Seaton: Dilemma over TIC

SEATON residents are calling for the Tourist Information Centre to be kept in the town centre. The appeals come after the Herald revealed last week that East Devon District Council directed the town council to terminate the lease on the TIC.

SEATON residents are calling for the Tourist Information Centre to be kept in the town centre.

The appeals come after the Herald revealed last week that East Devon District Council directed the town council to terminate the lease on the TIC.

The move aims to ensure the delivery of the visitor centre project. But residents fear the TIC could be relocated from its present location - to the detriment of tourism.

During the monthly council meeting on Monday (October 19), Gaynor Sedgwick, guest house owner, said: "If the TIC moves from its current position it will be a disaster for accommodation providers in the area.


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"When visitors come into Seaton they often park up and go into the TIC to enquire about accommodation. Information is provided whether they are open or closed.

"Visitors will not be able to find the TIC in the town hall. Moving the TIC will have a substantial effect on our businesses."

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She said she understood the town clerk, David Mears, had already talked about relocating the the TIC to the town hall, possibly before Christmas, into his office.

But Mr Mears said EDDC officers had informed him that they wanted to move the TIC as soon as possible and that no money would be available to keep it where it is.

He explained options for the relocation of the TIC would be discussed in private, because it affected staff.

A representative for Peter Cuthbe, chairman of Exmouth and Seaton Interpretation Centre Board, said that the centre should be placed in a temporary building very close to the car park, tramway and coach park.

He said the business plan for the visitor centre showed inclusion of the TIC when the centre opens, but it had been agreed that, during construction, it would be placed centrally. Reading from Mr Cuthbe's letter, he said: "There is no doubt that the TIC has been, and always will be, of crucial benefit to Seaton and its tourist economy, and should remain as close to its present location as possible."

Marcus Hartnell spoke on behalf of Seaton and District Chamber of Commerce. He said the town's economy depended on tourism - and moving the TIC could cause a loss of business.

Mayor Sandra Semple said it was currently only the town council supporting the TIC. She asked: "Please, could people bear in mind that in other towns numerous groups contribute to this sort of thing?"

Mr Mears later told the Herald that the council had agreed to defer the matter until the November meeting.

He said various options had been raised, which required further investigation and consultation.

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