£30,000 cash plan for Tourist Information Centre

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:05 10 June 2010

EXMOUTH Town Council has agreed to bail out the town s struggling tourist information centre with a £30,000 cash boost.

EXMOUTH Town Council has agreed to bail out the town's struggling tourist information centre with a £30,000 cash boost.

Councillors faced the fact that cutting off public money would effectively finish the TIC.

The decision followed a closed doors session of the Town Council in early October, when they agreed to fund the Manor Gardens-based operation of £10,000 per year for the next three years.

For years the Town Council funded the TIC to the tune of £10,000 year - but in July they released just £5,000 because repeated calls by frustrated members for a 'workable business plan' showing future projections had been ignored.

They had wanted the TIC to become, as Cllr Mark Williamson had previously put it, a 'viable going concern.'

The council then asked for the Management Committee to continue to meet and report back in the autumn.

But at the meeting it soon came clear that attempts to cut the financial umbilical cord had come to nothing and councillors were left with a stark choice; spend £10,000 a year on a costly service, or face the prospect that Exmouth being the only coastal resort in the South West without tourist information.

Ian Stewart chairman of the TIC Management Committee said: "A rigorous examination of the TIC's running costs and fundraising activities have been carried out over a number of months.

"Detailed figures and projections now demonstrate clearly that the survival of the TIC over the next three years depends on support from the Town Council.

"Previous District Council funding of £15,000 had been withdrawn leaving the Town Council with the dilemma of either leaving the TIC to either reduce opening times drastically or close altogether."

The £30,000 will likely come from existing reserves and capital receipts - and not from the increase in the town's council tax precept.

The council tax increase next year, projected to be 57p, a 2.4 per cent increase, will instead cover increasing council costs and to support Exmouth's regeneration of The Strand.

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