Changes to be made to Beccles tourist information centre

Beccles tourist information centre.

Beccles tourist information centre. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Changes are set to be made to the way the tourist information centre is run at Beccles Quay.

The future of the tourist centre, which has been jointly funded by the Beccles Business and Tourist Association (BBTA) and Beccles Town Council for the past five years, was up for discussion this week after BBTA announced it would be withdrawing its funding for the scheme.

Christine Pinsent, vice chairman of BBTA, said it was no longer financially viable to run in its current form - with a mixture of paid and volunteer staff manning the centre throughout the summer season.

The proposal was to change the centre, along with the tourist information point at the base of Beccles Tower, into a visitor information point (VIPS), with similar proposals being put forward in Lowestoft and Southwold.

The issue was discussed by Beccles Town Council’s assets and environment committee on Monday.

Beccles mayor Hugh Taylor said: “We were briefed by Christine about the VIP work that the BBTA is doing and we are going to do what we can to keep the centre going by turning it into a VIP.

“This is not Beccles Town Council closing the information centre but we are unable to support it in its current form without the BBTA’s funding.

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“We are also determined to keep the tower base going as a VIP so there will still be two places running in the town in the same locations offering information, in addition to Beccles Books and other sites that BBTA is hoping to set up as VIPs in the town.

“It is going to be discussed again at full council on Tuesday, but unless councillors decide otherwise they will become VIPs.”

A visitor information point was set up at Beccles Books in Exchange Square in December as a pilot project launched by Waveney Business Forum and BBTA to provide information for visitors during the winter months.

Mrs Pinsent said any new VIPs would have all the same information and leaflets and that staff would be trained and have local knowledge. She said the new points would be advertised on websites and local signboards and would be included in a Waveney-wide leaflet.

Beccles Town Council will be meeting on Tuesday at 7pm in the Town Hall.

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