Councils to support new visitor information point network

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils have joined up with Suffolk Libraries and other businesses in the community, to support a new Visitor Information Point (VIP) Network.

The new VIP Network will see visitors to the Babergh and Mid Suffolk areas have more choice about where and how they access visitor information across the districts.

The councils are actively supporting the development of the network, via Suffolk Libraries and other local businesses, as part of a collaborative initiative to support tourism in the districts.

Visitors will be able to use their own devices and self-service tablets, available at some sites in coming months, to find attractions, leisure facilities, accommodation, transport and more. Leaflets and advice will be available from trained staff based at the VIP locations with the aim of supporting the local economy.

Over the winter period VIP points will be set up at Stowmarket Library covering the Mid Suffolk area. Long Melford Library and Sudbury Library VIPs will cover the Babergh area. The VIP Network will extend over coming months in preparation for the main summer tourist season in 2019.

Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, said: “There’s so much to see and do in Mid Suffolk with rolling countryside, heritage buildings and artist trails to name just a few. This new network allows us to support our partners and businesses in delivering a flexible and dynamic tourist information service which visitors can adapt to their needs, whilst supporting the local economy.”

Simon Barrett, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, said: “We’re ready to work with our partners to help visitors through this new network. By using more digital resources and joining up with Suffolk Libraries and others, visitors will have more flexibility in how they access our tourist information. As a district we have so much to offer and we must make sure the VIPs meet the changing needs of our visitors, so they can get the most out of their stay.”

Bruce Leeke, CEO of Suffolk Libraries, said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to build on our new partnership with Babergh and Mid Suffolk. Our libraries are well visited with good opening hours and sit at the heart of the community so are ideal places to host information for local people or visitors to the area.”

The councils will soon have ended their direct provision of Tourist Information Centres (TICs) at Stowmarket and Lavenham. Lavenham Parish Council is now set to run the Lavenham TIC as a new Community Hub including a VIP. The Museum of East Anglian Life will continue to open seasonally March to October, with Abbott’s Hall and Gardens open to the public year-round.

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