Burnham-On-Sea’s community-run tourist information centre celebrates its 10th anniversary today (Wednesday) after a decade of helping visitors and residents.
The centre on the South Esplanade was opened on 14th April 2011 by Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis, as reported here at the time, pictured below.
The centre, which is run by a team of volunteers at Burnham Information and Rescue Support (BiARS), has gone on to serve thousands of people and go from strength to strength.
The group was formed after Sedgemoor District Council decided in 2011 to close the centre. A group of local people got together to see if they could operate the facility and see how it went. Today marks the first decade of the centre being run by the BiARS.
BiARS Manager Ian Jefferies says: “When we opened the centre, our ambition was to see how it went for a couple of years and here we are 10 years later!”
“There are so many people to thank who have supported us over the years, so we can continue to offer this important service to locals and visitors alike.”
“We really want to thank all those who have supported us in so many ways, including customers, advertisers, local authorities and most importantly, the amazing team of volunteers who have staffed the office, some who have been with us since day one. Thanks to you all, and here’s to the next 10 years!”
Tom Ashton, BiARS chairman, added: “A special thank you goes to all our volunteers for their many hours of work over the past ten years. Without them, none of this would be possible.”
He adds: “Thanks also go to the BiARS management team for their support behind the scenes over the past decade, some of whom have been there from the very beginning.”
“We also thank Sedgemoor District Council for their financial backing over the years and look forward to our next decade.”
The centre has had a challenging year due to the pandemic but reopened this week on April 12th for the new tourist season.
Its current opening hours are 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm each day. A Covid-secure foyer area at the front of the premises is serving customers.
Pictured: All photos taken pre-pandemic: top, the team of volunteers who run the centre; Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis opening the centre on April 14th 2011; and above the team marking the group’s seventh anniversary