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Council proposes moving Harrogate's tourist information centre

North Yorkshire Council has proposed moving Harrogate’s tourist information centre from the Royal Baths to inside the nearby Royal Pump Room Museum.

Council proposes moving Harrogate's tourist information centre North Yorkshire Council has proposed moving Harrogate’s tourist information centre from the Royal Baths to inside the nearby Royal Pump Room Museum. The move follows a sharp decline in tourists using the centre on Crescent Road since the covid pandemic with numbers falling from 135,000 in 2019 to 68,000 last year. A report that has been prepared for Conservative executive member for business Cllr Derek Bastiman says the drop-off is in line with national trends in the way tourists access information, with more people using digital content on their phones when they visit Harrogate. It’s proposed the new tourist information service at the museum will be open from 9.30am to 5pm from Tuesday to Sunday starting from April. Staff from the current location would be retained and are said to be supportive of the proposal. The report adds the move will enable longer and more reliable opening hours. North Yorkshire Council owns both sites but spends £24,300 a year on upkeep at the Royal Baths location, according to the report. It adds the council could choose to rent it out to a private business and raise between £30,000 and £40,000 a year in income. However, it has struggled to attract tenants to other units at the Royal Baths with the former Potting Shed bar remaining empty for years and the former Viper Rooms nightclub also still unoccupied more than a year after it closed. The report says:

“The relocation of the Harrogate TIC to the Royal Pump Room would result in no loss of service for customers, would enable services to be delivered in a more efficient way, and would result in a saving to the council from energy and service charge costs. "There would also be opportunity to lease the unit externally, generating additional income for NYC. “It would provide a more efficient model for the delivery of TIC services in Harrogate, taking into account reducing visitor numbers, changing patterns of use, and the current level of staffing resource.”
A final decision on the move will be made by Cllr Bastiman on Wednesday. By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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