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Nottingham Post
Nottingham Post
Oliver Pridmore

Nottingham Castle coronation concert crowd hope venue will keep 'making more of its space'

People who attended a packed Nottingham Castle screening of the coronation concert say the venue needs to keep "making more of its space" in future. The grounds of the historic site reopened for the first time since November over the coronation weekend, with the crowning of King Charles III marking the first event on Saturday (May 6).

Hundreds then queued round the block to enter the Castle gates on Sunday (May 7) as the big screen blasted out a special coronation concert. The gig was opened by Nottingham's own Jerub and featured stars such as Katy Perry.

The evening sun cast a glow over the Castle as the crowd enjoyed the variety of food and drink on offer in the grounds. Those attending said it was good to see Nottingham Castle back open, and hoped it would hold similar events in future.

Speaking on Sunday evening, Nottingham City Council leader David Mellen said "there certainly will be more use of the grounds" going forward.

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L to R: Linda Barker, 73, from Leeds; Rachel Hucknall, 50, of West Bridgford; Lynda Ferron, 57, of Clifton Grove; Marc Goodall, 52, of Derby; Julie Adey, 66, of Carlton; Roman Waed, 2, and Grace Horner, 23; Anne Barnes, 39, of West Bridgford. (Nottingham Post)

Lynda Ferron, 57, from Clifton Grove, attended the screening with friends and said: "I'm definitely a big fan of the royals and it's great to see the Castle open again.

"It's been an under-utilised space in the past and so absolutely they need to be doing more like this. It's about the castle making more of its space, when you think about the two fantastic universities in Nottingham and all the corporate opportunities, there's so much they could do with these grounds."

The Castle itself was not open during the coronation screenings, with the venue to fully reopen to the public in June. Ahead of that, further events will include a screening of the Eurovision Final on May 13.

There will also be free open days in May, featuring medieval re-enactments, archery and storytelling. Cave tours will also be available.

L to R: Warren Birch, 44, and son Joe, 9, of West Bridgford; Alistair Footitt, 42, and Eve Sarakula-Footitt, 47, of Ruddington; Louise Johnson, 49, of Ruddington. (Nottingham Post)

Also at Sunday's screening was Warren Birch, 44, from West Bridgford, with friends and his son Joe, 9. Mr Birch said: "I'm actually an arch-republican, but it's a beautiful evening to come out and have a beer.

"It's a shame the Castle has been closed for so long because it's in such a prominent area of Nottingham. The beer festival here used to be great and they need to be doing more of this."

Kryshia Ford-Wilson, 74, from Edwalton, attending the screening with her husband and friends, said: "This is absolutely brilliant and I hope we see more of this in future.

L to R: Sheila Wing, 73, David Peeks, 77, Talia Wing, 14, of Mapperley; Brian, 70, and Kryshia Ford-Wilson, 74, of Edwalton; Sonia Stevenson, 74, and Lenny Davis, 55, of Beeston; Tony Suthers, 76, of Calverton; Sandy Wells, 72, of Clifton Village; Sue Suthers, 61, of Calverton. (Nottingham Post)

"There needs to be more medieval things going on at the castle and more events like this in the grounds. They have done a really good job here though, especially with the numbers because it's busy but they've not made it too crowded."

Friend Tony Suthers, 76, from Calverton, added: "It's a fantastic site and we used to come regularly for the exhibitions and shows. They could do something like this in the weekend every summer."

Councillor Mellen added: “There certainly will be more use of the grounds, we’re not announcing the detail of that yet. We have recruited a lot of people, there were a lot of people who wanted to work at the castle.

“There’s a lot of work being done in the castle to improve what was there some years ago and I’ve every confidence that we will have lots of people coming to visit it, whether it’s to go into the ducal palace or to enjoy the grounds.

“Walking past The Castle, Fothergills and The Trip over the last few weeks, they don’t seem to have much problem in getting people to come and sit outside on a sunny evening. But obviously smaller businesses are much more connected to the castle.

“The Crafty Crow is closed and it would be good to see some business move into there. So it is important for business, we know the economy of the city is not just about retail but about people having reasons to come in.”

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