centre shuts down at M5 Sedgemoor Services near Burnham
popular M5 motorway tourist information centre near Burnham-On-Sea
has closed down this week due to council funding cuts.
Somerset Visitor Centre at Sedgemoor Services on the southbound
motorway shut for the final time on Friday (10th April), confirmed
Somerset County Council.
council spokeswoman told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Rising pressures
on the Council's budget, along with visitors seeking their tourism
information elsewhere, has meant the business case for continuing
to run the service is no longer viable."
are recommending that tourists visit Burnham-On-Sea and other
Somerset information centres, or go online. Arrangements have
been made with other Somerset tourist information centres to accept
any enquiries to the SVC telephone number or email address following
decision has disappointed BIARS (Burnham Information and Rescue
Support), the group that runs Burnham's seafront Tourist Information
Jefferies, BIARS Tourism Manager, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It
is dreadful news that the Sedgemoor Services tourist centre has
closed down - it's been a valuable service."
will be a missed opportunity to promote our area to vistors travelling
through the Burnham area. It's also very disappointing to see
experienced tourism staff being lost. That said, though, we are
grateful to the County Council for letting us have some of the
surplus stock for our centre in Burnham which will help us keep
Tom Ashton, Chairman of BIARS and a director at Visit Somerset,
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "This TIC was situated at the gateway
to Somerset and its closure will, I believe, have a big negative
impact on tourism in the area. Many visitors to the West Country
will in future be unaware of the many attractions that Somerset
has to offer and at the same time accommodation providers will
Somerset has had a number of meetings with Somerset County Council,
who ran the centre, to try to come up with an acceptable plan
to save the facility, including the opportunity of seeing whether
a community volunteer operation could be put in place, similar
to BIARS, which operates the TIC in Burnham."
District Council Chairman Peter Downing acknowledged two weeks
ago that Burnham's TIC has been run very successfully by volunteers
for the last four years and provides a fantastic service."