Fight goes on to keep TIC on Marygate

A councillor has called for Berwick Town Council to put up a stronger fight in its bid to keep the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) on Marygate.

Thursday, 25th February 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th February 2016, 13:45 pm
Berwick TIC

Northumberland County Council reiterated its intention to move the TIC into a revamped Walkergate building when officers met the town council last week.

The town council has looked at the option of paying the rent for the current unit and sub-letting it to the county council.

However, town clerk Wendy Pattison said: “The county council have said that if we were to pay the rent for the shop they would want us to take on the salaries and running costs of the business.”

But Councillor David Blackburn said the county council only wanted to move to reduce its rent. It would still have to pay salaries.

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“They have moved the goalposts on this,” he said.

“We need to fight them on this to ensure we have a centrally located TIC.

“We have a figure in our budget with which we could pay the rent which is the reason the council originally said it planned to move it.”

The TIC would benefit from extended opening hours if it moves to Walkergate.

It is envisaged tourism leaflets would be put in more town centre shops.

Mayor Hazel Bettison added: “When the staff move from the TIC to the library they are going to become multi-skilled to do both jobs.”

Councillor Catherine Seymour said: “It’s clear the county council have made up its mind on this and there is nothing more we can do about it.

“Berwick Town Council is not in the business of running shop units.

The TIC proposal forms part of the council’s review of its property portfolio in market towns across the county.