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Bumper day in Newark as visitors flock into town

Posted onPosted on 30th Apr

More than 8,000 people visited Newark town centre on Saturday 27 April, where it was buzzing with excitement as a host of free events took place.

Small Business Showcase, the Plastic Ocean Show, Newark Castle Open Day and the Race to the Castle paddleboard competition brought in more visitors than an average Saturday, with 37% of those visiting being new visitors to the town.

Newark and Sherwood District Council is focused on bringing more events to town centres across Newark and Sherwood to make them more enticing places to visit and experience.

Coun Matthew Spoors, portfolio holder for Sustainable Economic Growth, said: “The activities taking place in the town centre on Saturday were brilliant and I was delighted to see so many people out and about enjoying everything on offer. One of Saturday’s events, our Small Business Showcase, highlighted our incredible independent retail offer and it is these businesses which really do make Newark a unique town to visit.

“We are committed to doing all we can to encourage people to visit our town centres across Newark and Sherwood. I really do believe our town centres are great and I want to encourage as many people as possible to support their local high streets.”

Small Business Showcase saw more than 1,500 people visit the upper floor in the Buttermarket as the free event shined a spotlight on local independent businesses, transforming the mezzanine area into a hub of creativity and entrepreneurship. This event was part of Newark Town Board’s Newark Heart project, which puts sustainability at its forefront, focusing on renewable resources during the event.

Newark Castle open day saw queues of people lining up to entre Newark Castle for views of the town and the Race to Newark paddleboard event brought entertainment to the riverside.

Coun Rowan Cozens, deputy leader of the district council, said: “We were overwhelmed with the fantastic support residents and visitors showed us in attending a huge spectacle of events on Saturday in Newark Town Centre. It was lovely to see so many people having the most wonderful time in the town.

“The free events we put on in the Town Centre included a giant 18-metre inflatable whale which, when you climbed inside, told an amazing tale of how important protecting our oceans are from plastic which supports our Council’s Motion to the Ocean pledge.

“We organised a free Small Business Showcase in the Buttermarket, offering unique and interactive opportunities for local people to meet their wonderful independent retailers. The tower at Newark Castle was also open for free with spectacular views across the town and the National Civil War Centre offered historical walking tours too! Along with a paddleboarding event on the river, and the sun shining most of the day, many people were out and about enjoying the very best Newark has to offer.”

The Plastic Ocean Show, portrayed by theatre company Circo Rum Ba Ba, was one of the most eye-catching events with an 18-metre whale docking in the town centre. The show aligns with the Newark and Sherwood District Council’s ‘Motion for the Ocean’ declaration, which highlights the urgent need to recognise that our ocean is in crisis and that local government has an essential role to play in recovering the health of our ocean.

Coun Emma Oldham, portfolio holder for Biodiversity and Environmental Services at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “It was great to see so many people excited about the whale and the show was breathtaking. It was a fantastic opportunity for our residents to connect with the ocean and to discover more about our commitment to protecting the UK’s waterways.

“Families loved it, and the story was interactive, fun but had an important message behind it. It brought a real buzz to our town and got people talking about our oceans. It was a wonderful way to bring the nuts and bolts of our Motion for the Ocean commitment to life.

“Even if we don’t reside by the coast, our daily actions have a profound impact—through the pollutants we discharge down our drains and plug holes, to the litter and pollution that find their way into our rivers and beaches, and the carbon emissions we generate.”

More events are being planned in Newark town centre this summer with the Steampunk Festival, Newark-on-Sea, CAMRA Beer Festival and many more being celebrated in the town this summer. To see a full list of events, go to:

The National Civil War Centre runs weekly historical walking tours of Newark town centre, which can be booked via the Palace Theatre website at a cost of £5 per person: