Volunteers needed for an Essex tourist information centre

PUBLISHED: 09:47 28 March 2010 | UPDATED: 07:35 30 May 2010

VOLUNTEERS are desperately needed to man the desks at a Tourist Information Centre, so much so that the council that runs it has agreed to dish out travel expenses.

VOLUNTEERS are "desperately needed" to man the desks at a Tourist Information Centre, so much so that the council that runs it has agreed to dish out travel expenses.

In a bid to lure in more workers Dunmow Town Council has agreed to pay 40p per mile for people who come and work for a few hours at the centre, located inside Banana Travel.

And, with an aim to extend opening hours in the future, the council hopes to attract as many people as possible to help give out information on what to do and where to go.

Town councillor Ron Clover has already given up some of his own time to man the desks on a Tuesday afternoon and for him it was a real eye-opener.

He said: "I was talking with a person who had lived in the town for over 30 years, he told me that he didn't even know we had a TIC. Perhaps that is not uncommon.

"We need to encourage people to pop in, you don't have to be a tourist, you can just have a look around.

"The TIC can only operate with the help of volunteers and we are in desperate need of them. Ideally we would like to open for longer including Saturdays - so if anyone can spare a few hours of their time then please get in touch."

Currently the centre, in Market Place, is open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 10am and 1pm.

The council opened and agreed to fund the centre in spring 2009 following the closure of Uttlesford's main centre in Saffron Walden.

Since then it has been met with some criticism for not attracting the numbers of visitors as was first thought, mainly due to an out-of-sight location.

Cllr Milan Milovanovic said: "I have grave concerns over the viability and the cost to taxpayers, something like only three people came in when I was there."

However, councillors have agreed to see out the year in the current location and then carry out a review.

HAVE you been in to the TIC? Did you know it was there? E-mail us at editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk

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