Petersfield Town Council took on the funding of the Town Visitor Centre at short notice 3 years ago when funding was removed at short notice by EHDC on the basis that the council would then explore the best way to continue providing this service. Several committees and working groups have looked at this within the council in the intervening period and have come to the conclusion that, in today’s increasingly digital world, the most effective way of providing this service is to offer as much information online as possible, thereby reducing the need to provide face-to-face advice.
The council made the decision to terminate the current contract from 1st April 2021 with Tourism South East, who represent the staff who run the Town Visitor Centre in the library. To replace this and extend the provision, PTC will develop a new suite of online services which will provide information to both visitors and community alike, as well as proactively sending out digital information to people who have requested information about Petersfield. It is hoped that this will generate interest in Petersfield as a great destination to visit, particularly as it is one of the main gateways to the South Downs National Park, as well as boost the town’s economy.
Petersfield Town Council are indebted to the years of service that the Town Visitor Centre staff have provided over the last 10+ years in the Library. Special mention should be given to Graham Haynes, who has managed the service for 10 years, and with his team have served the visitors and community of our town with great professionalism. However, it is time to transform this facility by digitising the information, and becoming a 24/7 service.
The Library and Town Hall will still be able to assist members of the public and visitors to Petersfield with leaflets and advice, and we are currently in discussions with the Library and other key places in Petersfield to ensure that visitors to the town who need face-to-face services and advice are not stranded or limited to the digital information.