There was an interesting article in the Nottingham Evening Post today. The article was about Nottingham branding. The Post reports that Nottingham is due to ditch its “slanty N” branding, in favour of Robin Hood.

“To me as someone associated with the city of Nottingham for many years” says Mike Hunter, Better Languages CEO, “the Slanty N has only one connotation. It stands for “Nothing”.

The City Council drops the branding

We applaud the City Council’s decision to drop the branding. Nottingham has much to celebrate as a centre of business, culture, as well as learning and sport. This logo didn’t portray any of this rich culture, it simply didn’t work.

A controversial heritage

Nottingham has always had mixed national headlines. In the Middle Ages the castle was strategically significant. So much so, that King Charles decided to raise his banner there, starting the English civil war. In the 1800s the city grew rapidly. It was hugely prosperous with industries like lace. However, it also had some of the worst slums in Europe.

In more recent times, the city played a part in the Miners strike of 1984. Most Notts miners decided not to support the NUM in its national strike. The result was divided Notts mining communities. There were big demonstrations in the city both in favour, and against the strike.

The city has had issues with gang culture, as well as knife crime, for many years. It has even been nicknamed “Shottingham”.

A positive image of a great city

All the above only tells part of the story though. Nottingham is the proud home of two great football teams. Notts County is the oldest league club in the world, founded in 1862. We have an excellent first class cricket venue in Trent Bridge. It has hosted some memorable test matches, notably Ashes battles against the old enemy, Australia. In the 1980s the city became synonymous with ice skating due to the success of Torvill and Dean. They trained at the Nottingham Ice Arena.

And what about business?

Nottingham has changed significantly in the last 30 years. The lace industry has largely gone, as has much of the large scale manufacturing. Companies such as Raleigh have moved to overseas production. In their place, there are emerging new industries. Experian began, and has its headquarters in Nottingham. The company has become a leading international brand, with products such as credit reference checks. Boots has been in Nottingham since the 1800s. Jesse Boot started the business with a single shop, it is now a leading retailer, and pharmaceutical manufacturer.

There is a vibrant SME business scene in the city. Creative industries are well represented. There is also a growing business services sector. The two universities have supported spin off businesses and also work with many areas of research.