Tourist Information Hub opens at Shaftesbury supermarket

A TOURIST Information Hub has opened at a Shaftesbury supermarket – giving shoppers the chance to find out more about the county.

An official opening was held on May 11 at the Morrisons Daily store, in Bell Street.

The town’s previous Tourist Information Centre closed unexpectedly in March, stating that the business was no longer viable, leaving locals and tourists unsure where to go for local information, parcels, bill payment services, local products and more.

The Morrisons is operated by Elite Garages, who stepped in to offer a new venue for the hub.

Elite Garages has been a family-run business for more than 60 years, with the Shaftesbury location opening at the start of 2022.

Richard Whittemore, of Elite Garages, said: “We have received considerable support from the Shaftesbury community since we opened last year.

“The sudden closure of previous Tourist Information Centre was devastating for the town – not just for tourists, but also many locals who relied on the business for local information, parcel services, bill payment services and more.

“Tourism is also hugely important to Shaftesbury and it was crucial that the tourist information services continued.

“We are pleased to offer these services to a community who have supported our family business since the beginning.”

Kelsie Whittemore added: “We’ve never heard of a tourist information hub inside a supermarket before, but it was the perfect solution in this situation.

“With so many tourist information services closing across the country in recent years, perhaps this business model will serve as an alternative to closure for other locations.

“We have hired the former TIC manager Trevor Clements, who has also recruited the fantastic volunteers, so we can seamlessly continue the friendly service previously enjoyed by locals and tourists.”

The new Tourist Information Hub offers PayPoint services, Collect+ parcel services, local information and more, and will actively promote local attractions and businesses to tourists.

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.