m towards the £26m project, which it hoped would create a "world class heritage attraction".

The Heritage Lottery Fund said bidding for grants was "highly competitive" and it did not have enough money.

The council said it will now improve the plans and re-submit its bid.

The project included creating a visitor centre and improving access to the castle's caves.

'Have another go'

What does Robin Hood think?

Tim Pollard at Nottingham Castle

Nottingham's official Robin Hood, Tim Pollard, said he was disappointed that the funding bid had been rejected.

"Myself and Maid Marian have just got back from Hamelin in Germany, the home of the Pied Piper, and what they do with the Pied Piper legend over there is absolutely fabulous," he said.

"It would be utterly brilliant if we could get that amount of tourism coming into Nottingham and I think Nottingham needs a Robin Hood attraction."

Ted Cantle, chairman of the Castle Working Group, said: "Naturally, we're disappointed not to have got the funding straight away but we remain totally committed to the castle project.

"We have been encouraged to have another go when more grant money from the Heritage Lottery Fund will be available."

Many people from the city, including Nottingham North MP Graham Allen, have called for Nottingham to make more of its links with Robin Hood.

'Hugely significant role'

The Nottingham Castle project was considered by the Heritage Lottery Fund alongside 11 other bids from the UK.

Six of the projects have been successful, and a total of £68m will be given to them.

Vanessa Harbar, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, said: "Nottingham Castle and its wider site have played a hugely significant role in our national history over the past millennia.

"We know this news must be very disappointing but our recent board meeting was over-subscribed and highly competitive meaning we sadly did not have enough money to support all the applications we looked at on the day."

The Heritage Lottery Fund will meet with the working group to give feedback on where the bid went wrong.

The working group intends to submit its new bid in November.

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