Peterborough City Council’s new Town Hall ‘tourist centre’ slammed

The new Peterborough Visitor Information Centre has been slammed after it was moved from its own building to a desk in the Town Hall.

Saturday, 18th January 2020, 4:35 am
Information area at Peterborough Town Hall EMN-200113-162121009

Toby Wood, from Peterborough Civic Society, said the range of ‘sad looking leaflets’ left him a dissatisfied customer when he visited this week.

The information centre moved from its own building to the Town Hall at the beginning of the month, with the hope that the council could save up to £85,000 in rent.

But Toby said: “I had seen the bare windows and empty unit of the old Visitor Information Centre in Bridge Street and had read the notice advising me that any visitors wanting information should now go into the Town Hall reception area.

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Information area at Peterborough Town Hall EMN-200113-162229009

“Once inside the Town Hall I saw a rather sad-looking range of leaflets and other bits of information on a shelf and adjacent noticeboard.

“I went across to the reception area where three chaps were congregated looking at a computer monitor. I intended to ask them if there was any other material available. I waited for a minute for them to acknowledge my presence. None of them did so I left, a dissatisfied customer.”

Peterborough City Council said the move had been made as just 50 people per day were visiting the centre.

A spokeswoman the council said changes were planned for the new centre, but more people were using website www.visitpeterborough.com than the physical centre. She said: “The move to the Town Hall was planned for January as it is typically a quiet time for visitor enquiries.

Information area at Peterborough Town Hall EMN-200113-162132009

“The Town Hall is still being fitted out. There will be new signage and information including brochures, posters, and a touch screen terminal.

“A member of staff will be available at the reception desk to deal with enquiries.

“We trialled Sunday opening of the Visitor Information Centre last autumn and had fewer than 10 enquiries: not good value for money. The vast majority of visitors will use applications such as Booking.com and we’ll direct people at weekends to the Visit Peterborough website, which has been very successful since it launched.

“The sale of merchandise in store was not cost effective but the residual stock will be available to purchase at the new location at the Town Hall.

“We’ll also begin to monitor and classify the type of enquiries we are getting and evolve the service to ensure it meets customer needs.”