Durham tourist information centre scrapped

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COUNCIL bosses have been criticised for axing a tourist information centre (TIC) in Durham city but keeping one in Peterlee.

The decision to scrap the centre means the thousands of visitors flocking to the historic city every year will be left without a guide to show them tourist hot spots, including Durham Cathedral and the university buildings.

Instead, visitors will have to take a 10-mile trek to the nearest centre in Peterlee.

Coun Carol Wood today branded the move “ridiculously short-sighted” and urged council bosses to think again.

Coun Woods, of Sherburn Village, said: “I should start by declaring an interest because I run a holiday business.

“But with all due respect to Peterlee many more tourists visit Durham, yet it is in Durham where the county council is getting rid of its tourism information centre.

“The centre is somewhere for visitors to find out not only about attractions in Durham itself, but also popular spots countrywide. To axe it is short-sighted in the extreme.”

The Durham City centre is one of four TICs on a national shortlist for the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence and staff have already been told they will receive either gold or silver at the ceremony in Birmingham later this month.

Coun Neil Foster, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development at the county council, added: “Cabinet members have already approved plans to seek new ways to modernise this service and make it more affordable, but no final decisions have been made as to the best way to take this forward and when this will happen.

“The council and Visit County Durham are committed to ensuring there are face-to-face visitor information services available across the county.”

Durham County Council will have to cut spending by £123.5million over the next four years.

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