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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Lack of volunteers may mean the end of Ulverston tourist services

VISITORS to a South Lakes town could be left none the wiser about its many attractions unless local volunteers step in to run tourist information services.

South Lakeland District Council removed funding for Ulverston’s tourist information centre in 2011.

Since then information has been provided on an informal, ad hoc, basis by staff at the Coronation Hall booking office.

But SLDC has covered up signs directing visitors to the booking office in order to “avoid confusion”.

Lawrence Conway, chief executive at South Lakeland District Council, said: “The council ceased providing TIC services across the district some years ago but invited local groups or businesses to consider taking these services on and provided funding support over three years to help facilitate that.

“Unfortunately, no group or businesses from the Ulverston community came forward to formally take over TIC services.

“Staff at the Coronation Hall booking office have, however, continued informally giving information out about local sights, events and local hotels.

“They use the leaflets they still have in stock, but have no ability to book accommodation or provide other tourist related services.

“The TIC sign outside the Coronation Hall was covered over to avoid any confusion that the booking office was operating as a TIC, and in reality this has not been the case for a number of years.”

Grange Tourist Information Centre is based in Victoria Hall and has been run almost exclusively by volunteers since SLDC funding was removed.

Town councillor Colin Pickthall said the council was looking at ways to have a new information centre in place by the 2015 tourist season.

He added: “It is vital for the town to have some sort of facility.

“The town council will be eager to help but there’s nothing in the budget for it this year.

“It has to happen, otherwise it would be a major blow for Ulverston’s marketing project.”

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