'Purpose-built dream for a publicity machine': Lace Walk kiosk touted as Honiton's new tourist information centre

PUBLISHED: 11:21 13 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 unit touted as a 'purpose-built dream for a publicity machine' has been earmarked as Honiton's new tourist information centre (TIC) and community hub.

The council has set its sights on the kiosk in Lace Walk, which was originally proposed by Councillor Duncan Sheridan-Shaw at a town management committee meeting last year.

The now-vacant kiosk was formerly a greengrocers and outlet Light and Beloved.

At a town council meeting on Monday, August 12, councillors agreed to source more information and look into the cost of setting up a TIC and community hub at the Lace Walk kiosk.

The move could see community groups showcase their works at the kiosk and sell tickets from it.

Cllr Sheridan-Shaw said the building at Lace Walk car park is very big and a TIC does not need to have space to be successful.

He said the kiosk is purpose-built from a retail and merchandising perspective and called it a 'purpose-built dream for a publicity machine'.

Cllr Sheridan-Shaw said the former TIC in Lace Walk car park 'categorically failed' adding: "We must be in point as a council to say 'We are now in 2020, we now need to think about the future of this town and stop procrastinating about old buildings that are sat there that have failed.'"

Cllr Zarczynski said Lace Walk was a 'good spot' for the new TIC, as the walkway has a good footfall from shoppers heading to and from the town centre.

Cllr Caroline Kolek said the kiosk is a 'far better' location the town's previous TIC, in Lace Walk car park.

A report submitted to the coucil by town clerk Mark Tredwin said: "Honiton as we know from the recent events,can be a vibrant and busy town.

"However,unless positive steps are taken to promote the activities that take place in the town then there isadanger that we are going to see atown that is in decline despite increasing numbers of people living here.

"If the council was to take over the unit, it is anticipated that local community groups would then to be able to showcase their work and even sell tickets for their events.

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

Councillors agreed to look into setting up the kiosk as a TIC, by a vote of eight for and three against.

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