Stroud Town Council regrets a decision by Stroud District Council to close the tourist information centre in Stroud with the loss of three jobs.
The Town Council had hoped to work with the District Council to relocate the service elsewhere, including potentially to the Town Council office, and run a district-wide service for them, but the report from the District Council’s Task and Finish Group instead recommended giving each of the towns in the district a small grant to help them set up their own local services.
The District Council has set aside £14,000 which will be available to market towns, including Stroud, to promote tourism.
The Town Council has now independently commissioned development work on a proposal to potentially create a Tourism Hub based at Stroud Railway Station.
The TIC is currently in the Subscription Rooms but will need to be moved when the building is transferred to Town Council ownership and the business is taken over by Stroud Subscription Rooms Trust.
The TIC is a separate service to the Sub Rooms – they just share the same building. The Sub Rooms staff will transfer to the Trust under the TUPE regulations, but not the TIC staff as the Trust will not be permitted to operate it.
The Charity Commission advised the Trust that, under charity regulations, it would not be permitted to run the TIC.
The Trust were advised by the Charity Commission that: “The Centre cannot be operated under the banner of the charity.”
Mayor Kevin Cranston said the Town Council has done a great deal of research into how to improve tourism services.
“There is huge potential to create a much improved online offering linking tourism to our cultural offer in Stroud which the Town Council thinks it should develop and promote. We also have the support of the Chamber of Commerce and Trade as we explore the alternatives,” he said.