Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre to reopen at new location – despite upset
Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre will be opening at a new location – despite disapproval from residents and councillors.
It has been confirmed this week the service will be moved to the council’s Welcome Building, which is located just off of Compton Street, near the seafront.
The old Tourist Information Centre (TIC) was located more centrally in Cornfield Road, and has been closed since the beginning of the covid-19 lockdown.
An Eastbourne Borough Council spokesperson said, “The move from the old site will mean the key elements of the council’s tourism, arts and conferencing infrastructure will be integrated in one place, all within the stunning Devonshire Quarter complex.
“With much of the Devonshire Quarter remaining closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, a date for the reopening is still to be confirmed, but it is hoped to welcome visitors to the TIC before the end of the summer season.
“The DQ Terrace Bar & Cafe and The Stage Door pub reopened recently with strict rules for social distancing in place.”
Meads Ward councillor Jane Lamb expressed serious concern at the loss of the town centre TIC.
She said, “It is the town centre point of contact for all. It’s well placed for offering information and bookings for shows, and it also says that Eastbourne is open for business.
“Many residents have said they cannot understand why we would ‘shoot ourselves in the foot’ by closing such a valued amenity, which is well used by visitors and residents alike.
“The Welcome Building being offered as an alternative, is not central, has few public transport links and is more than a mile from the station and main shops.”
The councillor said the move is a ‘cost-cutting’ exercise which could backfire in terms of revenue lost to businesses and tourism.
Shadow spokesman for tourism Councillor Paul Metcalfe also questioned the move.
He said, “How has this been allowed to happen without consultation or public opinion being taken on board by the Eastbourne Borough Council administration?
“Surely Eastbourne needs this asset in the main shopping area of the town and near to the railway station for the many visitors arriving by train, bus or car.”
Paul said that many local business people are ‘very concerned’ with the situation.
A date has not been announced for when the Tourist Information Centre will reopen at its new location.
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