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Issue 294 – Town Council steps in to save tourism service

The running of Frome’s Tourist Information Centre will be taken over by Frome Town Council from 1st April.
Mendip District Council’s announcement of its cuts in tourism funding last year led to public outcry in Frome.  A petition was sent to Mendip District Council to try to stop them reducing funding to Frome Tourist Information Centre (TIC), but this failed to have any effect. The reduced grant funding led to the Tourist Information Centre having to make considerable savings over the last year to continue operating while a more long term solution was sought.
The not for profit company that has been running the TIC since 1997 with the support of 23 volunteers, two part-time employees and one full-time employee faced with these funding cuts, just could not make the centre pay its way in the long term, and it looked as if the Frome TIC would have to close.  Frome Town Council has now agreed to run the Tourist Information Centre as part of a new in-house service for Frome.
Cllr Damon Hooton, Mayor of Frome, said, “It’s fantastic to know that the future of TIC provision in Frome has been secured. The town council recognises the strategic importance of tourism for Frome and the part a TIC plays in this.
“By taking the service in-house we have not only secured the future of a TIC in Frome but it will also enable the town council to extend the range and diversity of services available at a town council information and tourist centre for the benefit of tourists, residents and businesses.  The incorporation of this service into the core functions of the town council is seen as an important development for Frome. 
“We look forward to working to promote Frome and ensure that all visitors gain the most from their visit to this historic market town.  There will be a lot of changes to reflect the town council’s involvement in the centre, and plans for a launch of the new service for Frome are now being developed.”
Cllr Hooton went on to say “The value of the work the existing management board, volunteers and staff have put in over the years to establish the TIC in Frome cannot be underestimated.  We are delighted that all their efforts have not just folded with nothing to show.  They have given the Town Council a fantastic base from which the service can be taken forward and developed.  I am delighted to be able to announce that the council will be holding a thank you reception for the volunteers to formally acknowledge the contribution they have made to Frome.”
Ken Pritchard, chairman of the current Frome TIC management board said, ”I’ve had the privilege over many years to be involved with a group of fantastic people in running a tourist information service both for visitors to Frome and local residents. I have some sadness that we could not continue in the same way but once the grant from Mendip was cut that was bound to be impossible. I am deeply grateful for the way in which the town council has responded with a very positive plan which will enable these very valuable information services to continue.”

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