Tourist centre ready for relaunch
STAFF at Sandy Tourist Information Centre are gearing themselves up for the relaunch of their office under new ownership. The centre was axed by Mid Beds District Council under its cost cutting programme. But the centre was seen as of vital importance in
STAFF at Sandy Tourist Information Centre are gearing themselves up for the relaunch of their office under new ownership.
The centre was axed by Mid Beds District Council under its cost cutting programme. But the centre was seen as of vital importance in the town so Sandy Town Council decided to take it over - along with the annual £40,000 running costs.
From April 1, the centre will be part of Sandy Town Council and plans are already under way to expand its business interests.
It will soon offer tickets for bus tours and you will be able to book holidays at the office in Shannon Court in the High Street and also supply tourist information covering a wide area not just in Mid Beds but the East of England.
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So shocked were local people when Mid Beds District Council said they wanted to unload the centre, over 3,500 people signed a petition to save it which amounted to 30 per cent of the town's population.
"Local people said they wanted it and we backed them. It will cost the community £8 a house but we feel it is worth it," said Sandy Town Council clerk Trevor Stewart.
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"Now the tourist information centre has closed at Woburn Sands, the one here is one of only two in the county, the other being at Bedford.
"We feel it is a vital part of the community. When it was audited by the English Tourist Board it gained a 99 per cent pass mark for its very high standards.
"Now we aim to expand its services by offering coach tours and holiday bookings. The extra income will help pay for it.
A low-key party will be held on April 4 for the official reopening under the Sandy Town Council banner which will be conducted by Sandy mayor Cllr David Gale.
"Sandy Tourist Information Centre would like to promote this side of the county so if there are any events coming up that need publicising please get in touch and send in details, posters and flyers," said tourism assistant Dorothy Renz.
"We would like any suggestions on what people would like us to provide in the shop. But above all we need support to make it the best tourist information centre in the country.