More than 20 volunteers have signed up to help run Burnham-On-Sea’s tourist information centre when it comes under the management of a new charitable group this Spring.

BIARS (Burnham Information And Rescue Support) held a successful public meeting this week where the volunteers came forward to offer their help in running the seafront centre from this April when it is handed over by Sedgemoor District Council.

Cllr Neville Jones, Chairman of BIARS, told “It’s very uplifting that such a good number of people have come forward to offer us their time in running the centre – it shows the amount of support and enthusiasm there is in keeping the facilities running.”

At the meeting, it was also confirmed that more local businesses have pledged their financial support to BIARS, with almost the whole of the £5,000 needed for it to gain official charity status being raised.

However, Tom Ashton, Treasurer of BIARS, warned that the momentum needs to continue. “We will need more volunteers and continued financial backing to keep the centre running, so this is just the beginning of our work. We would urge anyone who can help us to get in touch.”

The seafront centre was plunged into jeopardy in 2009 when the cash-strapped district council announced it could no longer afford to run it, but BIARS stepped forward to save it and now plans to turn the centre’s fortunes around.

Two local charities, BARB and the Coastguard Association, will be selling merchandise at the centre in addition to providing sea safety advice.

Pictured are, top, BIARS volunteers who will be helping to run Burnham’s tourist information centre from April