The North Nottinghamshire Story
The origins of the North Notts story started within Bassetlaw Council in March 2013, when they secured European funding for Place Shaping.
The idea was to improve our economic performance and key to its success is that it should be owned and developed by private sector business and other key organisations such as North Notts College and the third Sector. The Council were hugely supportive and at the heart of the work but recognised it would take more than them alone to make North Notts more successful.
It became clear from talking to stakeholders and potential customers of this area that Bassetlaw meant nothing to them. They didn’t know where it was, what places it included, what assets it had. In creating a shared story for our place we needed an identity that people recognised, that located us, was real and could help pull our assets together whilst linking us with the wider experience and places in the region. So the name North Nottinghamshire was born – it is easily recognisable and it immediately pinpoints where we are in the country.
The North Nottinghamshire story has three main themes:
Connected Value: Easy access to the A1 (M) and M1, together with the East Coast main line, East Coast ports and Robin Hood and East Midlands International airports in addition to our own Retford Gamston airport, makes us central and brilliantly connected. Whilst we are in a rurally idyllic place with a fantastically green environment we are also importantly connected to the urban environments of Sheffield, Lincoln, Nottingham and Doncaster with their very different experiences that really aren’t far away; it’s a great combination.
Breathing Space: If you spend time driving or walking in this area one thing dominates. Space! And that feeling is accentuated by ‘big skies’. This theme is described as breathing space. We all enjoy the differences in the landscape from the patchwork quilt effect of the agricultural land with its different field layouts and crops to the enormous areas of forest such as Clumber and Sherwood where the woodland seems to go on forever. When you are in North Nottinghamshire you may be brilliantly connected but you can also feel like ‘you’ve got away from it all’. It’s pretty easy to find peace and space to think.
Storyscape: North Nottinghamshire might have space and large areas of agricultural land and woodland but it is also a ‘landscape of stories’. Stories that range from modern day business successes to the rich history of the industrial revolution with the Pilgrim Father, to myth and legend with Robin Hood, ancient history and archaeology with the Ducal Estates of Dukeries and Thoresby, Clumber house and Hodsock Priory.
This is a place of intrigue and interest at every turn where people and place continue to interact (as they have for centuries) to produce amazing stories. So what is important now is that we tell these stories and animate North Notts by bringing them to life through events, interpretation, signage and trails as they bring vibrancy and colour to the area and by linking the experiences together to provide a real reason to visit. Please help us tell our story!