‘Tourism experts bring vast experience to Castle Trust Board’


Two highly experienced names from the visitor economy are to strengthen Nottingham Castle Trust, the body set up to boost  the regeneration  of the historic site.

Sara Blair-Manning is the general manager of the National Trust’s properties in  South Nottinghamshire and North Lincolnshire. The portfolio – Gunby Estate Hall and Gardens, Monksthorpe Chapel, Tattershall Castle, Southwell Workhouse and  Lincolnshire holiday cottages – give her a deep understanding of what visitors want to see. Sara Blair-Manning brings in-depth experience of expanding heritage businesses, strategic policy development, implementing sustainable and achievable fundraising and volunteer strategies and the development of education programmes. She said ‘I am thrilled to be supporting the Nottingham Castle project as a trustee. I’m looking forward to sharing my experience and skills to assist the team with this important project.  It will be transformative for both the castle and the city and on completion will offer a world class heritage visitor attraction.’

Ted Cadogan, chief operating officer of Chatsworth House, the home of the Dukes of Devonshire in the Derbyshire Peak District, will join the trust board bringing huge commercial experience of running one of the country’s most popular and successful historic country houses. A former army officer and management executive at Proctor & Gamble and Asda, Mr Cadogan is responsible for the operation, restoration, and performance of Chatsworth which  attracts more than 600,000 visitors a year. He oversees the smooth running of every aspect of a visitor’s trip to Chatsworth including exhibitions, the retail operation and the famous Chatsworth Farm shop, its restaurants and cafes. Mr Cadogan manages  major national events such as the Horse Trials and the Country Fair. Behind the scenes, he overseas the on-going £33 million restoration programme of the house and grounds.

Mr Cadagon said ‘the Castle project has the potential to boost tourism across the East Midlands  and nationally, complementing the already strong offer. Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire boast world class visitor attractions and this will be much  strengthened by the  redeveloped Castle site in Nottingham. I am delighted to be asked and very much look forward to joining the trust, contributing to its exciting work as it shapes its strategy to attract 400,000 visitors a year.’

Ted Cantle, Chair of the Board pf Trustees, says ‘we are delighted to welcome two very experienced  individuals who bring qualities which will strengthen our  trust as the plans for the castle enter the next phase. Preparation for the next HLF round is underway which is demanding  and time consuming. Details of the project will be considered by the HLF later this year with a view to construction starting in 2017.’

‘What is important is that Sara and Ted have a deep knowledge of what visitors expect. We have a rich historic story to present. Their experience, insight and vast knowledge of the heritage and tourism industry will be invaluable as we continue to raise funds for the castle redevelopment and help shape the eventual Nottingham Castle experience.’

The redevelopment of Nottingham Castle has received the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Along with Nottingham City Council and European funding streams, £21m has so far been pledged towards the scheme. More £3m is to be raised by the trust. The Castle Trust is building relationships with national and local businesses and benefactors  to support this once in a lifetime opportunity. Proposals include a renewed focus on Robin and the Rebels supported by a new interactive gallery that will bring to life the story of Nottingham and its Castle in an absorbing and enjoyably way.



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