New visitor centre to open at seafront location next week

A NEW Tourist Information Centre is to open at Aquila House next week, as the service is moved from the town hall in a bid to improve service.

From next Thursday (July 4), visitors to the town will be able to find out about local attractions, hotels, buy bus, coach and train tickets, books and souvenirs from the new office at Aquila House, in Breeds Place, beside the fountain on the seafront.

The move comes as a response to feedback received following the centralisation last year of tourist information and community information such as housing services, into a single contact centre in the town hall.

Council leader Jeremy Birch explained: “We know that tourism is vitally important to Hastings, employing more than 5,000 people.

“We want our visitors to make the very most of their visit to the town, and the new Tourist Information Centre, open 363 days a year, closing only on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, will be the ideal starting point for visitors wanting to explore the area.”

He added: “The council’s main community information point remains in the town hall.

“By bringing all contact with the council both face-to-face and by phone into the same place with the same team of staff dealing with it all, the council has saved a substantial amount of money - about £200,000 per year.

“However we have recognised that there is a special issue for tourists and visitors, and a dedicated information point for them will still be beneficial.

“Indeed, this is the feedback we have had from our hotels and guest houses.”

The Tourist Information Centre will sell a range of bus, coach and train tickets, including ‘DaySave’ tickets.

It will also carry a range of local event and theatre tickets, so the idea is that it will be of use to residents as well as visitors.

All other services will remain at the town hall.