Green light recommended for shop in former TIC

The former tourist information centre in Amble.
The former tourist information centre in Amble.

A scheme to change Amble’s tourist information centre into a shop looks set to be given the go-ahead later this week.

The seaside town’s shuttered TIC could have a new lease of life through a change of use to retail under plans lodged earlier this year.

The proposals have sparked no objections, but will be decided by the North Northumberland Local Area Council at its meeting on Thursday, as the county council is the applicant.

The building on Queen Street, by the Town Square, which also houses public toilets, has been out of action since June last year with the county council looking to lease it to another user.

But the local authority has said that whatever the building’s future use, there will be public-toilet provision.

The bid has sparked one letter of support with a George Street resident saying that while the demise of the TIC is regrettable and a proper facility needed, using the empty building for this purpose ‘is an excellent idea, serving as a link between Queen Street and the Harbour Village’.

Amble Town Council responded to the application to say it has no objection ‘provided the public toilet provision is not reduced or removed altogether’.

It adds: ‘It would be good if they got renovated and brightened up so they felt like somewhere you wanted to use.

‘These toilets haven’t felt clean or welcoming for a long time – you can judge a pub, café, restaurant or town by their public toilets.’

The building is currently being advertised for rent via George F White, with a guide rent of £7,500 a year.

The particulars say: ‘The new tenant would be expected to take over management of the public WCs in terms of opening, closing and cleaning. The landlord would consider a wider proposal to utilise the area of the toilets if public facilities were provided as part of a larger scheme.’

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service