THE future of tourist information in Tamworth is safe, with Tamworth Borough Council underlining its commitment to expanding and developing the service for the future.
Work on the first phase of the ambitious £6.1 million project to regenerate Tamworth town centre with the transformation of the Philip Dix Centre in Corporation Street into a Business and Enterprise Centre is due to start in September.
As a result, the Tamworth Information Centre will have to leave the premises when the building closes – and a full appraisal of all the short and long-term options for the TIC is under way.
Tamworth Borough Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Rob Pritchard, stressed the vital part that tourist information will continue to play in the future development of Tamworth as a destination for visitors and pledged that the service will continue.
He said: “I can assure the people of Tamworth that, although the Tamworth Information Centre may no longer be located at the Philip Dix Centre, it is our baby and we remain 100% committed to the provision of quality tourist information services.
“We take a great pride in our award-winning tourist information service. It is a brilliant service with fantastic staff and it is something we will always have in Tamworth. No jobs will be lost as a result of the move of the TIC away from the Philip Dix Centre. The development of the Enterprise Quarter is all about bringing more visitors and jobs into Tamworth and the provision of tourist information is a vital part of that vision.”
He added: “The development of the Philip Dix Centre as part of the wider Enterprise Quarter is essential for the regeneration, job creation and growth of Tamworth town centre. It is a huge investment and we cannot let the location of the TIC get in the way of this project, which will bring huge benefits and opportunities to Tamworth.
“We are looking at all options for the short and long-term future of the TIC and the services delivered from it. The move provides us with the perfect opportunity to provide even better services to keep up with current demand.”
Tamworth Borough Council has been working closely with the tenants and hirers of the Philip Dix Centre since the beginning of 2015, keeping them informed of the progress of the project and helping them to identify alternative accommodation, including that at Marmion House.
The development of the Creative Quarter will also include the refurbishment and extension of Tamworth Assembly Rooms, the redevelopment of the Carnegie Centre as a restaurant, improvements to the library and surrounding area and creation of a new public open space.
The project – a partnership initiative led by Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council – is expected to create around 100 jobs and attract additional private investment. An independent economic impact assessment which was carried out ahead of the funding bid showed that the development of a Creative Quarter could potentially add £13 million to the town’s economy by 2019.