Chamber voices opposition to Berwick TIC plan

Berwick Chamber of Trade has added its voice to the growing opposition against plans to relocate the tourist information centre.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 06 February, 2016, 06:52
Berwick TIC

Northumberland County Council is planning to close the shop unit on Marygate and move it into a revamped library on Walkergate by late spring.

Berwick Chamber of Trade has written a letter of objection, while Berwick Town Council has also expressed concerns.

John Haswell, chamber of trade chairman, said: “It’s absolute madness to move Berwick’s TIC and another nail in the coffin for Berwick’s tourism.”

The county council’s plan forms part of wider attempts to rationalise council buildings and co-locate frontline services, while supporting the regeneration of town centres.

As well as providing savings for the service from not having to rent a separate building, the new-look TIC would have extended opening hours.

Mr Haswell has repeated his call for the town to employ a tourism officer independent of Northumberland Tourism.

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He has taken matters into his own hands by advertising the town in a coach drivers’ directory.

“It’s an attempt to start coaches looking at Berwick as a destination,” he said.

Mr Haswell has called on the county council to provide signage at the Church Street coach drop-off point towards toilets or a town map.

He also wants a ‘not suitable for long vehicles’ sign at the junction of Church Street and Chapel Street.

“Otherwise buses will attempt to exit Church Street to Marygate,” he warned.

Meanwhile, Facebook group Stop Walkergate Plan has highighted the number of coaches still parking next to the demolished former Kwik Save site.