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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2006, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
Forest's 50m bid is step closer
Statue of Robin Hood
The project would revitalise the Robin Hood visitor's centre
A bid to win 50m of lottery funding to transform the heart of Sherwood Forest has moved a step closer.

The county council has announced that it will receive a visit from lottery assessors in May.

If the visit is a success, the authority will win 500,000 to develop the bid, which will go before a televised public vote in 2007.

Plans include a state-of-the-art conference, educational and visitor centre at Edwinstowe in Notts.

'Regeneration catalyst'

Visitors to Sherwood Forest will be asked for their views on the proposals over the Easter holiday.

Other plans for the attraction include raised tree top walkways and a discovery centre.

Officials also want to plant more trees and extend existing cycle routes.

Councillor Chris Baron, cabinet member for culture at the county council, said the proposals would put Sherwood Forest back on the map but at the same time respect the history and ecology of the forest.

He said: "We're delighted to be through to the next stage of the Big Lottery Fund's Living Landmark programme. All the partners involved are working really hard to make sure that this bid has every chance of making it through to the final vote.

"We hope any investment in Sherwood Forest will also act as a catalyst for regeneration in surrounding villages and towns, providing jobs, business opportunities and major investment in the local area."

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