East Dorset Information Centre reopens in Wimborne after major revamp
Wimborne Tourist Information Centre reopened as the East Dorset Information Centre on July 20 after a major upgrade as part of a £700,000 restoration project at the neighbouring Priest’s House Museum, which owns and operates the centre. This restoration is part of a wider £1.6million National Lottery supported Revival Project.
Major changes which have occurred at the information centre include a new entrance with easier access for all, modern facilities and a combined shop and visitor reception. These changes aim for an improved experience for visitors to Wimborne and the rest of East Dorset, both local visitors and those from further afield.
East Dorset Information Centre, located on the High Street in Wimborne, has a team of knowledgeable volunteers available to provide a wealth of free local information surrounding activities in East Dorset, local attractions, scenic destinations, shopping advice and dining. Dorset-sourced food and drink, handcrafted gifts, a wide variety of books, and maps are available to buy, with all proceeds raised used for the upkeep and maintenance of the Priest’s House Museum, which is reopening later in the year.
The reopening of Wimborne Tourist Information Centre as the East Dorset Information Centre on July 20 has come at the right time, with the easing of lockdown allowing more visitors to Wimborne and East Dorset. Staff have put all of the necessary safety measures and precautions in place to ensure visitor and volunteer safety.
James Webb, Director of Priest’s House Museum and the East Dorset Information Centre, said:
“We’re thrilled to be relaunching Wimborne Tourist Information Centre as the East Dorset Information Centre, following on from the outstanding renovations at the Priest’s House Museum’s historic Grade II* listed building. The volunteers of the information centre are very excited to have the chance to assist visitors again, using their expert local knowledge to provide a better experience for all.
“East Dorset Information Centre is as much for local people as it is for visitors from further afield. There is so much unknown information about Wimborne and East Dorset and so many hidden gems; we hope that many will visit us to experience it. We feel that we’ve now created a shopping experience for our local customers and tourists alike.
“We’ve also taken the opportunity to extend the shop space for our second-hand book-store, where books can be donated with funds raised being given back to the museums ongoing developments.”
The opening of the East Dorset Information Centre is a welcome relief for local businesses who have been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown measures. Now that lockdown is easing and more shops begin to reopen, businesses are hoping that the information centre will help draw visitors to the town.
Wimborne BID, a business-led initiative to invest money into the local economy of Wimborne Minster, are in full support of the East Dorset Information Centre launch.
Tammy Sleet, Manager of Wimborne BID, said:
“Businesses in Wimborne are delighted at the prospect of having a revamped, exciting, and engaging Information Centre. It’s exactly what we need right now – an information hub to draw visitors in and inform them of all the fantastic things that Wimborne has to offer.”
The reopening also coincides with the Information Centre celebrating its 40th birthday this year, originally founded in 1980 in Wimborne.
The East Dorset Information Centre is located at 29 High Street, Wimborne Minster, Dorset, BH21 1HR, and opens on July 20 from 10:00-1:00pm (restricted hours for two weeks), then returns to normal working hours 10.00 to 4.30pm. For more information, visit: http://www.priest-house.co.uk/
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Darren Northeast PR (working on behalf of The Priest’s House Museum) on 01202 676762 or [email protected]
Notes to Editors
The Priest’s House Museum
The Priest’s House Museum, the Museum of East Dorset, is the only Arts Council England Accredited Museum in East Dorset and has won the coveted Sandford Award for Heritage Education six times. The museum manages a Tourist Information Centre (TIC) and is a key player in the cultural life of Wimborne and East Dorset. It is housed in a Grade II* listed building dating from late Elizabethan times and still has its original burgage plot – one of only two remaining in the town and heritage planted – an oasis in the busy town.