Keeping the Tourist Information Centre at Mere’s Mouth in Diss would cost residents £26 a year each in council tax, the town council has revealed.
Diss Town Council is staging a Public Information Event at the United Reformed Church in Mere Street until 7pm this evening (Friday), giving people the chance to find out more on car parking, the Heritage Triangle project, public toilets, and the TIC move.
South Norfolk Council currently provides the TIC in Diss, and the town council has agreed to take over the service as part of the funding agreement for the Heritage Triangle project.
It will be moved to the Corn Hall once its refurbishment is complete, and run temporarily at the council officers on Market Hill from January.
But it has been revealed it would cost the town council about £60,000 a year to run the service as it is. They said it would add on average £26 to a Diss resident’s council tax, who currently pay £149.90 per year.
Diss Town Council Leader Graham Minshull said: “The basic choice is move it or lose it.
We can’t afford as a town council to keep it where it is. If we could, we wouldDiss Town Council Leader Graham Minshull
“We can’t afford as a town council to keep it where it is. If we could, we would.
“We don’t own the building, so we would have to make up the money that its losing, plus we would have to make up the cost of renting the building, and pay all the business rates.
“By moving it actually it will provide the same sort of service and it will be moved to a location where it will having longer opening hours than it has now.
“There has been a lot of misconceptions about the different things happening in the town with the TIC.
“Today has been very favourable. People who have come along very anti, but when you explain to them the facts behind it, they have turned around and said ‘ok, we accept that’.”
The council says it is working with the Market Towns Iniative to ensure the new TIC is well-signposted.
And in response to concerns footfall in the town would fall without the TIC at Mere’s Mouth, the council said footfall in that area is currently twice the national average for a town of Diss’s size. On a market day in June 2013, 280 people were counted, compared to 26 in Norfolk House Yard.
Speaking on the Public Information Event, Mr Minshull added: “Today is about giving people the chance to come and talk to councillors, come and talk to the staff, and understand what is happening in the town.