October 23, 2014
£15,000 cash boost for Burnham's tourism centre from Hinkley Point

Burnham-On-Sea's tourist information centre has this week received a £15,000 funding boost following the approval of Hinkley Point power station's expansion.

Community group BiARS (Burnham Information and Rescue Support), which runs the seafront facilities, is to receive the cash as part of a legal agreement signed when permission was granted for EDF Energy to start preparing the site for the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

The funding has been given to BiARS to expand its information services for visitors to the area during the preliminary works.

Sedgemoor District Council has signed a service level agreement with BiARS outlining what it expects from the Information Centre in return for the £15,000 grant and what support it will provide the centre.

Vicky Banham, tourism officer at Sedgemoor, said: "BiARS will have a key role in providing visitors with the information they need to enjoy their stays here during the preparation of the site for the new power station."

Ian Jefferies, Tourism Manager of BiARS, above, this week welcomed the news. He told "We are working with Sedgemoor and EDF Energy closely to meet the challenges and make the most of the many opportunities that will arise from building the new plant."

"A lot of workers will be coming to our area and this money means we will be able to assist them and their families in making the visit a smooth one and give a place within Burnham-On-Sea to co-ordinate the interest in our area."

"It also offers the chance of training for our fantastic group of volunteers as well as securing BiARS’ existence. The agreement continues the working relationship with Sedgemoor since we took over running the Information Centre a few years ago."

Tom Ashton, Chairman of BiARS, added: "Since we took over we have stayed afloat without any financial input from our local authorities. The last financial year was very difficult with numbers down in most tourism-related businesses in Somerset, so this money is a lifeline for us."

"I wish to express my sincere thanks to Sedgemoor and EDF Energy for the assistance they have given us and look forward to a good working relationship during this spell of opportunity."


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