Council Criticised Over Information Centre Closure

Both residents and visitors to Sheffield have voiced their discontent over Sheffield City Council’s proposed closure of the tourist information centre.

The proposed closure is part of the council’s ‘reshaping’ of tourist information services in the city, which they say is in response to more people going online for information.

However, since the closure was announced a couple of weeks ago, residents have visited the Surrey Street site to complain about the decision.

The centre also provides information for those visiting the city.

London-based Jake Wan, 36, who is visiting Sheffield on business, said: “I think it’s a pity really, especially for people like me who have nowhere to go to get tourist information.

“The staff at the centre are really helpful, and without them I might struggle to find even the toilets in this city.

“People do go online for information, but using apps like google maps is a nightmare, and the tourist information centre provides a more in depth level of information.”

The council argues that the centre simply isn’t needed any more, as people are researching the city online before visiting.

They propose investing in more online materials, and information points at venues throughout the city.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, who is the cabinet member for business and investment at the council, said: “Where people are looking for information has changed.

“As the statistics prove, people don’t arrive in a city on-spec and turn up in a tourist information centre any more. They research online, book online, and use real-world reviews to inform their travel decisions.

“It is crucial that we spend public money as effectively as we can, and this means channelling our money and resources into the services that people use the most.”

Matt Atkins

Studying Journalism at the University of Sheffield.

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