Campaigners have welcomed plans to move Hunstanton’s main tourist information point to a prime seafront location for the new season.
Borough council chiefs have confirmed that the provision will be housed at the Oasis leisure centre this summer, following talks with its management.
The move comes after months of argument, which was triggered by the controversial decision to provide an unstaffed facility at the Coal Shed Gallery in 2020 when the old centre at the town hall was closed.
An action group, led by the resort’s Civic Society, was subsequently set up to fight for the return of staffed provision, with thousands of people signing a petition in support of the idea.
The switch to the Oasis follows a long-awaited review of the provision.
And Civic Society chairman, Amanda Bosworth, said this week: “We are very pleased that our intensive work over the past nine months in campaigning for reinstatement of a staffed tourist information provision has resulted in a positive outcome for Hunstanton residents, businesses and visitors.”
The switch was confirmed by West Norfolk Council deputy leader Elizabeth Nockolds when she addressed the latest meeting of Hunstanton Town Council last Wednesday.
In draft minutes of the meeting, which the Lynn News has seen, she was reported to be confident the area would attract even more visitors this year than in 2020, which itself was said to be one of the most successful seasons for many years.
Mrs Nockolds insisted the Coal Shed provision had been “very successful” and re-stated figures showing the borough’s tourism website had received 156,000 views last year, compared to around 60,000 in previous years.
But she said the switch to the Oasis had been agreed at a meeting of the board of its operator, Alive West Norfolk, which she attended.
She said: “I think along the seafront is a vital place for visitors.
“The Oasis is staffed, all staff will be trained in local tourism and there is a lovely café area.”
The Oasis is currently expected to re-open on April 12, when the next easing of restrictions is scheduled under the government’s roadmap for exiting lockdown.
However, Alive West Norfolk has stressed that not all of its services will be able to restart on that date and most which do will be run differently on safety grounds.