Nottingham (/ˈnɒtɪŋəm/ (listen) NOT-ing-əm, locally /ˈnɒtnʊm/) is a city and unitary authority area in Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England. It is located 110 miles (180 km) north-west of London, 33 miles (53 km) south-east of Sheffield and 45 miles (72 km) north-east of Birmingham. Nottingham has links to the legend of Robin Hood and to the lace-making, bicycle and tobacco industries. The city is also the county town of Nottinghamshire and the settlement was granted its city charter in 1897, as part of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Nottingham is a tourist destination; in 2018, the city received the second-highest number of overnight visitors in the Midlands and the highest number in the East Midlands.[6]

City of Nottingham
"the Queen of the Midlands"[1]
Latin: Vivit post funera virtus, lit.'Virtue outlives death'[2]
Shown within Nottinghamshire
Location within England
Location within the United Kingdom
Location in Europe
Coordinates: 52°57′12″N 1°09′00″W
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
RegionEast Midlands
Ceremonial countyNottinghamshire
City Status1897
Administrative HQLoxley House
  TypeUnitary authority
  Governing bodyNottingham City Council (Labour)
  Council LeaderDavid Mellen (Lab)
  Lord MayorRosemary Healy
(2021 Census)[3]
28.81 sq mi (74.61 km2)
Elevation151 ft (46 m)
(2021 Census)[3]
  Density11,240/sq mi (4,338/km2)
768,638 (LUZ:975,800)(2011)
1,610,000 (Nottingham-Derby)(2011)[5]
  • 65.9% White (57.3% British)
  • 14.9% Asian
  • 10% Black
  • 5.9% Mixed
  • 3.3% Other
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postal Code
Area code0115
Grid Ref.SK570400
ONS code
  • 00FY (ONS)
  • E06000018 (GSS)
ISO 3166-2GB-NGM

In the Census 2021 results, Nottingham had a reported population of 323,632.[3] The wider conurbation, which includes many of the city's suburbs, has a population of 768,638.[7] It is the largest urban area in the East Midlands and the second-largest in the Midlands. Its Functional Urban Area,[8] the largest in the East Midlands, has a population of 919,484.[9] The population of the Nottingham/Derby metropolitan area is estimated to be 1,610,000.[5] The metropolitan economy of Nottingham is the seventh-largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $50.9 billion (2014).[10] Aside from Birmingham, it is the only city in the Midlands to be ranked as a sufficiency-level world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.[11]

Nottingham is a major sporting centre and, in October 2015, was named 'Home of English Sport'.[12] The National Ice Centre, Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre and Trent Bridge international cricket ground are all based in or around the city, which is also the home of two professional football teams: Notts County, formerly the world's oldest professional league club, and Nottingham Forest, famously two-time winners of the UEFA European Cup under Brian Clough and Peter Taylor in 1979 and 1980. The city has professional rugby, ice hockey and cricket teams; it also hosts the Aegon Nottingham Open, an international tennis tournament on the ATP and WTA tours. This accolade came just over a year after Nottingham was named as the UK's first City of Football.[13]

The city is served by Nottingham railway station and the Nottingham Express Transit tram system; its bus company, Nottingham City Transport, is the largest publicly owned bus network in England.[14] In December 2015, Nottingham was named a 'City of Literature' by UNESCO, joining a list of 20 Cities of Literature.[15] The title reflects Nottingham's literary heritage, with Lord Byron, D. H. Lawrence and Alan Sillitoe having links to the city, as well as a contemporary literary community, a publishing industry and a poetry scene.[16] The city is served by three universities: the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and the Nottingham campus of the University of Law; it hosts the highest concentration of higher education providers in the East Midlands.


The name of Nottingham is Anglo-Saxon in origin. A Saxon chieftain named Snot ruled an area known as Snotingaham in Old English; the homestead of Snot's people (-inga = 'the people of'; -ham = 'homestead').[17] Some authors derive Nottingham from Snottenga (caves) and ham (homestead) but "this has nothing to do with the English form".[18]

A settlement existed before the arrival of the Anglo Saxons in the early 7th century CE because it is known in the Brythonic as Tig Guocobauc, meaning Place of Caves (known also as "City of Caves"). In modern Welsh, Nottingham is known poetically as Y Tŷ Ogofog and in Irish as Na Tithe Uaimh, 'The Cavey Dwelling'.[19]


Nottingham Castle was constructed in 1068 on a sandstone outcrop by the River Leen. The Anglo-Saxon settlement was originally confined to the area today known as the Lace Market and was surrounded by a substantial defensive ditch and rampart, which fell out of use following the Norman Conquest and was filled by the time of the Domesday Survey (1086).[20] Following the Norman Conquest the Saxon settlement developed into the English Borough of Nottingham and housed a Town Hall and Law Courts. A settlement also developed around the castle on the hill opposite and was the French borough supporting the Normans in the castle. Eventually, the space between was built on as the town grew and the Old Market Square became the focus of Nottingham several centuries later.[20] Defences consisted initially of a ditch and bank in the early 12th century. The ditch was later widened, in the mid-13th century, and a stone wall built around much of the perimeter of the town. A short length of the wall survives, and is visible at the northern end of Maid Marian Way, and is protected as a Scheduled Monument.[20]

On the return of King Richard the Lionheart from the Crusades in 1194, the castle was occupied by supporters of Prince John, including the Sheriff of Nottingham. It was besieged by Richard and, after a sharp conflict, was captured.[21] In the legends of Robin Hood, Nottingham Castle is the scene of the final showdown between the Sheriff and the hero outlaw.[22]

By the 15th century Nottingham had established itself as a centre of a thriving export trade in religious sculpture made from Nottingham alabaster.[23] The town became a county corporate in 1449[24] giving it effective self-government, in the words of the charter, "for eternity". The Castle and Shire Hall were expressly excluded and remained as detached Parishes of Nottinghamshire.

One of those highly impressed by Nottingham in the late 18th century was the German traveller C. P. Moritz, who wrote in 1782, "Of all the towns I have seen outside London, Nottingham is the loveliest and neatest. Everything had a modern look, and a large space in the centre was hardly less handsome than a London square. A charming footpath leads over the fields to the highway, where a bridge spans the Trent. … Nottingham … with its high houses, red roofs and church steeples, looks excellent from a distance."[25]

During the Industrial Revolution, much of Nottingham's prosperity was founded on the textile industry; in particular, the city became an internationally important centre of lace manufacture. In 1831 citizens rioted in protest against the Duke of Newcastle's opposition to the Reform Act 1832, setting fire to his residence on the site of Nottingham Castle.

Nottingham in 1831

In common with the UK textile industry, Nottingham's textile sector fell into decline in the decades following World War II. Little textile manufacture now takes place in Nottingham; however, many of the former industrial buildings in the Lace Market district have been restored and put to new uses.

Nottingham was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, and at that time consisted of the parishes of St Mary, St Nicholas and St Peter. It was expanded in 1877 by adding the parishes of Basford, Brewhouse Yard, Bulwell, Radford, Sneinton, Standard Hill, and parts of the parishes of West Bridgford, Carlton, Wilford (North Wilford). In 1889 Nottingham became a county borough under the Local Government Act 1888. City status was awarded as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria, being signified in a letter from the prime minister, the Marquess of Salisbury to the mayor, dated 18 June 1897. Nottingham was extended in 1933 by adding Bilborough and Wollaton, parts of the parishes of Bestwood Park and Colwick, and a recently developed part of the Beeston Urban District. A further boundary extension was granted in 1951 when Clifton and Wilford (south of the River Trent) were incorporated into the city.[26][27]

Demographic evolution of Nottingham
4th century<37
10th century<1,000
11th century1,500
14th century3,000
Early 17th century4,000
Late 17th century5,000

Electric trams were introduced to the city in 1901; they served the city for 35 years until 1936. Trams were reintroduced after 68 years when a new network opened in 2004.[27]

In the sporting world, Nottingham is home to the world's oldest professional football club, Notts County, which was formed in 1862. The town's other football club, Nottingham Forest, had a period of success between 1977 and 1993 under manager Brian Clough, winning the First Division, four League Cups, a UEFA Super Cup and two European Cups.[28] During this time Forest signed Trevor Francis, Britain's first £1 million footballer, who joined the club in February 1979 from Birmingham City.[29]

The city was the site of race riots in 1958, centred on the St Ann's neighbourhood.[30]

During the second half of the 20th century Nottingham saw urban growth with the development of new public and private housing estates and new urban centres, which have engulfed former rural villages such as Bilborough, Wollaton, Gedling and Bramcote. South of the river there has also been expansion with new areas such as Edwalton and West Bridgford, adding to Nottingham's urban sprawl. Although this growth slowed towards the end of the century, the modern pressures for more affordable and council housing is back on the political agenda and there is now pressure on the green belt which surrounds the city.[31]


Local government

Nottingham City Council is a unitary authority who are based at Loxley House, Nottingham on Station Street. It consists of 55 councillors, representing 20 wards, who are elected every four years; the last elections being held on 2 May 2019. The council is independent of Nottinghamshire County Council but work with them for local developments and other matters. Nottingham, though, remains the county town of Nottinghamshire even though the county hall is in the neighbouring town of West Bridgford where the county council is based.

The city also has a Lord Mayor who is selected by city councillors from among themselves. The position is largely ceremonial but the Lord Mayor also acts as Chair of Full Council meetings.

The City of Nottingham's boundaries are tightly drawn and exclude several suburbs and towns that are usually considered part of Greater Nottingham. Unlike the city, these areas are governed by a two tier system of local government. Nottinghamshire County Council is based at the county hall. It provides the upper tier of local government whilst the lower tier is split into several district or borough councils. The County Council are responsible for Health, Social Care, Education, Highways, Transport, Libraries and Trading Standards, whilst the lower tier councils are responsible for local planning, neighbourhood services, housing, licensing, environmental health and leisure facilities. The towns of Beeston, Stapleford and Eastwood are administered by Broxtowe Borough Council. Further west still, the Nottingham urban district extends into Derbyshire where Ilkeston and Long Eaton are administered by Erewash Borough Council, and Ripley by Amber Valley. To the north, Hucknall is governed by Ashfield District Council, while in the east Arnold and Carlton form part of the Borough of Gedling. South of the river, the town of West Bridgford lies in Rushcliffe, as do the outlying villages of Ruddington and Tollerton and the town of Bingham.

Map illustrating the boundaries of the city and the wider Greater Nottingham area

UK Parliament

Nottingham has three UK parliamentary constituency seats within its boundaries. Nottingham North has been represented since 2017 by Labour Member of Parliament (MP) Alex Norris, Nottingham East since 2019 by Labour MP Nadia Whittome and Nottingham South since 2010 by Labour MP Lilian Greenwood. Each of the outer districts (Broxtowe, Ashfield, Gedling and Rushcliffe) are also parliamentary constituencies in their own right although the parliamentary constituency boundaries do not align with the boundaries of the council districts of which they share their name.

Nottingham East Nottingham North Nottingham South
Nadia Whittome Alex Norris Lilian Greenwood
Labour Party Labour Party Labour Party

Geography and ecology

Nottingham is situated on an area of low hills[32] along the lower valley of the River Trent, and is surrounded by the Sherwood Forest in the north, the Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire Coalfield in the west, and the Trent and Belvoir Vales in the east and south.

Nottingham from the east, c. 1695, painted by Jan Siberechts


Map of Nottingham showing the city boundary

Within the city

Around the city


Within the city, native wildlife includes red fox, peregrine falcon and common kingfisher.[33] Notable nature reserves around the city include Attenborough Nature Reserve SSSI, Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, Holme Pit SSSI, Fairham Brook Local Wildlife Site and Wollaton Park. Due to its position as a central city with strong transport links, Nottingham has become home to invasive animal and plant species including rose-ringed parakeet, Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam.[34]


Like most of the United Kingdom, Nottingham has a temperate oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb) and experiences warm mild summers and mild to cool winters with abundant precipitation throughout the year. There are two weather-reporting stations close to Nottingham: the former "Nottingham Weather Centre", at Watnall, about 6 miles (10 km) northwest of the city centre; and the University of Nottingham's agricultural campus at Sutton Bonington, about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of the city centre. The highest temperature recorded in Nottingham (Watnall) stands at 39.8 °C (103.6 °F),[35] whilst Sutton Bonington recorded a temperature of 39.4 °C (102.9 °F),[36] both recorded on 19 July 2022, and the record-high minimum temperature is 19.9 °C (67.8 °F)[37] recorded in August 2004. On average, a temperature of 25 °C (77 °F) or above is recorded on 11 days per year, whilst a temperature of 30 °C (86 °F) is recorded at least 1 day per year[38] at Watnall for the period of 1991–2020, and the warmest day of the year reaches an average of 30.0 °C (86.0 °F).[39]

For the period 1991–2020 Nottingham (Watnall) recorded on average 36.9 days of air frost per year,[40] and Sutton Bonington 42.2.[41] The lowest recorded temperature in Nottingham (Watnall) is −13.3 °C (8.1 °F) recorded in 23 January 1963[42] and 13 January 1987,[43] whilst a temperature of −17.8 °C (0.0 °F) was recorded in Sutton Bonington on 24 February 1947.[44] The record-low maximum temperature is −6.3 °C (20.7 °F)[45] recorded in January 1963. For the period of 1991–2020, the coldest temperature of the year reaches an average of −5.5 °C (22.1 °F)[46] in Nottingham (Watnall).

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.5
Average high °C (°F) 6.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 4.3
Average low °C (°F) 1.7
Record low °C (°F) −13.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 59.1
Average snowfall mm (inches) 10
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 11.6 10.9 10.1 9.4 9.0 9.8 9.4 9.5 9.8 11.2 12.7 12.3 125.9
Average snowy days 2.7 3.8 1.3 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 1.5 9.8
Average relative humidity (%) 89 86 82 81 81 83 79 78 81 85 88 90 84
Average dew point °C (°F) 2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 56.0 77.7 116.2 152.3 191.5 170.5 191.5 177.6 137.5 96.9 64.1 55.3 1,487
Mean daily daylight hours 8.2 9.9 11.9 14.0 15.9 16.8 16.3 14.7 12.7 10.6 8.7 7.7 12.3
Average ultraviolet index 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 2 3
Source 1: Met Office[47] ECA&D[48]
Source 2: WeatherAtlas[49] Time and Date (dew point 2005–2015)[50]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.5
Daily mean °C (°F) 4.7
Average low °C (°F) 1.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 50.7
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 10.9 9.6 9.6 9.6 8.9 9.5 9.6 8.6 8.9 10.4 11.0 11.7 118.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 51.6 76.1 115.6 152.0 182.9 161.8 190.1 175.6 136.7 100.8 61.5 47.7 1,452.4
Source: Met Office[51]

Air quality

In 2017 it was reported that Nottingham is one of a number of UK cities that break WHO air pollution guidelines for the maximum concentration of small particulate matter. Pollution in part being caused by harmful wood-burning stoves.[52]

Green belt

Nottingham is bounded by a green belt area, provisionally drawn up from the 1950s. Completely encircling the city, it extends for several miles into the surrounding districts, as well as towards Derby.


The geographical centre of Nottingham is usually defined as the Old Market Square. The square is dominated by the Council House, which replaced the Nottingham Exchange Building, built in 1726. The Council House was built in the 1920s to display civic pride, ostentatiously using baroque columns and placing stone statues of two lions at the front to stand watch over the square. The Exchange Arcade, on the ground floor, is an upmarket shopping centre containing boutiques.

Nottingham Trent University, Arkwright Building

Tall office buildings line Maid Marian Way. The Georgian area around Oxford and Regent Streets is dominated by small professional firms. The Albert Hall faces the Gothic revival St Barnabas' Roman Catholic Cathedral by Pugin. Nottingham Castle and its grounds are located further south in the western third of the city. The central third descends from the university district in the north, past Nottingham Trent University's Gothic revival Arkwright Building. The university also owns many other buildings in this area. The Theatre Royal on Theatre Square, with its pillared façade, was built in 1865. King and Queen Streets are home to striking Victorian buildings designed by such architects as Alfred Waterhouse and Watson Fothergill.

To the south, is Broadmarsh Shopping Centre. The Canal-side further south of this is adjacent to Nottingham railway station and home to numerous redeveloped 19th-century industrial buildings, reused as bars and restaurants.

The eastern third of the city centre contains the Victoria Shopping Centre, built in the 1970s on the site of the demolished Victoria railway station. All that remains of the old station is the clock tower and the station hotel, now the Nottingham Hilton Hotel. The 250-foot-high Victoria Centre flats stand above the shopping centre and are the tallest buildings in the city. The eastern third contains Hockley Village. Hockley is where many of Nottingham's unique, independent shops are to be found. It is also home to two alternative cinemas.

Lace Market

National Justice Museum in the Lace Market

The Lace Market area just south of Hockley has streets with four- to seven-storey red brick warehouses, iron railings and red phone boxes.

Many of the buildings have been converted into apartments, bars and restaurants. The largest building in the Lace Market is the Adams Building, built by Thomas Chambers Hine for Thomas Adams (1807–1873), and currently used by Nottingham College. The Georgian-built Shire Hall, which was once Nottingham's main court and prison building, is now home to the National Justice Museum (formerly the "Galleries of Justice").

Public houses

Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem (the Trip), partially built into the cave system beneath Nottingham Castle, is a contender for the title of England's Oldest Pub, as it is supposed to have been established in 1189.[53] The Bell Inn in the Old Market Square, and Ye Olde Salutation Inn (the Salutation) in Maid Marian Way have both disputed this claim. The Trip's current timber building probably dates back to the 17th or 18th century, but the caves are certainly older and may have been used to store beer and water for the castle during medieval times. There are also caves beneath the Salutation that date back to the medieval period, although they are no longer used as beer cellars. The Bell Inn is probably the oldest of the three pub buildings still standing, according to dendrochronology, and has medieval cellars that are still used to store beer.[54]


The south side of Nottingham High School

Almost 62,000 students attend the city's three universities, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Law and the University of Nottingham; in the 2016/17 academic year, Trent University was attended by 29,370 students and Nottingham University by 32,515.[55] The University of Nottingham Medical School is part of the Queen's Medical Centre.[56]

There are three colleges of further education located in Nottingham: Bilborough College is solely a sixth form college; Nottingham College was formed in 2017, by the amalgamation of Central College Nottingham and New College Nottingham (which had both previously formed from the merger of smaller FE colleges); and the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, owned by Nottingham Trent University, is a further education college that specialises in media.[57] The city has dozens of sixth form colleges and academies, providing education and training for adults aged over sixteen.[58]

Nottingham also has a number of independent schools. The city's oldest educational establishment is Nottingham High School, which was founded in 1513.[59][60]


Formerly part of the HM Revenue & Customs Castle Meadow Campus in Nottingham

Nottingham is the East Midlands' largest economy.[61]

In 2010, Nottingham City Council announced that the target sectors of their economic development strategy would include low-carbon technologies; digital media; life sciences; financial and business services; and retail and leisure.[62]

Nottingham is home to the headquarters of several companies. These include Alliance Boots (formerly Boots the Chemists); Chinook Sciences; GM (cricket bats); Pedigree Petfoods; VF Corporation (American clothing); Changan Automobile (Chinese-made automobiles); the credit reference agency Experian; energy company E.ON Energy UK; betting company Gala Bingo; amusement and gambling machine manufacturer Bell-Fruit-Games; engineering company Siemens; sportswear manufacturers Speedo; high-street opticians Vision Express and Specsavers; games and publishing company Games Workshop; PC software developer Serif Europe (publisher of PagePlus and other titles); web hosting provider Heart Internet; the American credit card company Capital One; the national law firm Browne Jacobson; and Earache Records, an independent music company founded by local resident Digby Pearson, based on Handel Street in Sneinton. Nottingham also has offices of Nottingham Building Society (established 1849); HM Revenue & Customs; the Driving Standards Agency; Ofsted; the Care Quality Commission and BBC East Midlands.

Nottingham was named one of the UK's six science cities in 2005 by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. Among the science-based industries within the city is BioCity. Founded as a joint venture between Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham, it is the UK's biggest bioscience innovation and incubation centre, housing around 80 science-based companies.[63]

Economic trends
YearRegional Gross
Value Added (£m)
source: Office for National Statistics

Until recently, bicycle manufacturing was a major industry: the city was the birthplace of Raleigh Bicycle Company in 1886, later joined by Sturmey-Archer, the developer of three-speed hub gears. However, Raleigh's factory on Triumph Road, famous as the location for the filming of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, was demolished in 2003 to make way for the University of Nottingham's expansion of its Jubilee Campus. The schools and aerial photographers, H Tempest Ltd, were Nottingham-based for many years, until relocating to St Ives, Cornwall January 1959.

In 2015, Nottingham was ranked in the top 10 UK cities for job growth (from 2004 to 2013), in the public and private sectors.[64] And in the same year, it was revealed that more new companies were started in Nottingham in 2014–15 than in any other UK city, with a 68% year-on-year increase.[65]


The Exchange Arcade inside the Council House

In 2017, Nottingham came seventh in Harper Dennis Hobbes's Top 50 British Centres, behind the West End of London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool.[66]

Victoria Centre

Nottingham's Victoria Centre is the city's main retail shopping centre. It was the first to be built in the city and was developed on the site of the former Nottingham Victoria railway station. It provides parking for up to 2,400 cars on several levels, and contains a bus station.

Its owners, Intu have plans to extend the centre's floor space but it is understood these will not be submitted until the Broadmarsh redevelopment is complete.


Broadmarsh is undergoing a major redevelopment as part of the city's £2bn southside regeneration scheme, due to be completed in 2021.[67]

Work on redeveloping Broadmarsh, at a cost of £400 million (creating 400 stores and 136,000 m2 (1,460,000 sq ft) of shopping space), was originally approved in September 2007.[68][69] Nottingham City Council, then owners of the Broadmarsh Centre, had been trying to redevelop it for "almost two decades".[70] However, the economic downturn meant that redevelopment was delayed throughout from 2008 to 2010. In the light of the Victoria Centre's redevelopment plans, Westfield announced in 2011 that it was once again planning a £500 million development of Broadmarsh, which would start in 2012. This, however, did not happen either.

Broadmarsh was eventually sold to Capital Shopping Centres, the owners of the Victoria Centre. The purchase prompted an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission, who were concerned that the company's monopoly over the city's shopping centres could have a negative impact on competition.[71] CSC subsequently rebranded itself and the centres use the "Intu" name. Although the new owners wished to start the planned development of the Victoria Centre, Nottingham City Council insisted that Broadmarsh must have priority, with the Council offering £50 million towards its redevelopment.[72] The deputy leader of Nottingham City Council said the council would withhold planning permission for the development of the Victoria Centre until they saw "bulldozers going into the Broadmarsh Centre."[70]

Other shopping outlets

Smaller shopping centres in the city are The Exchange Arcade, the Flying Horse Walk, Hockley and newer developments in Trinity Square and The Pod. The Bridlesmith Gate area has numerous designer shops, and is the home of the original Paul Smith boutique. There are various side streets and alleys with some interesting and often overlooked buildings and shops—such as Poultry Walk, West End Arcade and Hurts Yard. These are home to many specialist shops, as is Derby Road, near the Roman Catholic Cathedral and once the antiques area.

Nottingham has a number of department stores including the House of Fraser, John Lewis and Debenhams.

Enterprise zone

In March 2011, the government announced the creation of Nottingham Enterprise Zone, an enterprise zone sited on part of the Boots Estate.[73] In March 2012, Nottingham Science Park, Beeston Business Park and Nottingham Medipark were added to the zone.[74] In December 2014, the government announced that the zone would be expanded again, to include Infinity Park Derby, a planned business park for aerospace, rail and automotive technology adjacent to the Rolls-Royce site in Sinfin, Derby.[75]

Creative Quarter

The Creative Quarter is a project started by Nottingham City Council as part of the Nottingham City Deal. Centred on the east of the city (including the Lace Market, Hockley, Broadmarsh East, the Island site and BioCity), the project aims at creating growth and jobs. In July 2012, the government contributed £25 million towards a £45 million venture capital fund, mainly targeted at the Creative Quarter.[76]


The Nottingham Playhouse and the Roman Catholic Cathedral reflected in Anish Kapoor's Sky Mirror

Theatres and cinemas

Nottingham has two large-capacity theatres, the Nottingham Playhouse and the Theatre Royal, which together with the neighbouring Royal Concert Hall forms the Royal Centre. The city also contains smaller theatre venues such as the Nottingham Arts Theatre, the Lace Market Theatre, New Theatre and Nonsuch Studios.

There is a Cineworld and a Showcase in the city. Independent cinemas include the Arthouse Broadway Cinema in Hockley,[77] and the four-screen Art Deco Savoy Cinema.[78]

Galleries and museums

The city contains several notable museums and art galleries including:

In 2015, the National Videogame Arcade was opened in the Hockley area of the city; being "the UK's first cultural centre for videogames".[79] It was announced in June 2018 that the arcade was soon to close and relocate to Sheffield city centre,[80] where it reopened in November 2018 as the National Videogame Museum.[81]

Music and entertainment

The Albert Hall, Nottingham, one of the city's music venues

Nottingham has several large music and entertainment venues including the Royal Concert Hall, Rock City, Nottingham Royal Concert Hall (2,500-capacity) and the Nottingham Arena (Social centre). Nottingham's City Ground played host to rock band R.E.M with Idlewild and The Zutons supporting in 2005, the first time a concert had been staged at the football stadium.[82]

Nottingham also has a selection of smaller venues, including the Albert Hall (800-capacity), Ye Olde Salutation Inn, Malt Cross, Rescue Rooms, the Bodega, the Old Angel, the Central, the Chameleon and the Corner. 1960s blues-rock band Ten Years After formed in Nottingham, as did the 1970s pop act Paper Lace and the critically acclaimed Tindersticks, as well as influential folk singer Anne Briggs. Since the beginning of the 2010s, the city has produced a number of artists to gain media attention, including; Jake Bugg, London Grammar, Indiana, Sleaford Mods, Natalie Duncan, Ady Suleiman, Dog Is Dead, Saint Raymond, Childhood, Rue Royale, Spotlight Kid and Amber Run.

Nottingham is home to Earache Records, a large independent record label setup in Nottingham in 1986 and famously home to Napalm Death, Carcass, Entombed, Rival Sons and more.

The city has an active classical music scene, with long-established ensembles such as the city's Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra, Nottingham Harmonic Society, Bach Choir, Early Music Group Musica Donum Dei and the Symphonic Wind Orchestra giving regular performances in the city. The Sumac Centre is a social centre in Forest Fields.

Wollaton Park in Nottingham hosts an annual family-friendly music event called Splendour. In 2009 it was headlined by Madness and the Pogues. The following year it was headlined by the Pet Shop Boys and featured, among others, Calvin Harris, Noisettes, Athlete and OK Go.[83] In 2011, it featured headline acts Scissor Sisters, Blondie, Eliza Doolittle and Feeder. In 2012, performers included Dizzee Rascal, Razorlight, Katy B and Hard-Fi. In 2014, Wollaton Park hosted the first-ever No Tomorrow Festival, featuring the likes of Sam Smith, London Grammar and Clean Bandit.[84]

Nottingham is known for its hip-hop scene.[85] Rofl Audio Recording Studios opened in 2013,[86] on the site of a former square known as "Milk Square" which was known to have hosted musicians, bands and orchestras in the 1800s.[87][88] Since opening, the studios have hosted musicians and actors from various places including involvement in Hollywood films,[89] and British rock band Spiritualized's album And Nothing Hurt.[90] The studios are a base for rapper and producer Sway Dasafo's New Reign Productions[91] and Jake Bugg's manager, Jason Hart.[92] The rock band Church of the Cosmic Skull are from Nottingham.[93][94]

Annual events

Nottingham holds several multicultural events throughout the year. The city has hosted an annual Asian Mela every summer since about 1989,[95] there is a parade on St Patrick's Day,[96] fireworks for the Chinese New Year, Holi in the Park to celebrate the Hindu spring festival,[97][98] a West Indian-style carnival, and several Sikh events.[99]

The city is particularly famous for its annual Goose Fair, a large travelling funfair held at the Forest Recreation Ground at the beginning of October every year. Established over 700 years ago, the fair was originally a livestock market where thousands of geese were sold in the Old Market Square, but the modern-day Goose Fair is known for its fairground rides and attractions.[100]

Since the late 1990s, Nottinghamshire Pride has organised an annual pride parade, a day-long celebration that usually takes place in the city in July.[101]

Arts and crafts

The Hockley Arts Market runs alongside Sneinton Market.

Food and drink

There are more than three hundred restaurants in Nottingham, with several AA rosette winners (as of 2018).[102] City-centre restaurant, Ibérico World Tapas, was awarded a Bib Gourmand in the 2013 Michelin Guide.[103] There are also two Michelin-starred restaurants: Alchemilla in the city centre has one star; and Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms, on the edge of the city near Clifton Bridge, has two Michelin stars.[104] There were five other Nottingham restaurants recommended in the Michelin Guide in 2020.[104]


Ferris wheel in Old Market Square

In 2010, Nottingham was named as one of the "Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2010" by DK Travel.[105] Nottingham was ranked number one for the 'Best Value City Break' in August 2017 by TripAdvisor.[106] According to the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor (STEAM) report, tourism in Nottingham city was valued at £628 million in 2017, an increase of 4.1% over the 2016 figure of £604 million.[107]

The Robin Hood Pageant takes place in Nottingham each year and has been rebranded Robin Hood Live for 2020. The city is home to the Nottingham Robin Hood Society, founded in 1972 by Jim Lees and Steve and Ewa Theresa West.[108]

Each February Nottingham celebrates Light Night, with dozens of free creative events illuminating the city. The city has also hosted the Nottingham Cave Festival, Nottingham Puppet Festival, The Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity, plus a series of outdoor film and theatre performances at historical locations throughout the summer.

In February 2008, a Ferris wheel was put up in the Old Market Square. The wheel returned to Nottingham in February 2009 to mark another night of lights, activities, illuminations and entertainment. Initially marketed as the Nottingham Eye, it was later redubbed as the Nottingham Wheel, to avoid any association with the London Eye.[109]

Buildings on the south side of the Lace Market area

Sherwood Forest County Park is a Natural Nature Reserve spanning 450 acres (1.8 km2) in the county of Nottinghamshire only 17 miles (27 km) north of Nottingham. This grand forest has been a part of great history for centuries, showing evidence of use by prehistoric hunters and gatherers. It is even said that the legendary Robin Hood of the 1200s has set foot here and hid near the Major Oak, referred to as the 1,000-year-old giant tree.[110] Today, Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre & Nature Reserve is internationally recognised, with annual visitors reaching around 350,000.[111]


Many local businesses and organisations use the worldwide fame of Robin Hood to represent or promote their brands. Many residents converse in the East Midlands dialect. The friendly term of greeting "Ay-up me duck" is a humorous example of the local dialect.[112]


Nottingham has featured in a number of fictional works.



Meadow Lane (left) and the City Ground (right) either side of the River Trent, the two closest professional football grounds in England

Nottingham is home to two professional football clubs: National league club Notts County and Premier League club Nottingham Forest. Their two football grounds, facing each other on opposite sides of the River Trent, are noted for geographically being the closest in English league football. Notts County, formed in 1862, is the oldest professional football club in the world.[113] They were also among the Football League's founder members in 1888. For most of their history they have played their home games at Meadow Lane, which currently holds some 20,000 spectators, all seated. They currently play in the Vanarama National League, at Level 5 in the English football league system (most recently played at Level 1 in May 1992).[114] Nottingham Forest, who currently play in the Level 1 Premier League, were English Level 1 champions in 1978 and won the European Cup twice over the next two seasons under the management of Brian Clough, who was the club's manager from January 1975 to May 1993, leading them to four Football League Cup triumphs in that time. They have played at the City Ground, on the south bank of the River Trent, since 1898. Nottingham Forest joined the Football League in 1892, four years after its inception when it merged with the rival Football Alliance, and 100 years later, they were among the FA Premier League's founder members in 1992—though they had not played top division football from May 1999 until their promotion from the Level 2 EFL Championship in the 2021/2022 season, 23 years later.[115][116] The City Ground played host to group stage games in the 1996 European Football Championships.[117]

Nottingham won the title of 2015 City of Football after five months of campaigning, which resulted in £1.6m in funding for local football ventures and to encourage more people to play the sport.[118] Nottingham was selected to be a host city for the England 2018 FIFA World Cup bid.[119] It was proposed that if the bid were successful, the city would have received a new Nottingham Forest Stadium.[120]

Other sports

Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club is based at Trent Bridge, a test cricket ground that was one of the venues for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 tournament. Nottinghamshire won the 2010 County Championship.

The rugby union team, Nottingham R.F.C., competes in the RFU Championship, playing their home games at the Nottinghamshire Sports Club in the Lady Bay area of the city. The Nottingham Outlaws are an amateur rugby league team that plays in the Yorkshire Men's League. The Nottingham Caesars are the city's American football club, playing their games at the Harvey Hadden Stadium in the Bilborough area of Nottingham.

The city was the birthplace and training location for Torvill and Dean, who won gold medals in ice dance at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics. The National Ice Centre, which first opened in 2000, is the home base of the Nottingham Panthers ice hockey team, and hosts an array of winter sporting events including the UK Speed Skating Championships. The plaza at the front of the ice centre is named "Bolero Square" after Torvill and Dean's gold medal-winning performance.

Other sporting events in the city include the annual Nottingham Trophy tennis tournament (staged at the Nottingham Tennis Centre), the "Robin Hood" Marathon, the Milk Race, the Great Nottinghamshire Bike Ride,[121] and the Outlaw Triathlon.[122] Nottingham has two roller derby leagues: Nottingham Roller Derby (consisting of two teams, the Nottingham Roller Girls and the Super Smash Brollers);[123] and the Nottingham Hellfire Harlots.[124]

In October 2015, Nottingham was named as the official Home of Sport by VisitEngland,[125][126] for its sporting contributions and in recognition of its development of football, cricket, ice hockey, boxing, tennis, athletics, gymnastics, and water sports.


Nottingham railway station


Nottingham is served by East Midlands Airport (formerly known as Nottingham East Midlands Airport, until it reverted to its original name), near Castle Donington in north-west Leicestershire, just less than 15 miles (24 km) south-west of the city centre.


Nottingham was an important interchange for many railways and mineral lines which served the city, its suburbs and the collieries around the city. Nottingham railway station, formerly Nottingham Midland, provides access to rail services for the city; trains are operated by CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway and Northern. It is the only remaining station in the city centre and is the second-busiest railway station in the Midlands for passenger entries and exits.[127]

The city once had five other railway stations; these are:

  • Nottingham Carrington Street was the first station opened in Nottingham on the former Midland Counties Railway. It was opened in 1839, before closing in 1848 to passengers after the opening of Nottingham Midland station. The site is now under Nottingham Magistrates' Court.
  • Nottingham Victoria which was the second largest station in the city. Owned jointly by the Great Central Railway and Great Northern Railway. It closed in 1967, after declining usage and the station buildings were demolished. The site is now the Victoria Centre shopping centre. The clock tower is still in situ and the cutting is under the shopping centre at the lower level including the old Mansfield Road Railway Tunnel.
  • Nottingham Arkwright Street was originally the second station in Nottingham, near to Nottingham Midland. It was originally only to be opened temporarily but was kept open until 1963, when it was closed. It reopened briefly in 1967 as the terminus of a skeleton service from Nottingham to Leicester and Rugby, only to be closed in 1969. The site is now buried under a road alignment, tram tracks and industrial buildings.
  • Nottingham London Road Low and High Level was located directly north-east of Nottingham Midland and the low-level platforms were closed to passengers in 1944. The high-level platforms were closed in 1967. Goods services continued to serve the station until 1972 when the rails were removed. The station is still in situ and is now used for retail.
  • Nottingham Racecourse was located near Nottingham Racecourse and was a minor station on the line between Nottingham and Grantham. The station closed in 1959 and the line is still in use. Nothing remains of the station.


The NET tram network

The reintroduction of trams in 2004 made Nottingham the newest of only nine English cities to have a light rail system.[128] The trams run from the city centre to Hucknall in the north, with a spur to the Phoenix Park park and ride, close to junction 26 of the M1. Two new lines opened in 2015, extending the network to the southern suburbs of Wilford and Clifton and the western suburbs of Beeston and Chilwell.[129]

Workplace parking levy

In April 2012, Nottingham became the first city in the UK to introduce a workplace parking levy.[130] The levy charges businesses £350 on each parking space made available to their employees, provided that the business has more than ten such parking spaces. The council have used the revenue of around £10 million a year to develop the city's tram system.[131] There has been a 9% reduction in traffic and 15% increase in public transport use since the introduction of the levy.[132]


Nottingham is served by a municipal bus company, Nottingham City Transport (NCT) which is the biggest transport operator in the city, with 330 buses.[14] NCT has won five UK Bus Operator of the Year awards, most recently winning it in 2019.[133]

In September 2010, Nottingham was named "England's least car-dependent city" by the Campaign for Better Transport with London and Manchester in second and fourth place, respectively.[134]


British Waterways building (formerly the Trent Navigation Company warehouse) on the Nottingham Canal

Nottingham's waterways, now primarily used for leisure, were used extensively for transportation in the past.

Public services


Fire and rescue services are provided by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, and emergency medical care by East Midlands Ambulance Service, both of which have their headquarters in Nottingham. Law enforcement is carried out by Nottinghamshire Police, whose headquarters are at Sherwood Lodge in Arnold. The city has a Crown Court and a Magistrates' Court.

Laurie Macdonald of Inside One magazine observes that Nottingham's former high crime rate earned it the nickname "Shottingham", but that by 2013 this image was outdated. The article was written in response to a uSwitch survey that had found south Nottinghamshire to be the fourth-best place to live in the UK in terms of living standards. Crime in the city of Nottingham had also fallen by three-quarters since 2007.[135]


There are two major National Health Service hospitals in Nottingham, the Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) and Nottingham City Hospital, both managed by the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. The QMC is a teaching hospital with close connections to the Medical School at Nottingham University; until 2012, it was the largest hospital in the UK. Nottingham City Hospital includes maternity and neonatal facilities but has no A&E department. Students from the Medical School are attached to most of the departments at City Hospital as part of their clinical training.

Water supply

Severn Trent Water is the company responsible for supplying fresh water to households and businesses in Nottingham, as well as the treatment of sewage. Severn Trent took over these services from the City of Nottingham Water Department in 1974.

Energy supplies

Nottingham was host to the UK's first and only local authority–owned and not-for-profit energy company, Robin Hood Energy.[136][137]

The city has one of the largest district heating schemes in the UK, operated by EnviroEnergy Limited, which is wholly owned by Nottingham City Council. The plant in the city centre supplies heat to 4,600 homes and a wide variety of business premises, including the Concert Hall, the Nottingham Arena, the Victoria Baths, the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre, the Victoria Centre, and others.[138]

Veolia operates a cogeneration (CHP) plant in Nottingham for generating energy from biomass.[139]


The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Barnabas, viewed from Derby Road
Unitarian Chapel on High Pavement, now the Pitcher and Piano public house

Historically, the requirement for city status was the presence of an Anglican (Church of England) cathedral; however, Nottingham does not have one of these, having only been designated a city in 1897 in celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. From around AD 1100, Nottingham was part of the Diocese of Lichfield, controlled as an archdeaconry from Lichfield Cathedral in Staffordshire. In 1837, Nottingham's archdeaconry was placed under the control of the Diocese of Lincoln and, in 1884, it was incorporated into the newly created Diocese of Southwell which it is still part of today. The bishop is based at Southwell Minster, 14 miles (23 km) northeast of the city.

Although lacking an Anglican cathedral, Nottingham has three notable historic Anglican parish churches, all of which date back to the Middle Ages. The oldest and largest of these is St. Mary the Virgin, situated in the Lace Market. The church dates from the eighth or ninth centuries, but the present structure is at least the third building on the site, dating primarily from 1377 to 1485. A member of the Major Churches Network, St. Mary's is considered the mother church of the city and is used for holding civic services, including the annual welcome to the new Lord Mayor. In the heart of the city is St. Peter's, the oldest building in continuous use in Nottingham, with traces of building dating back to 1180. The third notable Anglican parish church is St. Nicholas', known locally as "St. Nic's", situated on the edge of the city centre in the direction of the castle.

There are various chapels and meeting rooms in Nottingham. Many of the grand buildings have been demolished, including Halifax Place Wesleyan Chapel, but some have been re-used, notably High Pavement Chapel which is now a public house. The city has three Christadelphian meeting halls and is home to the national headquarters of the Congregational Federation.

Nottingham is one of 18 British cities that do not have an Anglican cathedral.[140][141] It is, however, home to the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Barnabas, which was designed by Augustus Pugin and consecrated in 1844. It is the cathedral church for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nottingham.

Today, there are places of worship for all major religions, including Christianity and Islam (with 32 mosques in Nottingham).[142]


Contemporary and projected population growth in Nottingham
Year 1981 1991 2001 2011 2016 2021 2031
Population 263,581 263,526 266,987 305,680 325,282 323,632 354,000
Source Census[143] ONS[144] ONS[3] ONS Projections[145]

The city of Nottingham has a population at 323,632 (2021)[3] with the Greater Nottingham population at 729,977 (2011) and the Metro population at 1,543,000 (2011). The city of Nottingham has a density of 4,338/km2 (11,240/sq mi). 65.9% are White British, 14.9% Asian, 10% of West Indian origins, 5.9% are of mixed heritages and other groups are 3.3%.[3]



The BBC has its East Midlands headquarters in Nottingham on London Road. BBC East Midlands Today is broadcast from the city every weeknight at 6:30 pm.

From 1983 to 2005 Central Television (the ITV region for the east Midlands) had a studio complex on Lenton Lane, producing programmes for various networks and broadcasting regional news.

The city was granted permission by Ofcom to establish its own local television station. After a tender process, Confetti College was awarded the licence. The station was declared open by Prince Harry in April 2013 and Notts TV began broadcasting in spring 2014.[146]


In addition to the national commercial and BBC radio stations, the Nottingham area is served by licensed commercial radio stations (though all broadcast to a wider area than the city).

Radio stations include:

  • BBC Radio Nottingham (103.8 FM & DAB)
  • Gold (AM & DAB)
  • Gem (106 FM & DAB)
  • Capital Midlands (96.2 FM & DAB)
  • Smooth East Midlands (106.6 FM & DAB)
  • Kemet FM (97.5 FM)
  • Radio Dawn (107.6 FM)

Student radio

The city's two universities both broadcast their own student radio station. Fly FM is based at Nottingham Trent University's city campus and is broadcast online. The station originated in 1996 with its original name of Kick FM.[147] University Radio Nottingham (URN) is broadcast around Nottingham University's main and Sutton Bonington campuses on medium wave (AM), as well as over the internet. URN was founded in 1979 after starting out with a slot on BBC Radio Nottingham in the late 1970s.[148]

Newspapers and magazines

Nottingham's main local newspaper, the Nottingham Post, is owned by Local World and is published daily from Monday to Saturday each week.

LeftLion magazine (established 2003) is distributed for free across the city, covering Nottingham culture including music, art, theatre, comedy, food and drink.

Student tabloid The Tab also publishes online content and has teams at both universities.[149][150]


Wollaton Hall was used as Wayne Manor in the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises.

Nottingham has been used as a location in many locally, nationally, and internationally produced films. Movies that have been filmed (partly or entirely) in Nottingham include:[151]

International relations

Nottingham is twinned with the following cities:[152]

Note: Ljubljana, Minsk, and Harare are capital cities. Nottingham ended its relations with Minsk and Krasnodar in March 2022.[159]

Notable people

The Sheriff of Nottingham

See also

  • List of public art in Nottingham
  • 1185 East Midlands earthquake
  • Snotingas


  1. Weather station is located 5.6 miles (9.0 km) from the Nottingham city centre.
  2. Weather station is located 9.0 miles (14.5 km) from the Nottingham city centre.


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