Fury at decision to axe tourism centre

Council bosses have been criticised for their decision to axe Matlock’s Tourist Information Centre.

The centre in Crown Square will close in March and new visitor information points will be created at popular locations in the town.

Derbyshire Dales District Council hope to save around £110,000 by reviewing tourism services, which will also see Ashbourne TIC closed and the Bakewell centre reviewed.

A spokesman for the council said they did not know how many jobs would be lost as part of the shake-up but the majority of staff were part-time or casual workers. He added that a survey of council tax payers revealed spending on the promotion of tourism is among their lowest priorities and money would be better spent on other things.

But Susan Fox of Ripley said she often used Matlock’s TIC.

She added: “I think that is absolute rubbish and they are needed.

“I’ve been going in for years. I buy tickets and postcards as well as get information about different events.”

The centre stocks a range of books and maps, walks leaflets, guides, information about attractions and events, gifts and mementos and a range of cards.

The council say the new visitor information points will offer services at a reduced cost. They will be self-service with leaflets and a chance for people to access information online.

Matlock resident Nick Stephens said customers like the personal touch and the chance to talk to staff.

He added: “That shop is always full of people. You could just stay at home to look online but people like to speak to someone. I hope the council looks at their plans again and come up with something better.”

Mercury Facebook friends also criticised the plans. Bev Bagshaw said: “I think the relocation of tourist information would be a huge mistake. Even as a local I find it easy to call in and ask for help or advice.”

Any businesses that would like to host a visitor information point should contact Nancy Maitland on 01629 761103.

n Have you got a view on the closure? Let us know at www.matlockmercury.co.uk