After being nominated as the ‘people’s choice’ for tourism giants Visit England’s competition, Nottingham has been crowned England’s new official Home of Sport. The city faced tough competition from other shortlisted rivals including London, Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Manchester and Rugby, before eventually emerging victorious. The city received more public nominations than any other destination, before receiving a majority of thirty-eight percent of the public vote, causing Nottingham to quickly emerge as England’s new sport capital.

Businesses state this is a major acclaim for the city, and the new title could be worth billions – up to a possible £3.2 billion in total – for Nottingham’s economy, when added to the revenue caused by the major live sporting events taking place in the city, that will undoubtedly receive a boost with this news. The judges of the competition claimed that the amount of sporting venues within the city, combined with Nottingham’s sporting victories and legendary sporting professionals helped to clinch this prestigious title.

“The diversity and variety of sports played to a professional level in Nottingham also does the city credit”

Head of Experience Nottinghamshire, Jennifer Spencer stated ‘Nottingham has more sporting facilities per head than anywhere else in Europe’, a fact consolidated by the city’s unique and high quality sports facilities that led to the title win, include Nottingham Forest’s City Ground, and Notts County’s Meadow Lane, alongside the National Watersports and National Ice Centres. The victory was further aided by Nottingham’s association with footballing legend, Brian Clough and Olympic gold medal winners Rebecca Adlington and Torvill and Dean.

“The University of Nottingham itself can be seen to be promoting the city’s Home of Sport title”

The diversity and variety of sports played to a professional level in Nottingham also does the city credit. Great sporting events that have taken place in Nottingham only this year include the Ashes Tests at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground, the Aegon Open at Nottingham Tennis Centre, ice hockey matches at the home of the Panthers, the Capital FM Arena, and The Cerebral Palsy World Games at the Harvey Haddon Sports Complex. The sporting history of the city is also prominent, with Notts Country recognised as the oldest professional football club in the world. Additionally, next year, Nottingham will also host the European championships in archery, linking the sporting aspects of the city’s history together with the cultural legend of the famous outlaw, Robin Hood.

Alongside Nottingham city’s own sporting venues, the University of Nottingham itself can be seen to be promoting the city’s Home of Sport title, with the creation of the £40 million David Ross Sports Village, University Park’s new state of the art sports facilities, and the annual Varsity series of sporting competitions competing against Nottingham Trent University, all of which promote sport to university students, and utilise sporting facilities across the city.

Whilst offering visitors numerous cultural events; sport and its promotion has been put even further on the agenda for Nottingham, this latest accolade now confirming the city’s place as a must-visit location for sporting fans. Visit England’s prestigious title comes only a year after Nottingham was also named Sport England’s first City of Football in September 2014, meaning that Nottingham’s place as a city of sport is confirmed in the eyes of England, and indeed the world.

Amy Wilcockson

Image: ‘The Stadium Guide’ via flickr

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