September 2 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The award-winning Tourist Information Centre in Bury St Edmunds is to close as St Edmundsbury Borough Council looks to save £70,000.
The site on the Angel Hill will instead be replaced with a new network of advice points, headed by The Apex but including other sites such as Moyse’s Hall, the Theatre Royal and Smiths Row art gallery.
Shopmobility services will continue to run out of the existing location, with a phoneline available to call officers down to the Angel Hill and arrange collection.
A spokesman from Norfolk-based tour operator Eastons, which runs regular coach trips to the town, said it was a “positive move”, while the borough’s portfolio holder for operational tourism, Sarah Stamp, said it was in line with the times.
“By creating several smaller tourist hubs instead of one contact point, we will be able to help people arriving from any direction,” she added.
“We’ve known for some time that visitors are using the internet more and more to find out about where to stay and what to see, so we’re changing the way we help visitors to make the information available more relevant to them.”
Stefan Oliver, the chairman of Bury Town Council, also backed the move, but Bury Society Alan Jary felt some presence should remain on the Angel Hill.
He said: “That is the very heart of what we are - the Abbey, the award-winning Abbey Gardens. We must have a major presence there.
“Done well and properly, it could be very, very good. Done badly, it will be a disaster.”