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Call for rethink over tourist information centre closure

PUBLISHED: 10:03 06 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 July 2020

Hunstanton's new 'unmanned' tourist information centre will be in the Coal Shed, on Le Strange Terrace  Picture: Chris Bishop

Hunstanton's new 'unmanned' tourist information centre will be in the Coal Shed, on Le Strange Terrace Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

Councillors are being urged to rethink plans to close a seaside town’s tourist information centre.

The tourist information centre in Hunstanton Town Hall was closed in March, when the coronavirus lockdown began  Picture: Chris BishopThe tourist information centre in Hunstanton Town Hall was closed in March, when the coronavirus lockdown began Picture: Chris Bishop

West Norfolk council and Hunstanton Town Council have announced proposals to replace the resort’s information centre, on The Green, with an un-staffed facility at the Coal Shed Gallery.

The building will house displays and information leaflets.

MORE - New tourist information centre will not have staff

But the move has been criticised by the town’s influential civic society.

In a letter to senior borough and town councillors, the society’s chair Amanda Bosworth says: “The decision has been an unexpected shock to local residents and businesses, many of them having enjoyed a close working relationship with the TIC over the years, including charitable organisations such as Hunstanton District Civic Society and RNLI who have supplied stocks of cards and books for sale.

Amanda Bosworth, chair of Hunstanton Civic Society and a former mayor of the town who is calling for a rehtink over the Tourist Information Centre plans  Picture: Chris BishopAmanda Bosworth, chair of Hunstanton Civic Society and a former mayor of the town who is calling for a rehtink over the Tourist Information Centre plans Picture: Chris Bishop

“There has not yet been any announcement as to exactly when this relocation will happen and who will be responsible for stock control, maintenance, security and cleaning of the facility to ensure a suitable environment that is Covid-19 secure.

“With the further relaxation of lockdown measures on July 4 the town can expect a huge influx of visitors, many of whom will be expecting to find a reliable source of information about local attractions and facilities.”

MORE - Hunstanton gets set to welcome back visitors as lockdown eases

Ms Bosworth questions how social distancing can be observed in a smaller facility, with no staff to oversee numbers inside the building.

She adds the society “considers the sudden and unexpected closure of the TIC to be contrary to the regeneration of Hunstanton post Covid-19”.

The civic society is calling for the councils to reconsider their decision.

It comes as the town council announces an extraordinary meeting this week.

The agenda for the meeting, on Thursday night, includes developments proposed for the town’s bus station and part of the Southend Road car park, along with a verbal report from the town’s mayor, Tony Bishopp.

At the last full council meeting, on June 18, Mr Bishopp said it was “common knowledge” the TIC would be moving to the redeveloped bus station.

MORE - Plans revealed to redevelop Hunstanton bus station


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