Somerset

Charity bid for Burnham Tourist Information Centre

Burnham Tourist Centre
Image caption The TIC attracts 95,000 visitors a year

Burnham Tourist Information Centre (TIC) could be saved from closure and instead be run as a charity.

The service is due to close in March 2011 as part of cuts at Sedgemoor District Council.

Tom Ashton, a member of the working party for the proposed charity, said he hoped to make the centre more "commercial" and reduce running costs.

"The 95,000 people who have visited the centre yearly for the last few years has only resulted in a £3,500 profit."

He said the charity's aims could be achieved by using both paid workers and volunteers to cut down on staffing costs.

"The biggest element of costs were staff costs. The charity will be a unique combination of professionally paid staff - I think you need that to run it properly - together with volunteers."

Mr Ashton also hopes to increase profits by selling more goods at the centre.

"If you look at another centre which has been run as a charity for the last five or six years at Shepton Mallet, the profit they make from a footfall of only 35,000 is nearly, £40,000 so they're getting a profit spend of about £1 per person."

A two-year lease will need to be signed between the working party and the council by 14 November.

The group also has to formally register the Burnham Information and Rescue Service as a charity, but will need £5,000 in order to do this.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites