OSWESTRY’S Mile End visitor information centre will be closed “as soon as possible”.
Three part-time jobs will also go after Shropshire Council’s Cabinet agreed to press ahead with proposals to redesign Visitor Information Centres (VICs) across North Shropshire, resulting in the decommissioning of the base which has been sited on the town’s bypass for nearly 30 years.
It will be replaced with a display board guiding visitors to other sources of information - costing £2,000 - while Oswestry Borderland Tourism Association, which has a base at the Visitor and Exhibition Centre in the heart of the town, has been commissioned to handle email, telephone and postal inquiries for the next three years - costing £8,000. It is believed the changes will save the council £18,660 annually.
Mayor of Oswestry, Councillor Peter Cherrington, said: “I have always felt that it is a wonderful thing to have a tourist information centre, but I also feel it should be extremely visible.
“Personally, I appreciate everything that the staff at Mile End have done, but it wasn’t the best location.”
The potential closure of the VIC was subject to public consultation at the end of last year, which saw less than 30 responses.
At that time Shropshire Council revealed visitor numbers had dropped from 76,000 in 2008 to less than 30,000, however, over that period opening hours also reduced. It cost £36,527 to run in 2014/15.
The centre is currently open five days a week and provides a range of services including information leaflets and books, souvenirs, bed-booking, and dealing with inquiries by post, phone and email.