Published: October 19, 2010
Community group poised to take over Burnham tourist centre?

Sedgemoor District Council looks set to let a community group take over the running of Burnham-On-Sea Tourist Information Centre.

The council's Executive has met during the past week to examine two bids to take over the threatened seafront building, and a final decision is due to be made shortly.

Tom Ashton, who is a senior member of the working party set up to find a new owner, told on Tuesday: "We're very pleased with the progress so far. A district council official has told me that the community bid has been successful, subject to final discussions over the next couple of weeks."

The charitable community group that is proposing to run the Tourist Information Centre would be staffed by volunteers, while the other bidder is a nearby commercial business.

District Council spokeswoman Claire Faun told this week: "The Executive Committee were presented with two options for the future occupation of building. One was from a community group and one was a commercial venture. Both would supply a level of tourist information."

"The Executive discussions and resolution were in exempt business as the report contained commercially sensitive information. The resolution does not become a valid decision until Thursday October 21st due to democratic call-in arrangements. Both parties are being contacted to let them know of the resolution before any details are released into the public domain."

It comes after cash-strapped Sedgemoor District Council announced last November that it could no longer afford to run the premises.

The Town Council came to the rescue in February when it provided a £50,000 lifeline to keep it open until 31 March 2011, alongside £28,000 from the district council, however a long-term solution is required to keep it open beyond next spring.


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