Nottingham Castle Trust is to hand over the running of the historic site to the city’s local authority after the charity announced it has closed.
The charity has begun the process of appointing liquidators to formally wind up its affairs.
“We are saddened to announce that Nottingham Castle Trust has begun the process of appointing liquidators and the Castle grounds and exhibitions will remain closed to all visitors until further notice”, said the charity.
Nottingham City Council has confirmed that the site will be handed back to local authority control. The council is looking to re-open the site and is to speak with funding bodies about its future.
The closure of the charity comes following a £33m overhaul of the site 18 months ago, which failed to attract enough visitors to keep the castle open.
Its most recently filed accounts show its total spending in the year ending March 2021 was £731,000 and its total gross income was £395,000.
Funding for the redevelopment was backed by funding from among others area’s local enterprise partnership D2N2, the Local Growth Fund, National Heritage Lottery Fund, Nottingham City Council and Arts Council England, as well as fundraising by the Nottingham Castle Trust.
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“We will re-open the castle as soon as possible, said Pavlos Kotsanis, the council’s portfolio holder for leisure, culture and planning.
“Once we have a clearer picture from the liquidators, we will explore all available options together with our key partners The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and others to develop a fresh business model.
“There is a real commitment from all parties to see this important cultural asset fulfil its full potential for the city and the wider region as a successful visitor attraction, playing a key part in our wider plans to bring investment, jobs, visitors and growth to Nottingham and its residents.”
He added: “It is a matter of huge disappointment that Nottingham Castle Trust, which has been responsible for operating Nottingham Castle, has informed us that in light of its trading performance, it is in the process of appointing liquidators and closing the site, which it will be handing back to the council.
“This is clearly a significant blow for the city and its visitor economy. The council’s immediate priority is to work with the appointed liquidators to support those staff at the Castle who have been affected by this sad news, and to safeguard the site and its collections while it is not operational.
“We appreciate the significant efforts that the employees of the Trust have put into the site and understand how devastated they must be by this news.”
The castle is a 17th century Stuart era mansion in the city that is built on the site a Norman castle from the 11th century.
While Nottingham City Council owned the site it had been operated by the Trust.