England: Robin Hood site planned for 2015

By Emma Sword

A new £13 million Robin Hood-themed visitor attraction is being planned for Sherwood Forest, near Nottingham.

Nottingham has celebrated its association with Robin Hood by naming its airport after him and erecting this statue outside Nottingham Castle. Photo / Thinkstock
Nottingham has celebrated its association with Robin Hood by naming its airport after him and erecting this statue outside Nottingham Castle. Photo / Thinkstock

Plans for a new multimillion-pound visitor attraction celebrating the legend of Robin Hood have been announced in the UK.

Nottinghamshire County Council is seeking to build a £13 million (NZ$25 million) visitor attraction called Discover Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest, complete with medieval castle and fortified ramparts.

If the plans are approved, the 17-hectare attraction would open in spring 2015.

An artist's impression of the attraction shows plans which include a medieval King John's Castle, made from local stone and wood, complete with dungeons that visitors can explore.

There will be a host of indoor and outdoor displays, street performers and an open-air theatre to bring the legend, life and times of Robin Hood and his band of merry men to life.

Visitors will be able to have a go at activities including firing arrows, wild food cookery demonstrations, and dressing up in armour.

A tournament field will be used for events such as jousting shows, falconry exhibits, archery contests and costumed medieval theatre, while visitors daring to enter the maze will encounter talking trees.

The plans being put together with Discovery Attractions, who have worked with attractions including Madame Tussauds and Alton Towers, will now go forward for planning permission.

The first phase of the project, which includes a new visitor centre, café and shop to replace the existing facilities, would open in summer 2014 if they get the go ahead, while the Discover Robin Hood attraction would welcome its first visitors in spring 2015.

It is hoped the plans would create some 100 jobs and generate huge visitor spend for the local economy and vital investment to keep on protecting Robin's home - Sherwood Forest.

The plans will now go forward to Newark and Sherwood District Council for approval.

John Cottee, chairman of the culture committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: "This will put Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood's legendary home, back on the map.

"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.

"We hope to excite and educate visitors from all over the world. We're delighted to be working with Discovery Attractions to build a world class attraction befitting our legendary hero and his forest home.''

Rob Gray, marketing director of Discovery Attractions, said: "Robin Hood is a global brand that deserves to be celebrated, and where better to do this than at his spiritual home of Sherwood Forest.

"Discover Robin Hood will be the first in a series of world-class visitor attractions from Discovery Attractions, based on Britain's rich heritage of myths and legends. It will bring to life the story of Robin Hood in a way that is both entertaining and educational for kids and adults alike.

"We are absolutely delighted to be working alongside Nottinghamshire County Council and Experience Nottinghamshire to develop and operate this iconic property which will provide a real `wow' factor and focus for tourism and leisure in the Nottinghamshire area.''

- AAP

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