Trust seeks a lifeline to stay open another year

Pictured at Todmorden Tourist Information Centre are, from left, trustees Anne Lee and Cynthia Murray, manager Jacqui Davies, trustee Richard Storah and chairman of trustees Rob Goldthorpe
Pictured at Todmorden Tourist Information Centre are, from left, trustees Anne Lee and Cynthia Murray, manager Jacqui Davies, trustee Richard Storah and chairman of trustees Rob Goldthorpe

TRUSTEES have warned that Todmorden Information Centre may have to close if it does not receive funding from the town council.

For the past few years, councillors have given a grant to the TIC Trust to help cover its staffing costs and remain open to provide a valuable service to visitors and residents alike.

The trust has applied to the town council for funding again this year and members of the amenities committee narrowly voted in favour of giving a £18,900 grant to cover the centre’s staffing costs.

But the final decision rests in the hands of the newly elected town councillors who will have their say at the next meeting of the full town council on Mayor’s Day, May 14.

Cynthia Murray, one of the trustees, said: “We are very, very grateful for the town council’s support. Without it, we would not exist. It’s vital to us.

“If we didn’t have this money from the town council, there would not be an information centre.”

The TIC assists about 20,000 people a year with information and advice.

“Our main aim is to promote Todmorden,” Mrs Murray said.

“If you ask anybody in Todmorden they will say it’s a very worthwhile enterprise and they would not want it to close.”

If the grant is given, it would cover the cost of one full time member of staff, plus volunteers.

“If we receive the grant, it would give us a lifeline for another year,” she said.

At last week’s amenities committee meeting, opinion was divided on whether to give the TIC Trust the full amount of money it was seeking.

Coun Phil Walters said: “I think we should carry on funding it because of the great work it does.”

Coun John Rodgers said: “I don’t think the grant is expensive for what they provide.”

Coun Steven Sutcliffe said: “I appreciate it’s an asset to the town and it would be a loss if we lost it but we can’t go on funding it.”

Coun Julie Stansfield said: “They should be looking at ways of self-funding. At the end of the day it’s a business.”

Coun Hilary Myers said: “It provides a very important service to the town and we should be encouraging them to look elsewhere. But I’m not sure where they would go to get funding. It’s very difficult.”

The majority of members voted in favour of giving the full grant, plus writing a letter to the TIC Trust encouraging it to look for alternative sources of funding to cover its staffing costs in future years.