The Council had prepared the ground well. We had been advised of a fundamental change in the way it would be addressing the county’s tourism industry. VisitWiltshire (VW) was to be set up as a separate company, dependent upon significant funding from the Council. Its
role was to promote Wiltshire as the place to visit. TICs were to be regarded as having a role only when the visitors were here – at which point it was the local economy that benefited, and would be expected to bear the cost of supporting its TIC.
Being one of five TICs in the county that have been supported by Wiltshire Council, we had been told that our 2011/2012 funding from WC would be cut. We set about some serious lobbying. We pointed out that we were different. We had adopted the ‘Big Society’ 4 years
before the term was first heard in the Westminster Village! We made sure our local town and parish councils were aware of our plight. We had already cut our costs to the bone.
25 January was to be our Day of Destiny. We listened. Routes to other Wiltshire Council funding were revealed when other service-provision was being discussed. We were given our opportunity to address the meeting. We took it.
The result? Our situation is the subject of ongoing discussion. We are now in consultation with the Service Director for Economy & Enterprise and the Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Housing to investigate the feasibility of securing local funding.