Nottinghamshire's Robin Hood park 'on track', developers say

Designers impression of Robin Hood attraction Discovery Attractions said the first phase will open in 2014

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A £13m Robin Hood attraction in Nottinghamshire will go ahead, despite delays, the company behind the scheme has promised.

Concerns have been raised about the scheme to build a new medieval-themed park in Sherwood Forest.

But Discovery Attractions, the company behind the venture, said the attraction will open in 2015, as planned.

On Thursday, a bid to create a Robin Hood attraction at Nottingham Castle was rejected for lottery funding.

Rob Gray, marketing director for Discovery Attractions, said the park, named Discover Robin Hood, was the company's first such project.

It will include a medieval-style village fair, a wildlife dome, an open-air theatre, a torture chamber, a 4D show and an adventure play area.

Robin Hood and the curse of the tourist attraction

  • A Nottingham city centre tourist attraction The Tales of Robin Hood closed in 2009, due to a fall in visitors
  • An attempt by Nottinghamshire County Council to win £50m of funding to develop the Sherwood Forest visitor centre failed in 2007
  • Nottingham City Council's application for £14.9m of funding to develop an attraction at Nottingham Castle was rejected by the Heritage Lottery Fund

The current Sherwood Forest visitor centre, which dates from the 1970s, will be demolished. The development will take place on a site on Swinecote Road.

The Cambridge-based company initially aimed to submit a planning application by the end of 2012, with construction due to begin in autumn 2013.

However Nottinghamshire County Council, which is helping to manage the project, said negotiations had taken longer than expected because the new site is an area of Special Scientific Importance (SSI).

Mr Gray said the company now planned to submit an application in the summer and start work on the visitor centre in spring 2014.

He said the Discover Robin Hood attraction will then open in spring 2015, as planned.

The scheme is being funded privately by a consortium of investors.

"Discover Robin Hood will be the first in a number of attractions based around English heritage we are opening across the country," said Mr Gray.

"We have a very strong team working on this. There have been some delays but we will open as planned."

Previous plans to bring a Robin Hood attraction to Nottingham and Nottinghamshire have stalled.

Mr Gray said: "It's going to be a resounding success and the curse that seems to have plagued other Robin Hood attractions will be broken."

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