Winchcombe Tourist Information Centre (TIC) will permanently close on 31 March 2024.
The centre – located in the Winchcombe Museum building – is currently funded by Winchcombe Town Council. However, due to changes to the way customers are now accessing tourist information, the town council has decided to cease funding the centre and instead direct the money towards other ways of promoting Winchcombe as a tourist destination.
In April 2023, the town council gave notice to the borough council, which manages the centre on its behalf, that it would be withdrawing its funding, affecting six colleagues, three of whom are at risk of redundancy.
Affected staff and trade unions have been consulted, and the borough council explored other possible options to keep the centre open – before reaching the decision that, without the funding, it would have to close.
Tewkesbury Borough Council will continue to support tourism in Winchcombe in various ways including:
• Supporting the locally run website Experience Winchcombe to promote the area.
• Developing new marketing campaigns for the Winchcombe area, and support for tourism businesses.
• Supporting Winchcombe’s many attractions through Cotswold Tourism.
• Engaging with local businesses to understand how they can best be supported by the council, particularly in attracting visitors to the area.
Chair of Winchcombe Town Council, Jim Mason, added: “The decision to withdraw funding from our information centre was not one that was taken lightly. As a council, we have a responsibility towards the residents of Winchcombe to apportion our financial resources wisely, and given that customers are more and more frequently choosing to access information online, we decided our budget would be better allocated to other ways of promoting Winchcombe as a tourist destination.
“The Experience Winchcombe website will, of course, continue to provide a wealth of information on the town and what it has to offer.
“I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to the Information Centre staff, and to all those involved behind the scenes in its running, for their excellent work over the years in being the welcoming face of Winchcombe.”
Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Leader and Lead member for Economic Development and Promotion, Councillor Richard Stanley, said: “The withdrawal of funding for the tourism information centre was a difficult decision for the town council, but importantly we will still work closely with them to support tourism in Winchcombe.
“I’d like to thank the whole Winchcombe TIC team, including our casual colleagues who have supported the core team, for their hard work and commitment over the years in supporting the community and visitors. Where possible, we will redeploy the staff into alternative roles and also provide support in applying for other jobs, ahead of 31 March 2024.”