Statement on Visit Scotland's information centre closures

Argyll and Bute Council has issued this statement in response to Visit Scotland’s announcement of information centre closures.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Policy Lead for Economic Growth, Communities and Corporate Services, said: “Tourism is a key part of the Argyll and Bute economy, and makes a major contribution to sustaining communities in rural and island areas. It is very disappointing that such a significant decision has been made without consultation with local communities, and apparently no recognition given of the wider role these centres perform, connecting local communities with visitors. 

"It is welcome that there will be no compulsory redundancies but we know that communities would want a commitment to local jobs being safeguarded through remote working opportunities.

"The loss of the visitor centre on Rothesay is a particular concern as it sustains the historic Winter Gardens that was subject to a recent refurbishment at considerable public cost.  This building occupies a prominent location in Rothesay’s historic waterfront and contains the island cinema which is an important community asset.  There is a need for full clarity over the future of this building before any proposed closure as it performs an important multi-functional role for the local community. 

"Tourism is not only for tourists. It is also for the people and communities who make Scotland’s tourism possible. Visit Scotland has a responsibility to local people as well as to our tourists.”

The Council Leader, Councillor Robin Currie, is writing to Visit Scotland’s senior management to ask for a meeting to discuss their plans for all four centres in Argyll and Bute.

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