Investors showing keen interest in Robin Hood visitor centre project

10-0821-9''Sherwood Forest vox pop.''Sherwood Forest visitors centre.
10-0821-9''Sherwood Forest vox pop.''Sherwood Forest visitors centre.

Investors are showing a keen interest to develop a new visitor centre at Sherwood Forest after plans for a £13 million Robin Hood theme park were shelved earlier this year.

Nottinghamshire County Council says it is still ‘fully committed’ to having a new visitor centre up and running at Sherwood Forest in 2017 ‘in order to do justice to the legend of Robin Hood’.

The ambitious £13 million visitor attraction was meant to open next spring, but in June Notts County Council said it was no longer working with tourism experts Discovery Attractions, who had drawn up initial plans.

Steve Bradley, Group Manager for Cultural and Enrichment Services at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “Regrettably, Discovery Attractions was unable to provide evidence of the funding needed to take their bid to contract stage but we still strongly believe that Sherwood Forest and the legend of Robin Hood provides a great opportunity to develop the tourism potential of the area, whilst protecting the heritage and conservation of the historic country park.”

He said a formal process of finding a new external partner to work with the County Council on developing a new visitor centre would start this autumn.

A number of parties had already expressed a keen interest in the project in informal discussions.

He added: “By working with a partner or partners, the council hopes to create a new Sherwood Forest experience, fit for the 21st century and at the same reduce public expenditure on the site by generating greater income and a more exciting package for visitors.

“Following the launch of the formal tendering process in late October we are aiming to secure a partner organisation by the summer of 2015, with a view to the new attraction being open in the summer of 2017.”