|St Ives Tourist Information - The Guildhall|
According to a story published today in The West Briton - Cornwall Council are to withdraw all funding for St Ives Tourist Information Centre from March 2011. This will mean closure unless alternative funding sources are found. Centres in Penzance and Falmouth are also set to close.
You can read the full article on:
This Is Cornwall
It appears that this is not just speculation - its a done deal.
I think that most readers would agree that this is really bad news for St Ives. The centre helps thousands of visitors every year - and thereby helps many local businesses by putting customers their way. Not just accommodation providers either - one local shop owner told me today how grateful she is when they direct people to her.
Its also not just about tourism. I know from personal experience how helpful the staff are for local community organisations and events. They freely offer help with publicity and ticketing, usually at no charge.
They are also nice people !
So what to do about this ?
One option would be a "political" campaign to get the decision reversed. But from what I can see Cornwall Council are really making big cutbacks - so the chances of success may be limited.
One positive idea though - if every hotel, bed and breakfast, self-catering property, shop and other business in town chipped in a relatively small amount of money - it might be possible to keep the centre open. Say £50 to £200 per year depending on the size of your business ? Most places probably make much more than that from referrals every year.
Community organisations who have a publicity budget could also help out.
Maybe it could be run a a local co-operative ?
Any comments or other ideas - please post below.