Call for urgent action on TIC for Seahouses

Seahouses Tourist Information Centre. Picture by Jane Coltman
Seahouses Tourist Information Centre. Picture by Jane Coltman

Frustrated parish councillors in Seahouses want something to be done urgently on the back of the closure of the tourist information centre.

At Monday night’s meeting of North Sunderland Parish Council, members expressed the view that a van used over the bank holiday weekend was inadequate and that even if the service is installed in a new building, it should only be an interim measure while the original building is brought up to standard.

It was announced in March that the building which houses Seahouses Tourist Information Centre had to be closed due to defects leading to concerns over health and safety.

An inspection by building officers found defects that led to significant health and safety risks and they recommended that the building should be closed, it was reported.

However, despite it being said at the time that Active Northumberland’s tourism staff were working closely with the local county councillor, North Sunderland Parish Council and local businesses to consider alternative arrangements that will secure the provision of a tourist information service over the main season, as yet, there is no solution.

Over the May bank-holiday weekend, a van was provided to host a tourist information service, but parish-council chairman, Geoffrey Stewart, said this was ‘not adequate’.

At last month’s meeting, members heard that the former development trust resource centre on Main Street, which is now owned by the county council and has been empty for a couple of years, was an option.

Coun Mick McCarthy said it was not the parish council’s concern whether the county council or Active Northumberland is to blame.

“One of them or both of them is responsible and it’s a disaster for Seahouses as well as Bamburgh and Beadnell,” he added.

Coun David Donaldson said that the original building needs to be refurbished because it’s the best location.