Ottery St Mary’s Tourist Information Centre saved

Phyllis Baxter and Glyn Dobson outside the new TIC office that John and Myra Campion have kindly giv

Phyllis Baxter and Glyn Dobson outside the new TIC office that John and Myra Campion have kindly given space to keep The TIC in town. Ref sho 28-16TI 3978. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Seasons Tea Rooms stepped in to keep facility open to the public

Public pressure has prompted a rethink on the decision to close Ottery Tourist Information Centre (TIC) – which will now be relocated within the town centre.

Plans to permanently shut the Broad Street premises last week were met with dismay from many residents and business owners who said its loss – and that of manager Phyllis Baxter - would hit hard, particularly in the busy summer season.

A solution has now been found, thanks to a ‘generous’ offer from John and Myra Campion, who have agreed to host the service in Seasons Tea Rooms in Silver Street.

Mayor Glyn Dobson explained this was a temporary relocation until the facility could move into the new library in the former NatWest Bank building, which was awaiting renovation.

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He said: “We are very grateful for this opportunity. It will be more accessible to the public. People were worried about it closing in the middle of tourist season. This will be good for the town.”

Phyllis announced her retirement this month, but said she would be ‘delighted’ to run the centre on a voluntary basis and maintain the regular face-to-face contact with locals and visitors.

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She said: “I cannot just walk away and leave it. Ottery has so much to offer. People said they did not want me to disappear and this way I will still be around.”

John explained he and Myra read the announcement about the TIC being closed to the public and thought the ideal solution would be to have it relocated within a town centre business.

He said: “We are delighted to be able to help out.”

Seasons Tea Rooms is open from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday and the information centre will be located in the back room of the premises.

The town council hopes to have it in operation by Monday, July 18.

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