A dedicated tourist information centre is to return to the heart of Weymouth.
The town centre hub will open at the end of this month at 98 St Mary Street along with new information points across the town.
It will initially open as a pilot scheme for six months, funded and supported by local organisations.
The opening of a new tourist information centre comes after Weymouth’s TIC at Weymouth Pavilion was closed in a cost-cutting move by Dorset Council in 2013. Temporary centres have opened since, with a TIC operating from the Colwell Centre on School Street and more recently Dorset Cottage Holidays setting one up in King Street.
There is a greater need for a tourist centre post-lockdown, We Are Weymouth says, as more holidaymakers are opting to stay in the UK and heading to Weymouth.
Chief operations officer Dawn Rondeau said: “We Are Weymouth (BID) are thrilled to be one of the sponsors funding the information shop. It will be a welcome addition and a central point for locals and visitors to find out information about the town, whether for trips or bus routes, entertainment and events, places to eat or even where to get a haircut. Weymouth really is a special place.”
The information centre will stock information guides, timetables and signposting. It will provide information on ‘things to do’, maps, transport links, trips, trails and activities for visitors and there will also be information on services for the community.
Information points are much needed as the resort’s tourism industry is ‘crucial’, Mrs Rondeau said.
She added: “Tourism is crucial to Weymouth’s economy and a variety of information points across the town is necessary at the gateways to the town.
“The BID actively markets the town to encourage both locals and visitors to come and explore all Weymouth has to offer, and believe that tourist information points are crucial to that experience.”
The BID will also publish new town centre maps, which will highlight locations for information such as the train station and Portland Port. To help visitors looking to use public transport, bus company First Wessex will have a timetable pod on the promenade.
The plan for a dedicated facility for the town was developed by Weymouth Area Development Trust and the Dorset Volunteer Centre, which brought together additional partners to fund the project.
Weymouth Mayor Colin Huckle said: “It’s good to see Weymouth Information Shop opening its doors to the public. As well as providing helpful information and a friendly place to stop and chat for residents and visitors to the town, it will also signpost to other services provided by partner organisations. I wish them all the best for this new venture in the heart of Weymouth.”
Those funding and supporting the six month tourist shop project are: We Are Weymouth (BID), Weymouth Town council, Dorset council, Public health Dorset, The Dorset Volunteer Centre, Age UK NSW Dorset, Help and Kindness, WADT, NHS and the CCG.
Ambassadors will continue to welcome visitors across the town centre, beach and meet passengers off the cruise ships.