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Future of Visitor Information Centre secure

Catherine Thompson 21st Jan, 2018 Updated: 21st Jan, 2018

THE FUTURE of Stratford’s Visitor Information Centre has been secured.

The centre on Bridgefoot which has been run by Stratford College since 2012, will be managed by Stratford District Council after the contract between them comes to an end on January 31.

The forthcoming merger between Stratford College and Solihull College has prompted the college to end the existing partnership, but

both colleges have expressed interest in possibly working on future partnerships with the council.

A committee report says the centre has been struggling financially over the past few years.

Under the proposed new arrangements, £60,000, previously granted to the college by the council to fund apprentices to work in the centre, could be pumped into the running costs.

The current staffing cost is just over £61,000, while the council would also receive £36,000 for space rented in the centre.

The report concluded the centre was valuable to the town, but the council would look into potentially digitalising services in the future.

Business spokesman Coun Dave Riches said: “The Visitor Information Centre provides a valuable service to visitors, residents and local tourist organisations.

“The decision has provided an opportunity to enable the current service to continue whilst the longer term tourist information provision can be evaluated.

“The district council will take this opportunity to review the future of the provision of visitor information. If future changes are to be made, this approach will help facilitate the transition from the current service to the new service, providing the confidence and stability to local tourism organisations and visitors.”

This is not the first time the centre has faced closure. It was forced to close for two years after a former operator folded in 2010. A temporary centre then operated in Henley Street.

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