Cumbria

Community takeover Kirkby Stephen tourist centre

Frank's Bridge in Kirkby Stephen
Image caption Tourism is vital to the economy of places such as Kirkby Stephen

A tourist information centre in Cumbria which faced the axe after the council withdrew funding has been taken over by a community group.

The service in Kirkby Stephen reopened over Easter and is now being run by volunteers.

It follows the formation of the Upper Eden Community Interest Company.

Eden District Council is providing an annual grant of £6,000 for the next three years to cover the rental of the premises in Market Square.

The council, which is a Conservative and Independent coalition with a Conservative leader, needs to save £1.1m over four years.

Councillor Malcolm Smith, planning and economy portfolio holder, said: "This venture is being well supported by the local community, with 36 expressions of interest from local people wishing to volunteer in the centre, and there will also be a paid manager to help develop and co-ordinate the service.

"I wish Upper Eden Community Interest Company every success for the future."

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