Nottingham has launched a bid for the title ‘European Capital of Culture 2023’. You might remember that Hull is the UK City of Culture – until 2021. For the big prize, Nottingham must beat Belfast, Dundee, Leeds and Milton Keynes – who have already announced their bids.
We have some great components – Lord Byron, The Nottingham Contemporary, Sat Bains’ 2* Michelin restaurant and a great music scene including the Rock City family of venues.
Interestingly we also have the backing of The Independent newspaper.
But they also pick up on something at the end of the article which remains the ‘elephant in the room’ – we own Robin Hood. We still have an ace card which sits at the back of the pack. Time to play it?
It is 8 years since I sat on the Sheriff’s Commission – where we looked at how best we could use Robin Hood and the Castle to promote the City and how we could capitalise on the brand. Very little visible has happened since that time – the Castle regeneration project still trundles along. I fully accept that the project is big and complex – I am just making the point that many of the ideas now promoted by the Castle were instigated 8 years ago.
In the meantime Robin still sits quietly in the corner. A bit embarrassed to come out his lair. Reluctant to shout about this place. I really have no idea why we don’t use him.
Maybe the time has come!