Seven months after its reopening, Nottingham Castle has welcomed its 100,000th visitor. A milestone moment for the city’s major heritage attraction, members of the Castle team surprised the ticket holder, Melvyn Twycross from Chilwell, with a luxury gift basket containing local produce worth over £150.
Since the long-anticipated relaunch, which took place in June 2021, the Castle has received an impressive number of visitors daily. In peak seasons, the Castle has welcomed on average 1,000 visitors per day, including visits from local schools and community groups.
The three-year period of extensive redevelopment and conservation of Nottingham Castle was supported by £7m from D2N2 LEP (£5million from the Local Growth Fund and £2million from Enterprise Zone business rates income). It also received backing from National Heritage Lottery Fund, Nottingham City Council and Arts Council England, plus fundraising by Nottingham Castle Trust.
Just the start for Nottingham Castle
Melvyn Twycross said: “We moved to Nottingham from Kent two months ago and Nottingham Castle was one of the places we desperately wanted to visit. We loved looking at the galleries, especially the one explaining the uprising of the Luddites and subsequent history of the Castle. I hope the 99,999 visitors before me enjoyed it as much as I did. I would highly recommend visiting to family groups as there is something for every age. Thank you, Nottingham Castle, for the great gift.”
David Johns, interim COO at Nottingham Castle Trust, said: “This is a really exciting milestone for everyone at the Castle. Despite the challenges of Covid-19 and delays to the opening, the team has welcomed 100,000 visitors through the Gatehouse and into the new Visitor Centre. People of all ages from Nottingham, and from further afield, visit the Castle which is a great achievement. We are extremely grateful for everyone’s support and thank all our funders, partners, and volunteers.
“This is just the start for Nottingham Castle – we have an exciting new exhibition titled ‘Laura Knight & Caroline Walker: A Female Gaze’ which examines through paint the remarkable lived experiences of women. The opening of the show in March will be a key moment in our programme this year. We’re looking forward to welcoming new and return visitors to this unique presentation, as part of the general admission ticket.”
After unveiling its impressive £30m makeover, the Castle has held a variety of events and activities. Highlights include its successful Lates programme, which included a skateboarding event in partnership with Skate Nottingham. The Castle also hosted Lush Life, an outdoor music event celebrating local artists, in partnership with Hockley Hustle and Mimm.
Its Christmas Countdown Clock was also a huge hit, which was both funded and developed in partnership with Nottingham Bid and the University of Nottingham. Finally, a visit by Sir Paul Smith himself, as well as a much-anticipated sold-out display for Light Night, which saw over 4,000 visitors explore the grounds free of charge over a two-day period.
For more information on the Castle or to book tickets please visit its website here.