• Tavistock Heritage Trust

Tavistock Visitor Information Centre Reopens!

Updated: Jan 19, 2019

Tavistock Visitor Information Centre reopened today, more than four years after it was closed during local government cutbacks. The revived service will be entirely provided by a team of volunteers who have donated their time to help visitors and locals find out more about what’s on offer in the town and the local area. As before, the VIC will be situated in Court Gate, the ancient archway in Bedford Square which used to serve as the main gate into the courtyard of Tavistock Abbey.

As well as handing out advice and visitor information, the new VIC will also have a strong heritage theme, a reflection of its new managers, the charity Tavistock Heritage Trust. In keeping with the Trust’s objectives, the primary goal of the VIC will be to inform the public about the fascinating history and heritage of Tavistock and its surroundings. The VIC will, for instance, be a hub for heritage walking tours around the town, offering both self-guided walks and others led by local historians.

Chairman of the Trust Andrew Main said: “This is a huge day for the Trust and the culmination of a great deal of work. Our goal is for the VIC to be a beacon in the middle of the town, directing visitors and locals both to local businesses and attractions and to Tavistock’s unique heritage.”

“We’d like to thank all our volunteers and the local community for their support in getting the project off the ground, especially the Rotary Club of Tavistock and the property services company Ian Williams Ltd. We must also acknowledge the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, since the reopening of the VIC is part of the wider HLF-funded Guildhall Gateway Project. Most of all, though, our thanks go to our consultant Jo Butler, whose guidance and hard work have made the entire project possible.”

Tavistock Town Mayor, Councillor Paul Ward said: “The opening of the Visitor Information Centre is an important event for the town. It will fill the yawning gap created by the closure of the old tourist information centre and will greatly improve the town’s offer to locals and visitors alike. This is the first result of a continuing collaboration between Tavistock Heritage Trust and Tavistock Town Council that will ultimately lead to the reopening of the Guildhall to the public and further enhance the attractiveness of our town to visitors. In recognition of the importance of the project the Town Council, which owns Court Gate, is not charging rent for the use of the premises. On behalf of the Council I would like to express my thanks to all the volunteers who will be greeting and assisting our visitors and wish the project every success.”

Chairman of the Tavistock Business Improvement District Robin Rich said: “Tavistock BID would like say a huge thank you to everyone involved in getting the VIC off the ground – it has been a fantastic achievement. Tavistock has been without a dedicated staffed information centre for over 4 years, but we now have that facility back and Tavistock will be a better place for it. The BID will continue to support and help grow the VIC over the coming years.”

The VIC’s long-term future will be dependent on local people giving their time by volunteering to staff the Centre – this will be an exciting role with plenty of variety and interest. If you’d like to get involved, have a look at our Volunteering page, or call Geri Parlby on 01822 852102. Alternatively, drop by the VIC during opening hours and have a chat with one of our volunteers.

To contact the VIC, email hello@visit-tavistock.co.uk, or ring 01822 612938. The Centre will be open Wednesday through to Saturday each week between 11am and 4pm.