Chepstow’s Tourist Information Centre has had a troubled few years. It has faced closure and uncertainty which, it is fair to say, have prompted support and frustration from the local community in equal measure. Whilst it has been confirmed to stay open, it remains in need of organisational restructuring to make it financially viable.
Currently the lease for the facility requires that it not be used for commercial purposes, which has made it difficult for local businesses to get as involved as they would like.
The County Council currently intends to add coffee shop facilities to the Centre, with a view to serving the coach trips that come through Chepstow. With the lease constraints as they are and pressures around staffing I can see the logic in that. I can’t say I agree with it though as it will have a negative impact on surrounding businesses. I will be working towards trying to get closer links between the town and the TIC, including commercial links, and to try and work those into part of a strategy to create more visitors to the town and more movement from the top of town to the bottom. We want people staying in Chepstow, not just popping in for a cuppa as a coach stop to see the castle.
I’m working with County Council’s Tourism Team, in conjunction with Chepstow’s Chamber of Commerce to try and find ways of improving the TIC offering. Something that will help local business, fulfill the TIC’s purpose and no doubt please the excellent folk of the Save Chepstow Tourist Information Centre Facebook group (Of which I am one 😉 )