DARTMOUTH Tourist Information Centre is remaining positive for the future.
Representatives from various organisations in the town met for the first time on Tuesday to look at ways to keep the cash-strapped centre open until the end of August.
It was agreed that the offer of a grant of £3,000 be formally requested from Dartmouth Town Council and other cash injections are to be explored including the possibility of funding from Dartmouth Museum, in return for some showing space at the TIC. The Mayflower 400 group may also be involved in some joint initiative at a later stage. Another idea was that a town councillor would sit on the TIC?board.
Afterwards, TIC director Hilary Bastone said: ‘We are remaining positive.’
Town clerk Tracy Rowe, who took the minutes of the meeting, said: ‘Everyone is very keen to try to find a solution to keep the TIC going.’
Those present at the meeting held in the Guildhall were Hilary Bastone, TIC; Dave Cawley and Roger Jordan, Business Forum; Richard Cooke, Henley Trust and Dartmouth Museum; Gina Coles Mayflower 400; and David Gent and Francis Hawke, town council.
Apologies were received from Angela Cairns Sharp, TIC; Nigel Way, TIC and BID; and Dee Nutt, BID.
Mrs Rowe said: ‘The meeting was disappointed there were no representatives from the BID present.’
Another meeting of the TIC working group has been set for Tuesday, May 17.
I guess the meeting was disappointed that 2 of the TIC Directors also chose not to attend the meeting?
It is worth noting that this is an attempt to keep the TIC open until August! This is short term but I think we need the Visitor Center to survive long term not just up to August, but without a major rethink of the TIC Business Model this wont be possible in my opinion. If the TIC cannot halt the reducing subscription income it’s future will remain uncertain.
Dartmouth Business News still maintains that the best solution FOR THE TOWN is for the BID to take full responsibility for marketing and promoting the town as both a tourist and business location, with the TIC focused clearly on making the visitor experience the best it can be (just like they do now!). The TIC Business model does not support the prohibitive costs of running our destination website which should be transferred to the BID for its protection and development. I have been accused of trying to steal the TIC’s website but as far as I am concerned it is a town asset paid for by businesses in the town and its existence is critical to the future promotion of Dartmouth. If the TIC is under threat then lets make sure of the continuity of the Destination website by passing it to the BID with its guaranteed income for the next 3 years.
If the BID Board proposal to close the BID succeeds then clearly this option will be lost and this will impact the future of both organisations.