Salisbury Tourist Information Centre
The Chair of SCS – Peter Dunbar, has written the following letter to the Salisbury Journal with regard to the proposed closure of Salisbury’s Tourist Information Centre
CLOSURE OF VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE AT GUILDHALL
The Salisbury City Council Services Committee met on Monday 25 th June and voted by a
majority to close the existing Information Centre in Fish Row, at the back of the Guildhall,
and relocate some of the staff to a merged operation to be described as a “Community
Hub” within the premises presently occupied by the Shop Mobility service in the Maltings.
The Civic Society and other members of the public spoke to the Members about their
concerns that the loss of the existing Information Centre, centrally located behind an
iconic landmark building and just off the Market Place, would harm the visitor experience
in Salisbury as the Shop Mobility premises are hidden away at the back of the Maltings in
a dark unwelcoming location beneath Sainsbury’s store and which is not readily seen.
The claimed savings in annual overheads are £66,000 per annum so this is a financially
driven policy yet £35,000 is to be spent on upgrading the Shop Mobility premises and no
figures were provided to cover redundancy payments or new “way finding” signage as the
existing all point to Fish Row. The probability of the Maltings being redeveloped in the
next few years also raises questions about whether this plan is a viable long term solution,
as relocation may again have to be implemented.
Matt Dean, leader of the Council, advised the meeting that visitors calling into the front
door of the Guildhall would be greeted by a staff member who would hand them a map
and directions to the Community Hub. That is not an adequate substitute. The Civic
Society is opposed to the move and urges the Council to reconsider its decision as a
matter of priority.
At a time when Salisbury is trying to promote its recovery on an international stage after
the nerve agent publicity and reduced trade, the loss of the existing Information Centre in
Fish Row is a retrograde step likely to harm local businesses further and the visitor
experience in general.
Peter Dunbar (Chairman, Salisbury Civic Society)
There is a petition to save the TIC please click on the link https://bit.ly/2MSzy8y to sign the petition