When you think of Nottingham, Robin Hood and Raleigh bikes might spring to mind! The city has unique links to the legend of the outlaw who stole from the rich to give to the poor, as well as a history in the production of bicycles, lace and tobacco. A major sporting centre, it was named as ‘Home of English Sport’ in 2015, and The National Ice Centre, Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre and Trent Bridge cricket ground are all based in and around the city. Nottingham also has two professional football teams – Notts County and Nottingham Forest – as well as successful rugby, ice hockey and cricket teams. Yes, sport ranks highly as one of this vibrant city’s favourite pursuits.
For the culture vulture, Nottingham has a rich literary heritage, with connections to both Lord Byron and D. H. Lawrence, as well as a strong contemporary literary community and a thriving publishing industry. There are two large-capacity theatres – the Nottingham Playhouse and the Theatre Royal – together with smaller theatre venues, several notable museums and art galleries including Nottingham Castle Museum, Green’s Windmill and Science Centre, Nottingham Contemporary art gallery, New Art Exchange and Nottingham Natural History Museum. The Albert Hall is one of the city’s principal music venues, while the Nottingham Arena hosts some of the biggest acts around. The city is home to Earache Records, al large independent record label, plus it also boasts an active classical music scene, while hip-hop music features heavily.
Tall office buildings line Maid Marian Way, the Georgian area around Oxford and Regent Streets is dominated by small professional firms, and many of the 19th century industrial buildings are now reused as bars and restaurants. The city has undergone many changes since its industrial beginnings. It now focuses on low-carbon technologies – digital media, life sciences, financial and business services, and retail and leisure – and several big companies have headquarters in Nottingham. These include Alliance Boots, GM (cricket bats), E.ON UK, Gala Group, Siemens, Speedo, Vision Express, Specsavers, Games Workshop, Serif Europe, Heart Internet, Capital One and Browne Jacobson. Nottingham was named as one of the UK’s six science cities in 2005 – BioCity is the UK’s biggest bioscience innovation and incubation centre, housing around 80 science-based companies – while it was also ranked in the top UK cities for job growth in recent years.
One of the UK’s most attractive tourist destinations, Nottingham has benefitted from more people opting to enjoy staycations. In 2011, visitors spent over £1.5 billion, making the most of the city’s fabulous restaurants and tourist attractions. There’s a Robin Hood Pageant in October, which is always a crowd-pleaser, as well as a Ferris wheel in the Old Market Square – Nottingham’s answer to the London Eye!
The city has an award-winning public transport system, including the largest publicly owned bus network in England, and is also served by Nottingham Railway Station and the modern National Express Transit tram system. The nearest airport is East Midlands Airport (formerly known as Nottingham East Midlands Airport until it reverted to its original name), which is just under 15 miles from the city centre.
The two universities – the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University – are attended by over 60,000 students. There are also four further education colleges located in Nottingham, along with dozens of sixth form colleges, academies, comprehensive schools and independent schools, the city’s oldest educational establishment being Nottingham High School, which was founded in 1513.
Last year, most property sales in Nottingham involved semi-detached houses, which sold for an average of £177,599, while the overall average property price stood at £192,798. This reflects an increase of 3 per cent on the previous year.