Leicester's new tourist centre reveals city's secrets
A revamped tourist information centre has opened in the heart of the city.
Hundreds of people popped into the Visit Leicester centre, which officially opened yesterday in the former Starbucks building on the corner of Market Place and Gallowtree Gate.
The bright and spacious centre has television screens providing round-the-clock information on things to do and see in the city and county.
Huge boards show a timeline of the city's history, from the Roman era to the present day, and visitors can pick up fact sheets on Leicester Castle, the Guildhall and the Magazine.
Visitors said they were impressed with the new centre.
Shirley Wills, 71, visited with granddaughter Katie, 23, both from Wigston.
"Well, it is fantastic – and well overdue," said Shirley. "It is very well placed for visitors who do not know the city.
"We are part of a group which often hosts international visitors, so it will be perfect for them."
Jamie Martin, 22, a student from Anstey, said: "Tourist information centres can often look a bit tired and dated but this is a lovely building and really bright and cheery.
"I can see tourists and local people using it a lot."
The revamped centre will replace the tourist information centre in Every Street, next to Town Hall Square, where visitor numbers have slumped by 50 per cent in the past five years. The lease on the centre runs out in January, when it will close.
Ken Kaylor, from Arnesby, thought the move was a good idea. The retired 64-year-old said: "I think it is great that Leicester is now promoted like this. We aren't very good about shouting about what we have and I am sure many visitors – and local people – aren't aware of the history of the city."
The relocation of the centre is part of a wider programme to promote the city's history and attractions and to reconnect the older parts of Leicester with the newer shopping and cultural areas.
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: "We need to do more to share the city's rich history and many attractions with local people and visitors.
"The new Visit Leicester centre is in a fantastic location and will provide shoppers, visitors and passers-by with all the information they need to enjoy and explore our city."
The centre will be run and staffed by not-for-profit company LeicesterShire Promotions, which operates the Every Street centre.
Chief executive Martin Peters said: "The new centre will offer many opportunities for us to continue to deliver growth in Leicester's visitor economy as more and more people discover the fantastic experiences, venues and attractions that the city has to offer."
The centre will open every day, apart from Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Opening times will be from 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, and 11am to 5pm on Sunday.