By Peter Makossah
Councillors have given a nod for Nottingham Castle to reopen its gates to the public in June amid the announcement for King Charles events in the city and its surrounding areas.
The Government has confirmed Nottingham will be one of a number of places around the country to host screenings of the Coronation and the Coronation Concert.
The Nottingham City Council has announced that Coronation Day Picnic and Celebration Concert events will take place in the grounds of Nottingham Castle over the weekend of May 6 and 7, 2023.
Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture & Planning, Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis, said: “It’s great to be able to announce that Nottingham Castle will open again very soon, and I’m really excited to see it once again play an important part in the life of the city and be a focal point for celebrations.
“The events we have lined up ahead of the full reopening are a great chance for people to reconnect with the site. This is a site which belongs to the whole of Nottingham and I’m hopeful that our approach, which draws on our successful experience of running Wollaton and Newstead, will first and foremost meet with local approval.
“I have no doubt that Nottingham Castle can also become a destination of national and international importance, just as we had envisaged when the £31m of improvements were completed.”
Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director for Arts Council England, said: “We’re pleased to hear that Nottingham Castle will soon be reopening its doors to visitors – it’s a great asset to the city and a place for people to celebrate the rich history and creativity of Nottingham.
“This much-loved visitor attraction is home to important museum collections, great art and unique historic buildings,” and we look forward to it reopening with Nottingham City Council at the helm.”
Robyn Llewellyn, Director, England, Midlands & East at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Having supported the restoration and conservation of this very important historic site, we welcome the news that Nottingham City Council have announced that gates to Nottingham Castle will re-open in June.
“We are glad to hear of the council’s plans to hold preview events from May ahead of the full re-opening and are heartened that visitors can enjoy this important beacon of the region’s rich cultural heritage once more.”
The details of some preview events in May can now be revealed – with a weekend marking the King’s Coronation getting things underway for people to return to the site for the first time since last November.
On the Saturday, the Coronation of King Charles III will be broadcast on a giant screen in the castle grounds, where visitors will be invited to bring a blanket and have a picnic.
On the Sunday, the grounds will be open again for the screening of the Coronation Concert, broadcast live from the grounds of Windsor Castle and featuring top international acts. Further details will follow in the coming days.
This will be a chance to enjoy the grounds for free, find out more about what the castle plans offer, plus look at volunteering and job opportunities at the castle and within the council’s Museums and Galleries Service.
Further events and details of admission prices for entry to the castle when it fully reopens will be announced in due course.
The City Council was handed the historical site back by Liquidators for Nottingham Castle Trust which declared itself insolvent last November.
A decision was taken by the Council’s Executive Board on March 21 to work towards reopening the whole site in June as part of its Museums and Galleries service.
Free Open Days will also take place in May, with final dates to be confirmed, once again opening up the castle grounds, as well as launching the Brewhouse Yard cottages which have not been showcased since the redevelopment of the whole site.
According to the Nottingham City Council, the days will feature medieval re-enactments, have-a-go archery, and storytelling below the castle from those who lived in the cottages.
Cave tours will also be available.
“This much-loved visitor attraction is home to important museum collections, great art and unique historic buildings.”Peter Knott
Midlands Area Director for Arts Council England