Cllr John Ward, Babergh District Council’s Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy made a statement in early April, regarding the future of the two Tourist Information Centres in Lavenham and Stowmarket, see below.
This follows Cabinet decisions by Babergh and Mid-Suffolk District Councils to close the two offices from October 2018. Officers have emphasised, that the TICs will remain open throughout the 2018 tourist season (throughout the summer and into autumn), so people can continue to access them as normal. A dialogue will commence with local communities, businesses, and tourism sector partners to explore opportunities to facilitate a modernised visitor information offer for the two districts.
Lavenham Parish Council was only made aware of this decision after the event and is not privy to any of the papers relating to it. LPC will be exploring with Babergh the opportunity to retain the building for community benefit, which may include a permanent Post Office and community hub, tourism information and promotion, and are already in discussion with local tourism businesses.
Mr Ward said, “There’s a lot to see and do in Babergh, from our beautiful countryside and heritage buildings to our leisure offer, artist trails and silk and wool town connections. We want to work with others about how best to tell visitors about all that is on offer. We’ve got to ask whether a fixed TIC in Lavenham meets the changing needs of our visitors or whether there are other options that will better help visitors get the most out of their trip and stay, and that’s a conversation that we want to further with our local partners and visitor destinations. We’ll be doing so and whilst that is underway we will provide the funding to ensure the TIC in Lavenham continues to operate throughout the tourist season this year.”