Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Sudbury/Bury St Edmunds: Could Bury’s Tourist Information Centre learn a lesson from thriving neighbour?

09:39 08 August 2014

The Tourist Information Centre is in the heart of Sudbury

The Tourist Information Centre is in the heart of Sudbury

Officials have pledged to review a controversial cost-cutting measure to close Bury’s award-winning tourist information centre.


It comes as Sudbury Town Council has secured record takings at its tourist information centre during the past six months.

The shock decision to close the main Bury centre on Angel Hill was announced in April and since then, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s tourist information service has consisted of a series of hubs across the town.

By contrast when it was faced with closure in 2011, Sudbury Town Council took control of its tourist information centre (TIC) from Babergh District Council and moved it to a central location at the town’s library the following year.

During the past six months, takings from bookings, tickets and souvenirs came in at £15,330 – an increase of £2,000 on the previous year.

Meanwhile, it is understood that stakeholders involved in Bury’s tourist information service will meet in October to assess whether their current ‘hub’ system is working.

Karen Hurden, chairwoman of the Bury Society, said volunteers who had set up a tourist hub at St Edmundsbury Cathedral were working hard to keep a presence on Angel Hill, but that there was still a “long way to go”.

She added: “The tourist industry gives billions of pounds to this town but it was decided in April to close the centre just as the tourist season started.

“The cathedral volunteers are trying their very best to provide a presence on Angel Hill but it’s not an easy task to replace the old TIC which was award-winning and user friendly.

“We hope there will be a review in October at the end of the tourist season and then we will know better how it has gone.”

The main hub is in The Apex, but there has been criticism that it is not open on Sundays – a prime tourism day for Bury.

On social media website Streetlife, one woman said: “Whilst walking past the now empty tourist information centre on Angel Hill, I came across some disgruntled visitors outside who had walked all the way from the Apex.

“They only realised they had just visited the new centre when they arrived on Angel Hill and saw the sign on the door.”

Another said: “We have a beautiful town – would you not think the council would want to make it easy for the tourists to enjoy it and find out what is on where?”

Jacqui Howells, Sudbury’s deputy town clerk, said the success of their TIC was proof the council had made the right decision to keep it. Also despite the internet, there was still a call for “face-to-face contact” with staff who have extensive local knowledge, she said.

“Councillors took the decision that the centre was an asset to the town and very important because tourism is high on the council’s agenda and it also helps local businesses,” Mrs Howells added.

“It is working very well in the library because of the opening hours and we have three part time staff and a Saturday girl.

“The takings have increased through the sale of Colchester Zoo tickets, day trips on Felix coaches, which are very popular, and National Express coach tickets.

“They have also initiated guided themed walking tours of Sudbury, have produced local souvenirs for sale and publish a monthly events leaflet.

“They sell tickets for local charity events for no charge and promote local clubs. Overall, it has been a great success.”



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Ben Gummer and Mark Pendlington at Ipswich rail station.

Campaigners seeking to improve rail services between East Anglia and London have insisted that the new report into infrastructure is good for the region – because it makes little reference to the route.

Alison Wheeler and Tony Brown.

Suffolk’s libraries are facing budget cuts of more than 20% over the next two years – but their chairman has pledged that no branches will be closed.

Orwell Bridge

A man has died after falling from the Orwell Bridge.

Kieron Dyer on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! 2015. Photo:  ITV/PA Wire

It was a rather uneventful night for former Ipswich Town player Kieron Dyer in the I’m A Celebrity... jungle last night

Annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

The annual Christmas Fayre will see around 120,000 people descend on Bury St Edmunds over four days.

Company director spared jail

A Suffolk company director who crushed a worker to death was spared jail by a judge at Norwich Crown Court today.

Colchester Magistrates' Court

A “stellar” village GP who crashed into a zebra crossing while under the influence of alcohol has been banned from the road.

Nick Alston, Essex Police & Crime Commissioner, is proposing a £5 rise in council tax.

Residents in Essex face a £5 rise in their council tax in a bid to raise an extra £1.2million for community policing in the county.

The Buttermarket Centre will become a £35m pleasure palace

Excitement is building as Ipswich prepares to welcome a string of big-name restaurants as part of the Buttermarket makeover.

There has been a crash on the A12 near Witham

Three vehicles are reported to have crashed on the A12 this evening.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24