Tourist information centre may not be re-established in St Albans

PUBLISHED: 08:59 29 March 2020

The previous tourist information centre was located in the old town hall, which is now the St Albans Museum + Gallery. Picture: Elyse Marks

The previous tourist information centre was located in the old town hall, which is now the St Albans Museum + Gallery. Picture: Elyse Marks

Archant

Plans to bring a tourist information centre back into the heart of St Albans have been stalled.

When the old town hall building was transformed into the St Albans Museum + Gallery, the city’s tourist information centre was replaced with a ‘visitor information point’.

This has meant that some of the services which had been used by residents – such as purchasing tickets, collecting brochures and accessing the internet – are no longer available there.

In July, councillors called on the leader of the council to reinstate a tourist information centre in the city, pointing to the new museum or the Alban Arena as possible locations, and since then a working group has met to look at whether the return of a centre was feasible.

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At the latest meeting of the council’s cabinet on March 19, council leader Cllr Chris White revealed the council’s tourist information centre working party has decided against the possibility.

He said: “Following two meetings the group has decided not to recommend reinstatement of the tourist information centre. Instead they identified enhancements to the current offer to address identified gaps in existing facilities.”

Cllr White reported that the group had suggested improving the social media provision of council’s healthy hub, and for the museum and gallery and the healthy hub to work together closely to signpost visitors and residents.

The group also suggested producing a short highlights version of the St Albans visitor guide for international and foreign language-speaking visitors, holding a review of the use of space at the museum and gallery for visitor information, including the possible use of the railings outside, and suggesting poster sites outside that could direct people to the visitor information inside the building.

The previous tourist information centre was relocated to the Alban Arena from the town hall building in March 2016, when work began on the museum and gallery.

But when the museum opened the space the centre previously occupied became the museum’s education and learning centre - with the national trend moving towards finding tourist information online.


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