New tourist information centre in the pipeline for Honiton - despite original idea being rejected a year ago

PUBLISHED: 16:23 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:23 07 August 2019

This kiosk in Lace Walk, when it was Light and Beloved, has been earmarked as Honiton's new TIC. Picture: Alex Walton

This kiosk in Lace Walk, when it was Light and Beloved, has been earmarked as Honiton's new TIC. Picture: Alex Walton

Archant

A new tourist information centre (TIC) could be set up in one of Honiton's main walkways, almost a year after the idea was first proposed - and rejected.

The idea to set up a TIC in a kiosk in Lace Walk was originally put forward by deputy mayor Duncan Sheridan-Shaw at a town management committee meeting held in August last year.

However, his proposal was not supported by a majority, with members agreeing to explore the opportunity to transform Allhallows Museum into a potential TIC.

Now, almost a year on, the council has set its sights set on the kiosk originally proposed by Cllr Sheridan-Shaw.

The vacant unit was formerly a greengrocers, and most recently, outlet Light and Beloved.

A motion to discuss the move has been tabled for next Monday's town council meeting, despite the town's former TIC building, in Lace Walk car park, coming back on the market.

In agenda papers, Honiton Town Council said: "Some members have indicated that they think the council should consider taking this (former TIC building) on again.

"Following informal discussions with the district council, it was clear that the cost of taking on the running of the old TIC building were not commensurate with the benefits."

The council estimates moving back into the old building could cost up £25,000 per year.

A move to set up the joint community and tourism kiosk in Lace Walk will be discussed when the authority meets next week.

A poll run by the Herald in August last year revealed that 63 per cent of participants preferred the new TIC to be set up at the kiosk in Lace Walk, whereas just 23 per cent opted for the museum.

The agenda papers for next week's meeting said: "If the council was to take over the unit (kiosk), it is anticipated that local community groups would then be able to showcase their work and even sell tickets for their events.

"This would potentially benefit all of Honiton's organisations."

The council hopes the kiosk could also be utilised as a 'market office' for the town's development manager and market assistant on their working days.

The papers said money could be sourced from Honiton county and district ward member Councillor Phil Twiss for the installation of a touchscreen at the new TIC.

Funding for the new TIC in Honiton could be secured from money from developers who have received planning permission.

Read the full motion here.

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