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Town hall tourist information plans

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: October 17, 2012

By Natalie Wakefield

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A REPRIEVE for Ashbourne's threatened Tourist Information Centre could be in the offing if town councillors can agree to a business plan.

Ashbourne Town Council have been in talks with Derbyshire Dales District Council in a bid to save the service, which is set to be replaced by a computerised Visitor Information Point.

At a meeting of Ashbourne Town Council's town hall committee last month, members agreed to seek quotations for alterations to the town hall which would be needed to accommodate the service and to get a business plan, which would include plans to employ some of the current TIC staff, drawn up by an accountant.

Councillor Alan Hodkinson said: "We're delighted to have the opportunity to provide this much needed service in the town centre.

"We're waiting to confirm that the council is in agreement with it and that we can provide the service adequately for what the district council want."

Ashbourne Town Council were set to consider the plans at a meeting after the News Telegraph went to press last night.

Derbyshire Dales District Council decided to close their Tourist Information Centres and replace them with Visitor Information Points in December 2011, after a survey among tax-payers revealed tourist information was a low priority.

The cuts will save the council £110,000 and the computerised information points are expected to cater to an increasingly technology-savvy population.

The location of the VIPs has yet to be decided and the district council are looking at several options for the future location of tourism services in the town.

A district council spokesman said: "To save council tax payers money we announced at the end of last year that we wanted to work in partnership by providing visitor information points at popular locations in place of our current walk-in centres.

"This has already worked well in Matlock, where Peak Rail's shop now serves as a visitor information point, and we are currently looking to provide a suitable alternative in Ashbourne when the TIC eventually closes."

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