Tourist information on the move

FELIXSTOWE'S busy Tourist Information Centre will be on the move this year – taking a big pace forward but a step back in time as well.The TIC has outgrown its present premises at the leisure centre and is set to move to larger offices on the seafront as part of a £300,000 revamp of the resort's civic centre.

FELIXSTOWE'S busy Tourist Information Centre will be on the move this year – taking a big pace forward but a step back in time as well.

The TIC has outgrown its present premises at the leisure centre and is set to move to larger offices on the seafront as part of a £300,000 revamp of the resort's civic centre.

It will mean the TIC staff have more room in which to work and an improved area for customers, but it will also see the centre returning to the premises it inhabited in the 1970s and early 1980s.

It will take over the ground floor and basement of the buildings next to the Town Hall in Undercliff Road West and the work will cost around £90,000.

Suffolk Coastal council says in its best value performance plan for the coming year that the move will take place in the next 12 months.

At the moment, it is being held up by the need to co-ordinate the complete refurbishment of the empty parts of the Town Hall and offices alongside.

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The closure of the magistrates' court, probation offices and a youth drop-in centre has freed the accommodation, some of which was earmarked for use by the housing benefits and council tax office.

There is also some vacant space still which the council has been marketing for rent for use as offices or a tourist-related activity, such as a café.

The move of the council services will cost £90,000, while the disabled access – a ramped entrance, internal lift and other works – necessary to the Town Hall will cost £105,000.

The move of the TIC will then enable a review of the use of space at the leisure centre in Undercliff Road West, where around £710,000 could be spent this year if funds are available.

The work would mainly improve the changing accommodation but also include items identified by a best value review, and some replacement of machinery.

The improvements were identified after an assessment of the weaknesses of the centre, which includes three pools, gym bowls hall, multi-purpose hall and bars.

Temperatures in the changing rooms are a big problem, space is cramped and family changing areas are needed, while access also has to be improved for people with disabilities.

WEBLINK: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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