Meads Ward Councillor Jane Lamb expressed serious concern at the loss of the town centre Tourist Information Centre at a time when businesses, hospitality and other departments in the council are working hard to promote recovery and welcome visitors and residents to participate in the events and tourist activities of the town.
Jane said, “It is the town centre point of contact for all, well placed for offering information and bookings for shows, 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, well used by visitors and residents alike. The Welcome centre, 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. This is a cost cutting exercise which could backfire in terms of revenue lost to businesses and tourism.”
Cllr. Paul Metcalfe, who is shadow spokesman for tourism said,
“How has this been allowed to happen without consultation or public opinion being taken on board by the 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 from out of town requiring information on the tourist attractions available in all areas of Eastbourne and particularly in the present difficult climate.
Does this now mean these visitors will have to trek to the Welcome Building to get the details and make bookings for the entertainments and shows in the three theatres along with other venues and even to get a hotel?
Many local business people are very concerned with this situation in taking away the Information Centre from the heart of the town.
I am sure the people running the BID must be against this, but, they have gone very quiet.”