The most recent Robin Hood-related news stories breaking in the global media!
Disappointment and concern are the views being initially expressed by the public and interested organisations having seen that the County Council's proposals for the new Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre are now to be carried out in two phases. With plans for a possible Robin Hood Heritage Centre earmarked for "sometime in the future" when funding has been secured, doubts are being raised as to whether the much-needed attraction will ever get built!
Questions are also being asked as to why an application has not been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a matched contribution to try to double the County Council's £5.3m investment and make it possible to extend the proposed new Visitor Centre and be able to accommodate the Robin Hood heritage element in one building. This latest fiasco is seen by the public as yet another delaying factor by the local authority in a long-running saga of failed Sherwood Forest initiatives, reflecting a sad indictment of the County Council's true commitment, ambition and pride in Nottinghamshire's most famous legend!
Commenting on the design of the new Visitor Centre, grants consultant, Paul Abel said "If ever there was a need for an "Iconic Building" this should have been it! Somewhere that becomes instantly recognisable because its architecture reflects the heritage of the place where it stands. The building Robin Hood deserves should be able to take the visitor's imagination back in time and invite you into a world that meets the expectations of visitors looking to experience Sherwood Forest's legendary hero and his unique status in popular culture. However, with the interior space being divided between retail outlets, a cafe and an exhibition area that is likely to primarily be allocated to wildlife information, it appears that Robin Hood will simply just get "airbrushed in" as a token gesture! "
Bob White, Chairman of the internet-based World Wide Robin Hood Society, said "Squaring the circle between a mythical legend and the appreciation of the forest's natural environment was always going to be a difficult balance to achieve but the proposed two-phased approach means that for the next few years this historic location will have a visitor centre in denial of what Sherwood Forest means to most people! Bob suggests the RSPB should look at its 2-phase approach as one, as such a proposal would make excellent match funding for a Robin Hood Heritage Centre if it were to be built at the same time. He said, "Committing to the Visitor Centre without trying to secure Heritage Lottery support is a wasted funding opportunity. The consultation events should have whetted the public's appetite to rise to the challenge of bringing legends to life but instead they look like being testimony to another embarrassing chapter in the Robin Hood saga that will once again attract scorn and ridicule from the public and the media."
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