Published: November 23, 2010
New Burnham-On-Sea tourist centre charity appeals for helpers

The organisers of a new charity set up to take over Burnham-On-Sea's closure-threatened Tourist Information Centre have this week appealed for more volunteers to come forward to help run the service.

Cllr Neville Jones and Tom Ashton are pictured signing an official letter of agreement with Sedgemoor District Council on behalf of the newly-formed charity BIARS (Burnham Information And Rescue Support) to take over the centre from the start of April 2011.

Now, they are urging would-be helpers to attend a public meeting next Monday (November 29th) at 7pm in Burnham's Town Council Chambers in Jaycroft Road to find out more about the centre.

"We're absolutely delighted that the centre has been saved from closure and now require as many volunteers as possible to come forward and help run the centre," Mr Ashton told

"Anyone with an interest in becoming a helper, supporter or volunteer should come along to Monday's meeting."

"They are exciting times ahead and this is an opportunity for residents to play an important role in continuing the centre's success."

The working party's chairman, Neville Jones, added: "Once it's opened, Burnham's tourist information centre will be a beacon to others across Somerset."

Mr Ashton is due to meet Sedgemoor bosses over the next few days to iron out some of the finer details of the arrangements and BIARS also still needs to raise almost £5,000 to formally set-up the charity.

The future of the seafront centre was plunged into jeopardy a year ago after the cash-strapped 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 was required to keep it open beyond next spring. Sedgemoor's Executive Committee was presented with two proposals to run the building - one from the Bay View Cafe and the other from BIARS.

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