Nottingham is known for its links to the legend of Robin Hood and for its lace-making, bicycle and tobacco industries.
In 2013, the city had an estimated population of 310,837 and the wider urban area, a population of 729,977. Nottingham is a tourist destination; in 2011, visitors spent over £1.5 billion – the sixth highest amount in England. Over 60,000 students attend the city’s two universities Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham.
During the Industrial Revolution, much of Nottingham’s prosperity was founded on the textile industry; in particular, the city became an internationally important centre of lace manufacture.
In common with the UK textile industry, Nottingham’s textile sector fell into decline in the decades following World War II.Very little textile manufacture now takes place in Nottingham, however, many of the former industrial buildings in the Lace Market district have been restored and put to new uses.
During the second half of the 20th century Nottingham saw urban growth with the development of new public and private housing estates and new urban centres, which have engulfed former rural villages such as Bilborough, Wollaton, Gedling and Bramcote.
South of the river there has also been expansion with new areas such as Edwalton and West Bridgford, adding to Nottingham’s urban sprawl. Although this growth slowed towards the end of the century, the modern pressures for more affordable and council housing is back on the political agenda and there is now pressure on the Green Belt which surrounds the city.