The Visitor Information Centre in Peterborough will be moving from its current location in Bridge Street in the New Year.
From January 2020, visitors to the city will be guided towards the Town Hall and those wanting to access services such as blue badge applications and bus passes will need to walk just a few footsteps to the Customer Contact Centre.
The reason for the move is that over the past five years, the number of customers entering its doors has been steadily decreasing and now stands at about 50 per day, with 30 of these being for non-tourism services. At the same time, the number of online visits has soared, with over 20,000 people accessing the new www.visitpeterborough.com website since it launched in July this year.
Therefore, Peterborough City Council has made the decision to generate extra income, by renting out the current building. It is estimated that by relocating the Visitor Information Centre, the council will be able to generate an extra £70,000 to £85,000 a year through savings in property costs and new rental income.
Councillor Peter Hiller, cabinet member for Peterborough City Council, said: “This move has been a long time coming and shouldn’t surprise anyone. We know that more and more of our visitors are choosing the convenience of planning their trips to our city online before they arrive in Peterborough.
“This means that the actual numbers we get through the doors have plummeted. At a time when council budgets are tight, it is no longer feasible for us to open and staff an entire building for just a few customers a day, when we have the Town Hall reception which can perform the same function for free just a few footsteps away.
“On top of that, the move will mean that we can generate much-needed extra income by renting out the current building, which this council can use on keeping libraries and waste collection services running and the elderly in care instead.”
All services that are currently offered for tourists at the Visitor Information Centre – including theatre ticket pre-booking, leaflets and general advice - will continue at the Town Hall reception post January 2020. Bus pass and blue badge applications will be offered at the Customer Services Centre, also in Bridge Street, for six months prior to the services transferring online.
Access to computers with staff who are trained to help people unused to going online are available at all libraries across Peterborough.